My Next Door Neighbor Is Apparently Paranoid Schizophrenic. I Need Help Dealing With Him! I

Question

Asked by Neighbor1985

My Next Door Neighbor Is Apparently Paranoid Schizophrenic. I Need Help Dealing With Him! I

My next door neighbor is apparently paranoid schizophrenic. (He has said this)
I need help dealing with him! I have 4 children that are frightened of him, as am I also.
I have sympathy for his illness. I have read up on it, but nonetheless our family is in constant stress over the situation.
He is mid 40s, owns his own business and obviously has plenty of money (possibly from an inheritance since both parents are deceased)
He believes that all of his neighbors are against him. He accuses my children of breaking into his house, hosting hookers in the street and selling drugs. Obvious signs of extreme paranoia and hearing things. He installed alarm sensors and flood lights all around his house and has some of the sensors aimed at our front door. (every time we walk onto our front porch, into our yard, down our drive-way, the alarms ring)
More recently he has become bolder about approaching us in a threatening manner. He curses and yells and threatens with a "do this or else" kind of language. He told one neighbor that he "was going to have to burn someone's house down" because he can't sleep at night.
Police can do nothing, so I would like someone to tell me what I can do! Can I help this man? Can I redirect his anger? We try to avoid all contact. When he approaches, we basically say "Paul, we didn't do anything to you" and you tell him that he is hearing things.
We attempted last year to sell our house, but the market wouldn't allow it. I feel very trapped. The alarms are so nerve-racking!! Our only hope is that last week he told my husband (in a ranting rage) that he was looking at property somewhere else because his neighbors are so bad here. AAHHH, if only that were true!
I read that schizophrenics are not violent, but that doesn't ease my fears.
Please some one help! I'm losing my mind :(

Answer

Hello,

Why aren't the police helping you? That's the problem as I see it. You might need to exaggerate the threats to do harm that your neighbor is threatening you with.

Unfortunately, in some cities, a threat of violence carries no weight and only an actual act of violence or injury can be dealt with. I know because someone threatened my life and when I went to the police the male officer told me there was nothing I could do about it. He acted like I was wrong and it was a blame-the-victim kind of mentality on the police officer's part.

There might be however some local ordinance prohibiting motion sensors and alarms that intrude upon your premises and invade your privacy. After all they are detecting your ordinary movements instead of an actual movement on his property.

You can't play therapist with this guy and you can't solve his problems. An actual psychiatrist should be working with him to monitor his symptoms and his medication. It doesn't sound to me like this guy would accept any insight from you about needing to stay in treatment. Should it make you feel better you could try talking to him however from what you've written the situation has already crossed a line from which he is not amenable to reason.

I would research this with a lawyer because you might be able to take some kind of legal action that you're not currently aware is an option you have.

Should it come down to this: I would continue to try selling your house if this worst-case scenario is unavoidable.

Regards,

Christina