Paranoid Schizophrenic Neighbour Help

N

native

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Oct 7, 2015
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I was hoping one or two of you could give me some advice. I am in my forties and have two young daughters and have lived with my wife and girls in our current home for the last 10 years. We live in a nice area and have always had the same neighbours – now in their 70s –and we have always got on very well with them. Since last Xmas their 40 year-old son has been living with them. He is a paranoid schizophrenic and we were told that he could be a bit sensitive to any type of noise but that shouldn’t be a problem because we were a very quiet family. From the get go, every now and then when somebody in our house closed a drawer, door, put a pan on the stove etc in our kitchen there would be a knocking on the wall from our neighbours’ side. I ignored this and asked my family to do likewise explaining that he had an illness and it wasn’t his fault. This was followed up by a period of him throwing soil over our family’s cars, virtually nightly, on his way back from his late-night walk around the local streets. After his parents had gone to bed he would go into their garden and throw handfuls of pebbles against our fence and downstairs windows. Three times a week our neighbours used to go dancing for a couple of hours. This was usually the cue for more knocking and then turning up the radio as loud as it would go and then turning it off five minutes before his parents came home. Things came to a head when my girls, in our porch, were removing their shoes when he came up his drive. He snarled, threatened and swore at them. Understandably, both of my daughters were very frightened by the experience. I went around to his house and tried to reason with him. He was full of apologies, admitted the shenanigans with the soil and pebbles and we shook hands and I thought that was that. Six months later, the knocking and unacceptable music volume has started again to the point that my kids are too scared to go into our own kitchen and don’t like to be downstairs in our house. I wrote him a letter saying that we were all on his side and if he or his parents ever needs anything I’m there for him and asked him to lower the volume as it was scaring the kids and I know he wouldn’t want that. His Dad read the letter and said that it was a good idea and there was nothing in there that he could get offended by and hopefully it could put his mind at rest. On the next night, the music and banging resumed as if nothing had happened and the following morning I found the letter ripped up and on my windscreen. I mentioned this to his Dad, who was quite shocked and said that he would talk to him and try to get through to him. After a week of quiet, the knocking and ridiculous radio volume has started again on dancing nights. If anyone has any advice in the best way to deal with the situation I’d be more than glad to hear it. I want to understand and help him in any way I can but similarly I don’t want my two young girls living in fear every time they see the neighbour’s car leave the drive. He is on medication and I believe he goes to counselling during the week.
 
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SarahD

SarahD

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Hi

Problems with neighbours are common, unfortunately, and difficult to deal with. I do sympathise with you.

I have to say that most people with schizophrenia and similar conditions don't cause problems, and most people who are involved in antisocial behaviour have no such condition. (In the past I have experienced these kind of problems, also at my elderly mother's home. On one occasion (out of several) it involved someone mentally ill.)

Still, let's look at your particular problem. He is apparently taking his medicines, so in theory is reasonably well. It could just be his personality rather than his illness that makes him act this way. He is clever enough to avoid his parents seeing what he is doing.

(Incidentally your house walls must be thin if he can hear a saucepan being put on the hob. )

Whatever the cause, it is a miserable situation to live with, and affecting your family. Yet unless you can work things out with him and his parents, you may have to involve the police and risk alienating the neighbours you have always got on with.

When you intervened earlier in the year you had a six month spell of good behaviour and no problems. This is promising.However it is hard to know the best thing to do. You could talk to his parents first and tell them if it doesn't stop you will have to do something because it is affecting the children. Then maybe talk to him with his parents.

If all that fails, you need to collect evidence (do this now in case). Keep a diary of what is happening. Take photos of the soil on the car etc, tape loud knocking or music. Write everything down. Call out environmental health when the music is too loud. Complain about antisocial behaviour to the police.

You have a right to live peacefully, whatever is causing him to act this way.
 
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Unique1

Unique1

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Hi native..

Just wanted to say :welcome: to the forum.

It is tricky, although what sarah says is great advice and I can't think of anything I could add.

I wish you well.

Unique1 xx
 
C

Crazy Lady In Stanton

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Hi native. I have schizoaffective disorder and have never behaved that aggressively toward anyone. While I sympathize with his illness, that does not excuse his aggressive behavior towards your family. Obviously he can't be reasoned with, as you've tried. I suggest you continue to express your complaints to his parents. If they continue to leave their son alone unsupervised, then I suggest you complain to the authorities. No one should have dirt thrown on their car. If the loud music is being played at night, keeping your family awake, that too is unacceptable. While you seem to be a compassionate person, that does not mean you should have to tolerate abuse from anyone, even a disabled person. It's okay to stand up for yourself and get help. I wish you the best of luck.
 
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Gajolene

Gajolene

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Hi this is unacceptable and punishable behaviour whether you have a psychotic disorder with rage or not. It's sounds to me like the parents same as you are lost in knowing how to deal with this person.

The next time he does something like this call the police but do alert the authorities that this person does have a paranoid psychosis and can be a danger if approached. On meds or not, he needs to be in hospital before he does something really harmfull. The parents are either in denial, blaming the illness and not the person and enabling him to continue this behaviour.

My ex did things such as this, one of my sons as well and the other has frightened people just with irrational behaviours and beliefs non dangerous. All required professional help the meds were not providing at the time.

I know you don't want to get involved or fuel any rages but it's really the best thing you can do for this guy if it's that bad with his paranoid rage issues.
 
H

Harper

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You have been so sensitive and understanding about this very complex situation.

Paranoid Schizophrenia can pose a serious risk because of the very nature of the illness. I would take a guess that he has encountered similar problems in the past wherever he was living and this is the reason he has returned home. This person could be harbouring all sorts of ideas about what is happening and it really could get out of hand and become dangerous to the people around him. Because they often think that people are plotting against them they act out in ways that can lead to them protecting themselves which can lead to aggression and dangerous behaviour. These delusional beliefs cannot always be reasoned with.

In this case reasoning with him or his parents would be futile in my opinion because he really needs specialist help. It may be helpful to run this situation by the police. They may start the ball rolling for a mental health assessment and some CMHT monitoring.

I really do feel for you in this very difficult situation. The safety of yourself and your family is paramount under such difficult and dangerous circumstances.
 
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