New Jersey teenager Courtney Dvorak wants other eating disorder sufferers to know that recovery is possible. The 17-year-old high school senior fought a long battle against anorexia, but after going to live at an inpatient treatment center like Fairwinds, she is finally on-the-mend. Courtney recently shared her story with the South Jersey Times, hoping to inspire others struggling with eating disorders to fight back.
We have seen many severely ill eating disorder victims try to rush their way through treatment at low-commitment outpatient facilities, only to get worse. When they finally come here to Fairwinds, one of the best eating disorder treatment centers in the world, they are able to start on the road to recovery. Courtney says she too tried the "quick-fix" method, but soon slipped back into her old habits.
"That slip turned into something outpatient [therapy] couldn't handle," she tells the source. "I tried to whiz my way through it."
Courtney's mother tells the newspaper that her daughter's eating disorder was like a drug — an addiction that she used to cope with other issues, like her anxiety and depression. As Courtney and her family learned, trying to treat an eating disorder without also addressing the conditions that triggered or worsened it will almost always result in a failed recovery.
Fairwinds Treatment Center's Dr. Pauline Powers, a globally renowned eating disorder expert and former president of the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), has long maintained that issues like anorexia are almost always caused or exacerbated by underlying mental, psychological and/or emotional problems, as was true in Courtney's case. In addition to anxiety and depression, other undiagnosed challenges may include obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. That's why, since Fairwinds opened its doors 25 years ago, we have used our unique dual diagnosis methodology, combining clinical treatment and therapeutic counseling to promote comprehensive healing, personalized to fit each patient's needs.
Restored physical health will only be fleeting if it is not also accompanied by mental and emotional wellness. Courtney's friend Marissa struggles with bulimia, and agrees that an eating disorder starts on the inside.
"It's almost like there's a voice inside your head. It's your voice, but it's not yourself," she tells the South Jersey Times. "It tells you how to live out your day. 'What are you going to do? What are you going to wear? How long are you going to run?' Someone could be talking to me and I could be having a full-on conversation, and all the while I'd be having a conversation in my head with this voice. 'You shouldn't do this because you ate too much today. You don't look good enough today.'"
Here at Fairwinds in Clearwater, Florida, we have helped countless eating disorder victims silence those internal voices and find peace and healing. We also offer family counseling for the parents, siblings and partners of sufferers who have been traumatized by their loved one's disease. Leading scientific research, as reported by the New York Times, shows that family therapy can dramatically improve the odds of an individual's recovery.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, it's important to realize that it is not a choice, but rather an illness that requires professional, expert care. Nowhere will you find better treatment than here at Fairwinds. Call us today to learn more.