I'm not sure if I am posting this in the correct forum but hopefully someone will be able to help me.
My 22 year old sister has been urinating in cups and containers and storing it in her bedroom. This has been happening for years. She also stores vomit in her room and it is only removed when when of us family members cleans the room because the smell has become unbearable.
She used to wet the bed as a child and was bullied at school. She now has a good job (in healthcare!!!) and is outwardly happy but there have been problems in the family.
I have spoken to her about this and she claims she does not know why she does this but doesnt want to go to the doctor. Sometimes she says she does it because she is lazy, or doesnt want to go downstairs to the toilet in case someone shouts at her for making noise but at other times she uses different reasons so I feel like they are excuses and dont know the real reason why she wees in her room. And if its just laziness or fear of getting shouted at, why does she keep the urine in her room for months and months?
I am so sure this is a sign of a deeper problem. She has also cut her arms in the past. Its really hard to speak to her about this because she gets angry and changes the subject.
Please can anyone give me any advice?
Has your sister seen a therapist to talk about this? These issues do not go away by themselves. Let me applaud the fact that you are on this forum trying to seek help for your sister; a good support structure is a valuable asset to have when dealing with some these issues.
shes seen a counsellor at her work quite a few times but it doesnt seem to have helped. i think i want some kind of confirmation that there is a problem so that i can maybe show her and convince her to see the doctor
People collect all kinds of things, and for whatever reason, your sisters mementos have some kind of emotional relevance to her.
But let me ask you -aside from the offensive odor and "gross-out" factor, are there any other "problems? Or, put another way: were it NOT for her odd inventory, would you think of her as a pretty normal type person?
Hate to say this, but if your answer is "yes," but for the collection, she's pretty squared away, then the problem here is YOUR problem. Although there is, undoubtedly, a lot of psychology involved in her habit, if it is not a problem for HER, then its not a problem for her. End of story.
So, OK then, it is a problem for YOU and other residents of the home. The smell, the icky stuff, the -well, you know. That leaves open the possibility that you may negotiate with her for some relief for you and everyone else. Perhaps this has been tried already, with no success. And really, you don't care so much about her underlying problem, as you care about the immediate effect of having that stuff around. (I don't mean that you are insenstive to whatever the emotional prime movers are, I simply mean that you need relief for yourself). So, let's see, we have a 22 year old adult with a good job who still lives at home. What's going on with THAT? Isn't it time for her to leaving the nest? What I'm getting at here is that there may be more to this then the immediate issue.
And what that means is that you and other concerned family members go for a consult with a psychiatrist. I know! I know! You are not the ones with the issue, here. But you darn sure could benefit from some advice and comment of a professional along the lines of, "where do we go from here?"
Let's look at pyromaniacs. Really. Two problems: First, there's something mixed up in the pyro's thinking. And then, there are the FIRES. It may be that the pyro needs some reprogramming to unhand himself of the past time. But it is also true we need to do something about the FIRES, right? Some separation needs to be made between these two so that the folks who have a problem with those fires are no longer exposed, and so that the person starting them gets squared away and stops that bad behavior.
It should be obvious that there is a problem and that it needs to be addresssed.
You said that she has seen a counselor at work, but are you aware of what she told him/her. If she wasn't totally honest, which I doubt she was, the therapist would not be able to make an appropriate recommendation for a solution.
Self mutilation(cutting her arms) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) as a symptom of borderline personality disorder and depressive disorders. It is sometimes associated with mental illness, a history of trauma and abuse including emotional abuse, sexual abuse, eating disorders, or mental traits such as low self-esteem or perfectionism, but a statistical analysis is difficult, as many self-injurers conceal their injuries.
There are a number of different treatments available for self-injurers which concentrate on either treating the underlying causes or on treating the behaviour itself. When self-injury is associated with depression, antidepressant drugs and treatments may be effective.
