Actress Jane Fonda is sharing new details about the family trauma that led her to engage in self-destructive behavior, in the hope of helping others. We previously discussed on this blog Fonda’s struggle with bulimia and some of the childhood experiences that may have contributed to it. Indeed, many if not most eating disorders are triggered or worsened by underlying mental, psychological and/or emotional issues. That’s why Dr. Pauline Powers, Fairwinds Treatment Centers’ world-renowned eating disorder expert and the former president of the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), uses our unique dual diagnosis methodology to promote healing inside and out in order to make a lasting recovery possible.
Recently, Fonda revealed for the first time that her mother was the victim of child abuse and sexual assault when she was just 8-years-old. She made the revelation during a speech at the Rape Foundation’s annual fundraiser. The star said that she only recently found out about the trauma her mother endured, while going through some old medical records to research her memoirs. She explained how her mother’s pain scarred her too.
“The minute that I read that, everything fell into place,” she told the crowd of Rape Foundation supporters. “I knew why the promiscuity, the endless plastic surgery, the guilt, the inability to love or be intimate, and I was able to forgive her and forgive myself.”
When Fonda was just 12-years-old, her mother committed suicide, a traumatic event that the movie star has said led her to engage in many self-destructive acts. She struggled for years with body image issues and bulimia, which she likely turned to in an effort to deal with her internal pain.
If someone you love is suffering from an eating disorder, it is important to realize that it is not a “choice,” nor is it simply about food, physical fitness or weight. Rather, an eating disorder is symptomatic of deep-seated, often undiagnosed emotional and psychological issues, such as anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder or post traumatic stress disorder.
Unfortunately, far too many eating disorder treatment centers focus on eating disorder victims’ physical symptoms without ever addressing the problems that are causing and/or worsening them. In contrast, here at Fairwinds Treatment Center, we use our dual diagnosis methodology to address both external and internal aspects of eating disorders, combining clinical treatment and therapeutic counseling to encourage comprehensive wellness. Using this approach, we have helped countless patients travel down the road to healthy and happy futures.
Watching someone you love succumb to an eating disorder is devastating, and it can sometimes feel like there is no hope for improvement. However, you should know that with the right treatment, recovery is entirely possible, and there is no better place to find it than at Fairwinds.