Fairwinds Treatment Center's unique dual diagnosis methodology is designed to treat both a patient's eating disorder and the underlying psychological, mental or emotional issues that caused or worsened it. These may include depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and/or trauma. Traumatic experiences may include distinct events such as an accident, death, natural disaster or violent attack. However, they can also stem from ongoing stress that may not even be obvious to the casual observer. For example, struggling with a chronic illness, being bullied at school or work or living in an area with high crime rates can all cause trauma.
Sometimes, two factors may exacerbate each other, such as when an anxiety condition heightens stress levels to the point of causing trauma. This may have been the case in the story of a University of Florida student who developed bulimia while still in high school.
"I was an International Baccalaureate student, a competitive swimmer, president of the environmental club, secretary of the art honors society, a photographer," writes Shannon Kaestle in The Tampa Bay Times. "Most days, I woke at 5:30 a.m., and was in class from 7:30 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. I had swim practice from 4 to 6 p.m. Home by about 7 p.m., I'd start my homework. Most nights, I slept three or four hours. Weekends were for swim competitions and schoolwork … The pressure on students to succeed today is crippling. I buckled under the load."
Kaestle says that she began developing stress hives on her neck and arms and having panic attacks after eating. Like most, if not all, eating disorder sufferers, her self-destructive behavioral patterns did not exist in a vacuum. Rather, they were the result of internal struggles and traumatic experiences that were damaging her mind, body and spirit.
Too many facilities that provide treatment for bulimia focus only on the eating disorder itself. In contrast, Fairwinds Treatment Center's globally renowned lead eating disorder expert, Dr. Pauline Powers, uses a combination of clinical treatment and therapeutic counseling to promote healing on the inside and out. Each plan is personalized to meet an individual patient's needs.
Dr. Powers has spent more than 40 years studying and treating eating disorders, helping countless patients find lasting recovery. She was the founding president of the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), past president of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), a founding member of the Eating Disorders Research Society and is on the editorial board of the Eating Disorders Review. She is an active board member for NEDA, which recently awarded her a lifetime achievement award.
If you or your loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, there is no better place for them to find peace than Fairwinds Treatment Center in Clearwater, Florida.