As for the urine issue, without a complete history and evaluation it would be difficult to identify the true cause, however, based upon what you haave told us, she appears to have some form of OCD.
She needs to see the appropriate mental healthcare provider and be completely honest with them or the problem will not be treated.
You may also be able to ask you own family physician, on how to approach this. Sometimes it takes family intervention with a doctor to get her the help she needs.
Just give the doctor a call, or your local mental health facility and ask them their approach to this.. You can ask for the nurse on call or an intake social worker. This is not to scare you, nor label your sister. But to me it sounds a bit like OCD..obsessive compulsive disorder. This is very treatable.
Her getting angry at you when you try to speak with her , can very well be a sign that she is in denial. About what.. i do not know.
I would approach this definetly with outside help, as anyone that is close to her she is most likely to get angry at for trying to tell her something she is in denial about. Kinda get my idea?
When my son was younger he got very upset if anyone flushed the toilet after he had used it. He would never flush after using the bathroom.
I went to his pediatrician about this and he told me that my son, sees the urine and feces are coming out of his body and IS a part of his body. To flush would be like flushing away part of "his body."
I had a long talk with my young son and explained to him, that when these kinds of things came out of our bodies because we didn't need them anymore. That's why they made toilets, so you could flush them away. It took alot of reassurance from me, (several weeks) to pursuade him to flush. When he flushed I stood beside him and asked him, "Does your body feel any different because you flushed away what came out of you?" He was silent for a moment and told me, "It's okay mom, it stunk anyway." He was trying to tell me that he understood that this was all a waste product from his body digesting his food and it was alright to "throw it away." The body didn't need it anymore.
This ended his fear of "throwing" his waste products away. Just wanted to share my experience and what retaining the waste actually meant to my son. He really did think he would be flushing part of his body away. Maybe your sister feels the same way.
Good advice by JS, for further investigation into your sister's behavior.
Most definately not normal behavior. But as JS said, if she doesn't have a problem with it...but you could tell her it is a problem for others in the home, and if she wants to keep doing this, then she needs her own place, so the rest of the family won't be affected.
There is an issue here. The most important thing here is why. I agree with the post above about not being a problem to the individual but the act it self is unhealthy. That makes it an issue. Photos of urine and vomit would be strange. But actually keeping bio hazard items for years in the home is an issue. You need to lean the root of "why". What motivates her to keep these things? Ridding them is not the answer. Learning why is. That's professional help. Her collection is not just smelly it's unsanitary.
Who ever suggested that the family goes to talk to a psyc was a great idea. They can at least lean a professional opinion. I have been amazed how many answers a professional can give.
Months after i first posted this problem, the behaviour is continuing. I have discussed the problem with other members of my family, in the hope of shaming her into changing or getting a different perspective and new advice but no change. I know it may seem like I'm being mean but the problem affects our whole family because she is taking mugs, glasses and even lunchboxes from downstairs and urinating in them, so we are constantly buying new ones when we discover them and quite possibly drinking from cups which she has returned downstairs after peeing in them. my sister works as an assistant in a pharmacy and i am regularily finding unprescribed medication like tramadol, naxosyn, lidocaine and lorazapan in her room ; i think this is a further sign of problems. she is also filling bottles of wine and whiskey with urine - so she is drinking in her room as well. Despite confrontations and cleaning (by me and my dad), my sister continues to do this so I think i need to speak to our GP, what I'm wondering is whats likely to happen when i tell him all this? I dont want my sister to lose her job or get worse, i just want to help and maybe telling the doctor will make it a bigger issue than it is?
It sounds like your sister has more than one issue going on here. Possibly alcohol abuse, possibly abuse of meds, and the odd habit of storing her waste in her room. Also, being that the manner in which she does it (ie, the glasses, mugs, etc) affects the whole family, it is a major issue.
The thing that is most concerning to me is the meds you are finding. If she is finding a way to take these meds from the Pharmacy in which she works, she could find herself in SERIOUS legal trouble, not to mention, lose her job and her career.
