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Old 03-10-2009, 08:20 AM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
35,952 posts, read 37,041,782 times
Reputation: 45568


Maybe this isn't the proper forum-please tell me where would be better.
We have a neighbor, male around 44, living with this parents just two doors down. He sometimes cut our lawn, let us use his truck etc and seems like a nice guy but we always knew something was not exactly quite right. Yesterday his mother told me he has been having trouble with proper medication to "stabilize" him. When I asked what was wrong she said "He sees things which aren't there". He sometimes acts like he doesn't hear them and they are careful not to let him outside the house alone. He has been that way 10 or 15 years. They are working on getting the right mix of meds.
Now none of that is my business except that our 25 year old daughter will be living in our house alone for quite some time- untill it sells- and I'm beginning to be concerned for her safety. Can you give me any suggestions on how to best protect her. This man and his family knows our yard, our daughter and that she will be alone. She is pretty savy and safety conscious bvut she heard me tellling my husband what the mother said and she got a bit uneasy.
What would you do?
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:31 AM
3,738 posts, read 9,425,334 times
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Visual hallucinations are one of the hallmarks of schizophrenia.

The media unfortunately has demonized schizophrenia and given people the wrong impression about links between schizophrenia and violence. Schizophrenics are far more likely to harm themselves then others.

It is unlikely your daughter has anything to fear from your neighbor.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:39 AM
Location: Cary, NC
8,186 posts, read 20,477,517 times
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Agreed, I worked for years with schizophrenics (which it sounds like your neighbor might be). They are usually not violent towards others, and even when they are occassionally violent towards someone other than themselves, it's usually towards the people closest to them (their families and caregivers).
The fact that he lives at home with his family, they're working on his meds issue (which changes frequently with schizophrenics) and they are careful about his own safety (not letting him outside alone) and seem supportive of him is a very good sign that he is being well taken care of and monitored by a caring family.
I do not think your daughter would have anything to worry about.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:47 AM
2,209 posts, read 4,373,393 times
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I think you guys need to calm down, go hit WebMD for a little info about schizophrenia, and stop scaring your daughter. I'm sure she's just playing off your fears. Given the medication, medical treatment, and monitoring by his parents, he sounds safer to me than the "normal," well-adjusted neighbor I had who is currently in an Ohio prison for trying to lure a 15 year old to run away with him.

And, BTW, kudos to the family for acknowledging his mental illness, instead of hiding it or being ashamed.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:48 AM
Location: ITB Raleigh NC
447 posts, read 1,424,090 times
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I don't know about the mental illness side, but your daughter knows about it and she can be mindful of it. Not just for her own safety but for your neighbor in case he needs help.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:04 AM
6,501 posts, read 11,448,428 times
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Have a huge brut football player over for dinner and mention to the neighbor that he will be rooming with your daughter while you are gone.

Maybe a real roommate would be a good idea...
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:52 AM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
35,952 posts, read 37,041,782 times
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I try to be open minded about mental illness and surely many members of my own family are on anti depression meds but never directly dealt with this kind of situation. I admit the media overplays this issue and I appreciate your input. In the light of day and after some time to reflect we have all agreed our daughter is in no harm and may even be able to help Chris knowing how ill he is if she sees him out alone. We are OK nowl. Thanks to all for posting.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:20 AM
Location: Cary, NC
8,186 posts, read 20,477,517 times
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I pesonally don't blame you for being worried at first. I'll be the first to admit that before I worked with schizophrenics, I was sort of scared too and probably also based on too much media and movie hype. But the more I learned about the illness and the patients I dealt with, the less worried I became.
I remember vividly during our care team meetings that the patients being released back into the community that the doctors were the most worried about were the ones who had no one watching out for them, no one monitoring their behavior (and especially their meds) and no one to get them to doctor's appointments. Those are all red flags for a severe schizophrenic, but it sounds like your neighbor has a good supportive family that will not let him deteriorate.
I'm glad you found an answer you are comfortable with.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:33 PM
1,788 posts, read 3,294,470 times
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99% of those with schizophrenia are harmless. This is less then the general population. The media jumps all over these stories when someone with this illness comits a crime. There is probably a better chance of the average Joe living in the house on the other side of you being some type of pervert, then there is of this guy attacking your daughter. People unfortunately steryotype those with mental illness. Yes, some are dangerous, but most of the time, by the time they are 44, if they are dangerous it is established and they are confined to a facility. If he has lived on the outside for 44 years, chances are he is harmless.
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