Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Having a Hard Time Understanding My Schizophrenic Fellow Tenant

I just do not know how to communicate with my fellow tenant who is Schizophrenic.

She seemingly intentionally will do things to aggravate me or our landlord. She refuses to listen when I try to talk to her as if she were just an average adult. She will disregard what our landlord tells her to do.

She will not respect my property or my strong directives.

I have repeatedly told her to not sit in my patio chair. She does so anyway.

She is very belligerent and obstinate and not only with my but also with my landlord.

She will be told to clean up her messes and not do so. My landlord has reprimanded her several times.

She thought that a panther would be in the front of the house and bears in the backyard even though we live in a city.

She, recently, sat right next to me and put her cell phone into my face and not for me to see a video or to listen to music. She got into my personal space as if she really needed to be close to someone.

If I tell her that she is speaking nonsense and that that is why I cannot speak with her, she blows up and yells at me.


Do Schizophrenics display these kinds of behaviors? Is obstinacy and belligerent behavior common for one who is Schizophrenic?

She will burst into song or laugh about something that is going on in her head.

How can I get along with a person who is defiant and disrespectful, manipulative, slick or cunning? I can barely be near her any more for fear that she will fly off the handle.

Any suggestions? Am I describing typical Schizophrenic behavior?

Many thanks!


Yes, all of those behaviors and more could be displayed by a person who has schizophrenia. There is no exact pattern of behavior, but odd actions and odd statements that seem to have no basis in reality DO occur, mostly when the person is unmedicated, and quite often. My own daughter made my home life a terrible place to be for me when she was unmedicated. I was either walking on egg shells or blowing up with anger or crying.

You will not, most likely, be able to change your housemate’s behavior. Kindness is the best way to handle her comments, to avoid blowups, and not telling her she is not making sense, as to her, she is making perfect sense.

Perhaps you need to find a new place to rent. I’m sorry.


Hey , my advise if you want to stay is to
1.try and avoid her as much as you can
2. leave her reminder sticky notes ( like not to sit on your chair) or please do your dishes, take the trash out ect …
3. Never tell her she is speaking nonesense about her beliefs ( like panthers or bears etc ) as she will get angry , what she says are very real to her .
4.Dont take her verbal abuse personally as its her illness talking
5. If you know any of her family members than maybe reach out to them as she sounds like she clearly needs help.
My son lives with a room mate and they clearly avoid each other and some sticky notes are placed out for him to remember things .


Thank you for your input, OldLadyBlue!

I am quite aware that I cannot change this person’s behaviors. No one can.

I just am not talking with her anymore. If I were to do so, it would potentially result in her more non-sensible talk. All that I do is just to nod my head at her, say “excuse me” if we both are in the very small kitchen.

I am so sorry that you had to walk on eggshells. That had to have been EXTREMELY difficult. I am glad that medication helped your daughter.

This woman is medicated on 4 meds and still becomes incredibly delusional.

I no longer tell her that she is not making sense as I have learned that results in her becoming very angry and more irrational.

I can afford another place tor rent. Rentals are extremely costly in my area. Thanks for the suggestion, though.



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That is a good way to get by, smile and nod.

I do understand your struggle to be comfortable in your own home. I wish you the best sorting it out.


Hi, Linda! Thanks for your input and reply.

My landlord HATES it when I leave notes! It would not work with my fellow tenant. She would become enraged.

I fully understand that panthers and bears are very real to her. I just let her fears slide and do not say a word.

I know that it is her illness that is talking, but thanks.

Her mother helps her out a little bit. Her mother is rather strange, though, too.

My fellow tenant KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT SHE IS DOING but not when she is delusional. She knows the house rules; she remembers what the landlord tells her to do. I have stopped reminding her because then she becomes VERY ANGRY and insulted. She is VERY intelligent. She has other problems such as being passive-aggressive and will pay one back by intentionally being disrespectful and doing the opposite of what she has been told to do. My landlord has told her, repeatedly, (for example), to wash her dishes and put them away. She continues to do so. She, perhaps, as an oppositional-defiant disorder or is that part of one being SZ??? Glad sticky notes help your son.


Thanks for understanding and telling me that nodding and smiling is a good way to get by. It seems to work!

Thank you for your well wishes and your care!!! It means much to me!

Have a good night!



Hang in there Jessie , you seem to be a very caring room mate especially if you came to get advise on this site . You will learn in time with what works and what doesn’t work with her . I wish you the best of luck ; )

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Each situation is different, each person with this awful illness has different things that set them off. I kept a log, sort of like a trouble diary, when my daughter was in psychosis for those long years. That way I could remember what worked and what didn’t.

The book “I’m not Sick, I don’t Need Help” by Dr. Amador explained a lot for me, and gave a method of opening communication: the LEAP method. It was helpful to get little changes to occur in my household.

I wish you the best helping your house be calm.