Definitely time to talk to someone. My opinion is to find a psychiatrist vs your family doc...they are better equipped to deal with these types of behaviors, and probably better armed with resources to suggest....and a way to come up with a plan to try to help her. The sad thing is...unless she is willing to help herself and admit she has a problem, there isn't a lot you're going to be able to do except perhaps give her ultimatums about finding her own place to live, which of course...she would just likely continue the behavior on her own. She needs help. Start with the psychiatrist.
i agree with what you say completly, but one thing making me hesitant to speak to someone is the fact that she has been obtaining the drugs from her work and i really dont want her to get in trouble at work or lose her job, in case that makes the situation worse. its all confidential with what i tell the gp though.,..isnt it?
Yes. Everything is confidential. The only time a doctor or psychiatrist is allowed to say anything is when there is a clear and present danger of that person hurting themselves or someone else. That she is obtaining drugs at work will not come out........at least until she is caught and she WILL, eventually, be caught.
As has been stated here, your sister needs some serious professional help and I agree with nursegirl that your best bet is to speak with a psychiatrist regarding the best way to approach this.
I do not mean to be funny, as there is nothing funny about this problem, but until your sister is willing to admit she has problems, it's like the adage of leading a horse to water. Hopefully, this is where the psychiatrist will have some viable options for you.
I wish you the very best.........your sister is very lucky to have your love and support.
Don't forget to take care of YOURSELF during this difficult time.
Please let us know how you're doing, OK?
HIPPA laws prevent health care providers from sharing information. What you share with a doc will remain confidential. If you aren't comfortable revealing right away about the meds, then just focus on the other issues for now.
It IS vital that you try to seek help for your sister asap though, because it honestly sounds as though she is heading down a path of self-destruction, and like lydia said....it is only a matter of time before she IS caught stealing drugs from work, and that is going to put her into some serious hot water...legally....and professionally. It would just be such a shame to see her lose what she has worked so hard to obtain b/c she is taking meds. I've seen some great nurses lose their licenses forever over stuff like that.
It sounds as though you and your family are probably going to have to stage an "intervention" of sorts to try to get her some help. She's very lucky to have a caring and supporting family who wants to help her.
i've made an appointment with my GP to speak about my sister tomorrow so i'll let you know how it goes. am very nervous. I havent kept any of this a secret from my sister, she knows i am going to the doctor about her and she is clearly uncomfortable about it but she hasnt tried to stop me, so hopefully if i get her referred to someone she will comply with whatever treatment she is advised to take.
the thing is, i'm not trying to be a martyr but i really am doing this cos i care but i think she kind of thinks i'm trying to make her look bad by bringing this out in the open and highlighting it. the way i see it is that if i'm sick, i go to the doctors and get treatment, i dont see why having mental issues cant be the same; you're sick, you get treated, you get better. there shouldnt be so much stigma attached. ;-(
"she knows i am going to the doctor about her and she is clearly uncomfortable about it but she hasnt tried to stop me, "
Well, that is just awesome. Not only do I applaud you for your support of your sister, but also I think it is great that you have been open and honest with her about it.
Just keep reinforcing to her that you are doing it b/c you love her and care about her and want only the very best for her. She's frightened, I'm sure, but I bet deep down, she knows that your intentions are nothing but the best.
Have you told her about this forum? If so. has she read this thread? If not, do you think she would?
Please tell her that there are a lot of people in this world suffering from some kind of anxiety disorder, there is NO shame whatsoever in seeking help, and getting better and conquering our demons IS very possible. The chance of success improves greatly when we have the support of our loved ones.
Please keep us updated, I'm anxious (funny choice of words, lol) to hear how it goes for you both. My thoughts are with you, your sister, and your family.
thank you, thats really nice. i printed off the thread back in july to show my sis but i'm not sure if she read it, i'll post her a link and print off a copy and sister you can reply if you like, people are not being nasty at all. otherwise, i'll keep you updated after i see the doctor tomorrow. i hope it goes well.
