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annabanana

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everyone, I was blessed with many advises and suggestions in my first post and I've been trying some of them out, but most of them are not working for us.  I have had some parents with twins that have kindly replied but they have only 1 with ED.   I am hoping there's someone out there with a similar situation as us so I can ask (or even answer) some questions.

I haven't seen any recent posts with twins other than mine, but I'm hoping someone might have experience or knowledge about dealing with twins.  Thank you!!
Foodsupport_AUS

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Reply with quote  #2 
At present I think you are the only parent on here with twins or two children that both have an active eating disorder. We have had a number before. I am not sure being twins makes much of a difference. They both need feeding and care. Why don't you ask what questions you do have? 
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D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
berry75

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Reply with quote  #3 
I have identical twin girls,only one with an ed,at our clinic we were told an eating disorder can affect both twins due to the genetic component.To be honest its my worst nightmare.As my girls are very competitive with eachother.I am sure it must be incredibly hard especially if they are encouraging eachother.I would assume even due to the fact they are twins it would be the same treatment and techniques you would use for non twins siblings,either way, so much harder.Good luck,I wish i could offer more advice,please keep the forum updated on how things are going.
Sotired

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Reply with quote  #4 
I do remember that one parent here had twins with anorexia.the more willing one (they were 18 I think?) went for treatment away from home first.then a little bit later the other twin went,though I'm not sure if it was to the same facility.
She was on her own and had struggled for some time,so residential was the best option for her.
Would that work in your situation?could you send one and keep one,or send both?this is just an idea so please ignore it if it is not useful.

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berry75

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Reply with quote  #5 
Are your girls idential?? Just wondering.As i have been reading a lot about the genetic link .
mjkz

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
but most of them are not working for us. 


Why not share what you have tried and what isn't working rather than searching for people in the exact same situation?  You may never find anyone in the same situation and treating twins shouldn't be all that different than treating two people with EDs.
annabanana

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thank you all, sorry we've been traveling so I just got the chance to check my email and saw your replies!!!   It's been so overwhelming to read so much of what everyone's going through and I feel very sad every time I log on to FEAST....

To answer some of the questions, my twins are not identical and they are not in the same place in their recovery.

I have twin 1 (T1) who has hijacked the recovery and she must do whatever twin2 (T2) does, even down to the number of bites T2 takes.    So we implemented plate A and B--where each twin takes turn and pick a plate so that the food they get is random--that I'm not purposely making one bigger portion for T1, like she thinks.   And we put a barrier so they can't see each other's plates.  But T1 'realized' one day that she tends to pick the 'bigger' portioned plate at every meal so she asked to see T2's plate and then her napkin after the meal. Then she studies the area underneath because T2 must be cheating by dropping food.

Initially I said no and then her hallucinations got so bad that we decided to let her have her way.  That's when I asked forum whether it was more important for the weight to be restored (which is) or for the anxiety to be reduced so she can actually eat.  I was getting physically ill from tending to her episodes that stemmed from anxiety of eating more than her twin.  (I have liver damage and severe anemic where pills don't work so I was already not well when this started.)

Many wrote don't negotiate with ED, which I felt I was doing by letting her check the other twin's plate and napkin, but her hallucinations were so bad that she couldn't move at times or even sleep.  She didn't sleep 3 days in a row and most of the time I didn't either because of that.   And everyone in the house was suffering during this time.

FYI, my husband is a source of anxiety for both girls so he hasn't been able to help out at all.  He is of course at loss for this.  He used to talk constantly about weight and being 'fat' that he triggers the girls at times.

Now it's not just eating, but even every single movement T2 makes must be copied by T1 or her anxiety explodes.  This is driving T2 crazy and her own recovery is being hindered because of T1.   This is difficult to explain, but T2's weight was restored months ago (as well as her mind), but she is forced to eat more now because if she doesn't eat, T1 won't--T1's need for eating is much greater than T2 because if T1's hungry, her anxiety increases as well, resulting in more hallucinations.  And she's so scared of what she sees and hears (loud screams usually) that she asks to eat as often as she can.   This has stressed T2 greatly as of late, understandably.

That's the main reason for my asking of what other twin families are doing.   If you have experience in something like this, I would be grateful for your sharing!!



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Reply with quote  #8 
This behaviour you see from T1 is very common in eating disorders. Requiring/ demanding that others eat/drink the same amount and do the same thing. It really does need to stop. The fact that T2 is recovering herself makes it much harder for her too, as you point out. I know that you are waiting for a program, but is there any possibility given T1 has the added issues of psychosis, if she is not able to eat without T2 there then perhaps she needs a higher level of care. 

Ideally as we have all said let T2 eat separately and then if you are happy with her she can leave the table. If you don't serve plates prior to this then T1 has no way to compare. 

I also noted that mumto3 has been on recently. She does not have twins but she has been managing with two children with ED at the same time. 

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D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
Torie

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hi annabanana - So sorry that you are struggling with your own health issues on top of it all.  Ugh.  Your h really needs to help out - if he can't help with the feeding, there are still lots of other things he can do.  I wonder if he could step up his game in other areas (laundry, cooking, cleaning, errands, playing games with girls if he has learned not to talk about weight / size / shape).

I think you said T2 is weight restored so I want to mention than many / most here have found that our ED-kids need to gain significantly more than anyone expected.  Pretty much everyone finds that they need to return to the weight they were before they started restricting (i.e., their previous high weight).  In any case, it will do no harm whatsoever to T2 if she gains an "extra" 5 or 10 pounds - it's prudent not to hang around at the lowest healthy weight because stuff happens and they lose weight unexpectedly sometimes.  So I would urge you to take that (i.e., "too much" weight gain for T2) off your list of things to worry about.

I do agree that T1 needs to be helped to stop following T2, for everyone's sake.  

The most important thing, I think, is still that T1 needs to keep gaining.  Personally, I would prioritize that above all else.

Hang in there.  You're doing a good job.  xx

-Torie

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toothfairy

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hi there,
Bearing in mind the girls age 17 , you have a very limited amount of time to get good evidence based treatment, before they are 18 and can refuse treatment.

Again my opinion is that Twin 1 needs a higher level of care.
You talk about treatment in May, but this is family therapy, although its better than nothing, I really think T1 NEEDS A HIGHER LEVEL OF INTERVENTION, especially if your H is not able to tow the line...

I know you mention in your older threads that you would have to pay and this is not an option.
Would  it help if we brainstormed what might be available in your area Toronto?? Maybe somebody here has experience of state funded programmes in Toronto??

At the present time, it sounds like you are you are dealing with ED and possible Psychosis in T1, who knows which came first the chicken or the egg, but she needs serious intervention....
She needs a higher level of care, maybe in an adolescent unit, she may well have a co-morbid like schizophrenia?? I really feel she needs a full psychiatric assesment.
In the meantime, I would not have the girls eat together. I would space them an hour apart and give them   entirely different meals.
Best wishes

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Son,DX with AN, (purging type) age 13 in October 2015 ,  (4 months immediate inpatient) ,  Now Phase  2 , making progress every day. Living life to the full like a normal teen. We are not out of the woods yet, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to ATDT.
loubay

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Reply with quote  #11 
Doubletrouble had twins: http://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/profile/1910038#gsc.tab=0
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