I have a neighbor who is constantly yelling and screaming – although he lives alone – and is clearly suffering from a mental illness. We can hear him through our apartment walls and it is pretty disturbing – how do we handle conflict with someone who is mentally ill?
Millions of people in the United States suffer from some form of mental health problem. It’s possible that your neighbor is in the category of someone who does not have relatives or caretakers to help him, and is not being treated properly for his disorder. Mental health is an integral part of overall health – it is more than simply the absence of disorders.
Although you may not be able to engage your neighbor in a constructive dialogue, you could contact the administration in your building to discuss your concerns for your neighbor’s well-being. Perhaps the management company in your building will have some family contact records. Another option is to contact your local police department or community mental health center.
In the meantime, let us all pray for those who lack basic mental health, and do not have relatives or caretakers to help them. As we read in James 5:15, “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.
Dr. Gelasia Marquez is a psychologist and family counselor.