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Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4672
Experience:  MD Psychiatry
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Should I befriend a paranoid, possibly schizophrenic man

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Should I befriend a paranoid, possibly schizophrenic man that lives in my apartment building? We've had a couple of run-ins. He played his music really loud, I complained to the management daily but nothing happened. Finally, I went to his apartment and kept knocking until he opened the door, which management told me he never does. He opened and yelled and told me that I was threatening him and called me a very bad name. The next day, he left a DVD for me with a note to call. I did and he told me that he doesn't feel threatened by me anymore that he is sorry. We talked about the music issue and since then it has been very peaceful - no music at all even. A week has gone by and he called me late tonight and started telling me that he feels unsafe with me in the apt. building and that I was threatening him, etc. Calmly I told him I wasn't. He asked if I'd go for lunch with him (in a public place) to talk. I agreed. Now I'm a bit scared and unsure if I should go. I said I'd go because I didn't want to be mean and because in many ways I want to help him (its my nature). I understand that it is his paranoia talking but maybe it isn't. Maybe he is violent. I don't know him at all but it will be a public place and if I say no then that might cause problems for me in my apt. building (i.e. more music and noise). I want to go because he's told me he is depressed and I want to help if I can but I just want to be safe as well. Mainly I'm just scared especially because a week ago all was good and now he's saying that I'm out to get him, etc. and maybe he'll be violent. But like I said, I would like to go but I need your opinion as to what I should do and if I do go, what I should say. I also don't want him to get the idea that he can call me all of the time or come to my place, etc. What should I say about that? Should I not go? How would I tell him? Should I just go and see what happens? It is in a pub. plc. Clearly I'm confused. Please give me advice? Thks

Hi there ,

Welcome to Just answer !

Well, i can understand your predicament , as being a nice and kind person you had said yes to that man , since you did not want to hurt him .

Also, being a psychiatry expert myself , i would be the last person to discourage people to give a helping hand to the psychiatry patients , but your situation is different ,as first of all i believe if that man is a paranoid schizophrenia patient , then he should have someone to care for him , as you never know when these patients can go into psychosis and once in psychosis they loose insight and start living into a so called dream world , also since he is a case of paranoid schizophrenia then there more chances for him to have persecutory delusions in which a person starts believing that people are trying to threaten him and plotting against him to cause physical or emotional harm..

From what you have described about this man , as he sometimes says that you are threatening him , despite the fact that you are trying to comfort him and the very next moment he invites you for lunch , such kind of mood fluctuation and temperamental changes , plus loss of objectivity in conversation makes me feel that he is not mentally stable at the moment , and although he needs support and help at this very time , but you shpuld not be that person , simply because he may get into psychosis and become violent and abusive , which will be of grave danger to you.

So,my earnest opinion is that since you are not familiar with the man's background and history , plus he being a patient of paranoid schizophrenia , i would ask you to tell him politely that you have some professional engagement which had come up out of a sudden , it is not possible for you to say no to your work appointment so ,you cannot have lunch with him this time.

Also, if you still go ahead with the lunch appointment with , there is a fair chance that he may start counting on you for support , and so you need to ask this question to your self that are you ready to take upon an important responsibilty of a man whom you have just met , plsu who is suffering from a psychiatry disorder .

So, just give this lunch meeting a bye and keep safe distances form him , untill you know every thing about his illnes and history , as it is always better to be safe than being sorry later.

I hope this helps . TAKE CARE..

Please press the ACCEPT button if you are satisfied with the answer as only then will i be credited for my service.


Dr. Kaushik and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Dear Dr. Kaushik,

Thank you for your message. I will not go to lunch with him but what do I say when he asks me for another time, or another time, etc.? I just don't want to create problems for me in the building in terms of safety and also in terms of noise level.

Thanks for the reply.
Well, you first need to avoid him this time , and then try to tell him that you are seeing someone else and your boyfriend will not appreciate your going out with him .In this way you will not hurt him , and will be able to hold his advances as well.
I will treat this as a follow up question so need to accept .
I hope this helps...
Dr. Kaushik and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you