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Battling Eating Disorders Together

June 6, 2014, 6:00 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Battling Eating Disorders Together
MITCHELL, SD -

Whether you're battling a disease or going through a difficult time in your life, support can make a big difference. That's why a Mitchell woman, who has an eating disorder, is starting a support group.

When Tiffany Fraser looks at pictures from her sister's wedding, they bring back good memories, but she also realizes she made some poor health choices in her past.

"It's really sad to say that I was in a size zero, and I struggled to keep those pants on," Fraser said.

For nearly a decade, Fraser battled an eating disorder. She didn't want to admit she needed help.

"I didn't want to be labeled as someone with an eating disorder," Fraser said. "I had my idea that someone with an eating disorder was 60 pounds and knocking on death's door."

After being confronted by family members, Fraser went through several rounds of inpatient therapy. In working on her own recovery, she now hopes to help others with the disease by starting a support group.

"I think it will be very helpful for people to come and be able to voice their struggles," Fraser said.

But first, people with eating disorders have to admit they have a problem, which can be difficult.

"If they are under 18, you usually have to almost force them to get help, because a lot of teenagers don't want to get help for it because they are sort of proud of it. They've lost a lot of weight oftentimes, and they don't want it taken away from them," Avera Licensed Psychologist David Hylland said.

Psychologist David Hylland says if a person is over 18, you should talk to them about it.

"Another thing some people can do if you have someone who is an adult is contact their physician. A lot of times their physician has influence on getting them treatment," Hylland said.

Fraser encourages those who are dealing with an eating disorder to seek help. She also hopes she can make a difference with her new support group.

"If our group can save one person's life or step up and get that one person the help they need, then everything I've done is worth what I'm doing right now," Fraser said.

The "Courage to Confront" eating disorders group will meet every Friday evening, starting tonight, at 7 p.m. The meetings will be at the Family Visitation Center in Mitchell.

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