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.
Take it from there and please keep us up to date.
Good luck. Really.
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.
I knew a woman that stored vomit in her room, but she was a known bulemic and alchoholic.
thats unclean and nasty, can cause others to get sick
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.
Best of luck.