F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

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Does anyone have any experience of coping with anorexic 18 year old twins?
Also, does anyone know or can recommend a good therapist in or around Cardiff, u.k.?
The competition between the girls is fierce as they both try relentlessly to eat less than the other one.
So it's a downward spiral, and we are all being sucked in. Grateful for any help or advice. X
P. P.
Hi Patsy,

I'm so sorry you and your girls find yourselves in this position.

I have only one to deal with but the following thoughts flashed across my mind.

  • Can you separate the as much as possible? Try to stop them comparing notes too. I realise that may be almost impossible but see what little things you can do.
  • Can you get rid of the scales at home? Do your best to stop them weighing themselves and comparing notes.
Where abouts are you? And how ill are your girls? What sort of medical oversight is there in their health? If we know a little bit more people here could tell you what worked for them.

Wishing you lots of strength,
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
I'm so sorry you and your daughters are in this situation.

I have done a quick Google search and there are apparently no specialist inpatient eating disorder units for adults in your area - the nearest would maybe be Bristol? I'm not sure. There is also something in Cardiff called SHED, which is the Service for High Risk Eating Disorders, but I've not been able to find much information in terms of what treatment they can offer. There may be information in the 'Feedback on Specific Treatment Providers' forum.

In the meantime, could you try LSUYE/Magic Plate with them, but so that they eat separately? Maybe you could make a deal with them that if they don't eat, you'll take them to hospital. Are their vitals/obs ok? It's really important these are checked regularly as imbalances/deficiencies can be extremely dangerous. As there is such competition and comparison between them, maybe you could try and feed them at different times, or in different rooms if you have a partner/spouse who could support one of them while you supported the other?

I'm sorry I can't be of more help. Keep us updated, I really hope you and your girls find a way to fight through this horrible position.
Thank you Moonshine, tooth fairy and deenl for your feedback. I couldn't believe it that there is no inpatient unit in South Wales and yes, the nearest one to us is in Bristol!
You are right, tooth fairy, I did not want the girls to go in for inpatient treatment, but I realise now that this might be our best option. In fact, one of my girls is so desperate to recover that she has been begging me to arrange it! I am not sure whether she will feel the same once it becomes a reality, but I have to at least try to fulfill her wish. She is already under the supervision of SHED that moonshine has mentioned, but it has not helped her eating or her thoughts in any way.
The girls have been eating in different rooms for over a year now, taking it in turn to either sit at the dinner table with me and h, or to sit in front of the t.v. In the other room.
That helps a little in that it relieves the pressure whilst they are eating. But I have not been able to instigate magic plate...they dictate how much I serve...which is not much.
Things have got so bad here in the last two weekends, that as from tomorrow we have decided to separate the girls completely and they are both going to stay with two separate relatives. This is just to relieve the pressure a little and hopefully they will feel happier and think less about food and the ED. However, I am not sure how that is going to work in terms of putting more food inside them. They say that they will push themselves to eat more, but I have my doubts. On the other hand they were not improving at home, so I thought it I worth a try, at least until we are waiting to hear what the verdict is about inpatient treatment.
I will also take them to the GP this week for some vital checks.
Thank you for caring enough to guide and pass on information!
P. P.
Hi, I am in north wales and we've been told of an adolescent ip unit in Bridgend, although I'm not sure what age it is up to. Are your twins under camhs or adult services?

My d was in competition with her best friend from school, they both ended up in ip although by then they were more frenemies than friends. I can't imagine what it would be like having two competitive anorexics in one home. I wish I could offer more advice! Are you allowing communication between them when they are separated? I would be keeping an eye on picture messages, snapchat etc 

15yr old d. June 2014 stomach pain. Medical investigations until Feb 2015, referred to CAMHs dx food anxiety. Kept restricting and losing weight until July 2015, medically unstable. Began intensive re-feeding at home. Re-evaluated by psychiatrist, dx Autism Spectrum Disorder and Atypical AN.
Found out it's actually Typical AN.
IP from Oct 15, ng tube Nov. Re-started eating food July 2016. Discharged from IP August 2016 97% weight for height.