Have you made any progress?
My son stores urine, isolates, and abuses prescription medication also.
He's very smart and has a full scholarship for the Fall, but he's been to the emergency room several times in the past month for drug overdose.
I just cleared a bunch of collected bottles out of his room, including cups and bottles that had stored urine.
He also does not like to flush the toilet.
Let us know what you found out...I see this is an old thread.
Baily85 I am hopeful that you have been able to help your sister. DinPlano, My stepson (17years old) stores urine also and continues to do so. The stench becomes overwhelming and he shrugs it off. He too blames, making noise and disturbing people sleeping. He has no problem making all kinds of other noises blasting music, talking very loudly while people are trying to sleep so this is not the real reason he does this. He has been prescribed many medications for ADD/ADHD but refuses to take them, holding them in his mouth and discarding them later. His room is filthy and filled with garbage, old food dirty dishes. All of the stepchildren have filthy garbage filled rooms but that I believe is related to their mother's housekeeping habits. There is the only one who collects and stores his urine. He sets fires, has a violent temper and fails in school. It is a huge concern for us and for him. I would like to be able to seek treatment for him so that he may have some kind of normal life. He has poor hygiene habits and baths every 4-5 days after he is badgered in to it. He is not aware of how offputting he is those around him. . He also would not flush the toilet and has to be reminded. He always flushes fecal matter, just not urine. It causes a great stress on my marriage because my husband refuses to deal with the behavior. He knows there is a problem but just cannot deal with it leaving me to try to handle it and then being the "bad guy"
I'm wondering if DinPlano's son is using the drugs because he cannot understand why he exhibits these behaviors and this is his way to "escape". If so, it is somewhat encouraging because he recognizes that he has a problem so he may participate in treatment. I'm hoping that you find resolution as well. I'm going to consult with a psychiatrist about this and will post what I find out.
Please all, help us find a solution to this confusing and scary problem
my 23 year old son pees in bottles and cups in his room. it does not get cleaned up unless i clean it up. he gets very angry at me when i confront him about it. he yells at me to stop picking on him. i have asked him politely once before when i discovered maybe 25 bottles of urine in bottles under his bed. he does not work. does not help around the house. all he does is play video games. i keep telling him that he needs to get a job to help out he ignores what i say with no reply. im tired of it all. i want him to leave.
I was spellbound reading your description of your son...You just detailed everything about my 20 yr old daughter...She graduated last year "by participation" and only after running off twice to another state with boy. But I just found two suitcases filled with 43 various bottles...soda,fruit, and of course at least 10 with pee. When I finished dumping / rinsing for recycling....I came and searched...THIS IS NOT RIGHT!... What medicine did I take while pregnant,, what medicine did I give her to cause these strange habits...I hate to take her with your poor hygiene....
Using the restroom is a very personal private task. Perhaps if someone wishes to go unperceived they will develop this behavior as a way to deal with the anxiety of dealing with people and feelings of being exposed. Just like a cat, it might be a primitive response to dealing with an unfavorable situation that develop into a social anxiety.
I suggest talking with the person displaying their behavior and dig for their triggers. If making noise is a problem perhaps adding a water-safe radio to the toilet can make it a more relaxed experience. Anther Idea would be to add some lysol in restroom if the problem is a germ phobia.
Another trigger powerful trigger that can set off this behavior is embarrassment of being seen after drug use ex. red eyes, flushed skin, dilated pupils. For this professional counseling to deal with the underlying problem must be contacted.
it nice to know there are others with the same problem. Don't know why my son thinks it's okay to do this? I will take the next step and talk to his Dr about this disturbing habit. He now is pissing on our coffee cups. So gross, I want him to see this is not acceptable behavior.
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