22-year-old woman tells her story of eating disorder

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – In time for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, a 22-year-old Nashville woman has shared her story of recovery from her battle with an eating disorder.

“I didn’t know anything about it. My family really didn’t know anything about it. I just started doing it… I was like all of a sudden, I hate how I look, I’m going to change it,” explained Amelia Frutiger.

At 14, she began to struggle with an eating disorder, but for over six months she didn’t admit she needed help.

“I kind of had a double whammy, kind of, I say that. I had anorexia and I had bulimia, I was purging every time I ate and I was restricting every time I I could,” she explained. “It was hard, hard, hard, hard because you have this voice, I say it’s a voice, in your head. It’s something that’s not you, and it’s constantly screaming at you saying : ‘You can’t do that, no .'”

Claire Kosky

Amelia Frutiger, 22, said her eating disorder started when she was just 14.

Frutiger said it took months of treatment before he turned the corner.

“I was like, ‘Wow, like, why am I doing all this? Why am I starving? Why am I doing all this?’ And that was mainly because my mother and my sisters, I saw how much it affected them. I saw how it affected not only me, but it affected a lot of people around me. I didn’t want them to live like they didn’t have a sister, a little sister, not have a youngster like the youngest daughter like it was. It was. It was like an eye opener.” , she said.

Selah House Outpatient Nashville executive director Robin Morgan says eating disorders are more common than most realize.

“Eating disorders affect all segments of our population, all genders, all cultures, you know, socio-economic. So it’s a disorder like any other mental health disorder. It doesn’t so no discrimination. So I’m sure we all have someone in our lives who’s been affected by some kind of eating disorder,” Morgan said.

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Claire Kosky

The Selah House Outpatient Center is the only one of its kind in Nashville that treats both men and women.

According to the Selah House, 9% of Tennesseans will have an eating disorder in their lifetime. In a recent study, the overall incidence of eating disorders increased during the COVID-19 pandemic by 15.3% in 2020, compared to previous years

“There is such a need for eating disorder treatment here in Middle Tennessee,” Morgan explained. “We are a chance for people to get treatment earlier in their illness and prevent additional complications that can occur with eating disorders.”

The Selah House is Nashville’s only outpatient treatment center that treats both men and women with eating disorders.

“[We’re] an eating disorder day treatment program for adults 18 and older, of all genders,” Morgan explained. “We provide care that allows people to stay home and receive intensive treatment during the day and avoid, you know, hospitalization or residential treatment. And we provide patient-centered care by meeting clients where they are to offer personalized and tailored treatment plans. There is no one size fits all.”

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Claire Kosky

Selah House Outpatient Nashville Executive Director Robin Morgan

Morgan and Frutiger both encouraged anyone who might be struggling with an eating disorder to catch it early by seeking help as soon as the disorder arises.

“Ask for help as soon as you can. Don’t let this go on too long because I didn’t ask for help as soon as I could,” Frutiger pleaded. “I thought I had no problem. I thought ‘oh that’s normal.’ When I know in all honesty, it’s not normal. It’s not.”

If you or someone you know needs further counseling or help with an eating disorder, click here to find out how to contact Maison Selah.

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Claire Kosky

The Selah House in Nashville uses a home-like approach opposed to a sterile clinic approach to help its clients with eating disorders feel more comfortable.

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