Home Abuse Very Strange Behavior from Roommate’s 23-Year-Old Son: Am I in Danger?

Very Strange Behavior from Roommate’s 23-Year-Old Son: Am I in Danger?

by Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

His name is James he is 23, smoke cigarettes like crazy around 4 packs per day, has sudden violent outbursts when he thinks no one is looking. When he is cooking, he will turn his head all the way in the pan watching the food cook up close. He stares at walls and giggles to himself as if someone was making him laugh when no one’s there. He won’t answer a question properly with words — he is so vey strange in everything he does. He says he’s OCD. He’s in no way obsessive or compulsve. He has no emotion for anything, he has absolutely n0 personality. When he’s was angry at me, he has threatened to kill me. Do I have the right to be afraid that he will try something in my sleep?

You are right to be concerned about his strange behavior. His violent outbursts and his threat to kill you would be concerning to most mental health professionals. People who have violent outbursts are not mentally stable. We all get angry from time to time but most people can control their anger. Others cannot, and that might be the case in this situation.

You mentioned that he might have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). That may or may not be the case. Given the symptoms you have described, he might be experiencing psychosis. Sudden violent outbursts are not a symptom of OCD.

One doesn’t need multiple degrees to realize that your roommate’s son’s behavior is not normal. Your roommate should realize that her son needs help. Ignoring his behavior is in no way helping her son. Getting him help, may save his life not to mention ensure the safety of those around him. Perhaps he will never be violent but nonetheless he needs help. We treat mental illness when someone is thinking about, not doing, harmful acts towards themselves or others.

I can’t predict whether your roommate’s son will attempt to harm you but the risk level is there. You need to protect yourself. If it’s possible to move, you should do so immediately. Don’t hesitate to call the authorities if you believe that you are in danger. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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