When you find your self living next door to a neighbour from hell your life can be turned upside down the whole experience can be extremely punishing on your nerves and emotions and take an awful toll on you and your family . We assume that we should be able to feel relaxed in our own home but with a NFH that scene of security is removed and you can end up feeling that there is no place on earth to find refuge.
It is one thing to not to be on talking terms with your neighbour but it is another thing entirely when your neighbour is so selfish that they have no concern for those around them, and or, so vindictive that they will go out of their way to disrupt your life and make you feel uncomfortable and scared for your safety. Under these conditions you can find yourself desperate for a solution and you start to think that the only thing that will bring relief is to move house (there are other thoughts that may enter your head about the unpleasant things that might befall your neighbour but keep them as thoughts, don't sink to your NFHs level). The thing to do here is to put in place some coping strategies that will allow you to stay sane and avoid the very real risk of depression and anxiety. Hold Fast The Opposite, is a good philosophy to adopt, if the NFH is trying to get you angry, try to remain calm and don't respond, if the NFH is shouting over the fence at you don't shout back ignore it and and come inside and write it in your diary, whatever the NHF does he/she is probably trying to get you to react, if you don't react they will get no satisfaction and that will mess with their head, because the typical NFH is a reactive creature and they do not understand the methodical reasoned approach to problem solving. You have a NFH so you have a problem to solve it's going to take some patients on your part, so remain calm and try not to become obsessed. We said in the introduction to this web site that if you are going to gain the high ground of relative peace and quiet you will need to be patient, determined, thorough and mature, leaving the childish retaliation and provocation to the NFH will play into your hands in the long run just make sure that you keep your written record of it.
Try to make sure that you are taking constructive steps to deal with the problem i.e. Don't avoid going outside if you can help it, if the NFH is trying to intimidate you and make you feel uncomfortable when you are in your yard they will get no satisfaction when you go about your business as if they didn't exist, it may be difficult at first but the more you do it the more comfortable you will be – if they actually threaten or intimidate you call the police and report it and note it in your diary. If you feel watched (and it is probably more than a feeling) whenever you go outside make sure that you wear dark glasses, this helps to avoid eye contact. All the things mentioned above are 'one side of the coin' so to speak the other side is your mental health and well being and the strategies that you can use to stay sane. It is difficult to be happy if you are not healthy, is another good philosophy to adopt, physical and mental health is one of your strongest defences against depression and anxiety.
The NFH situation quite naturally provokes the the fundamental “fight or flight” response in most of us and that causes what could be considered to be an “un-contained contradiction” i.e. you instinctively feel that you want to fight and/or run away and you consciously don’t want to do either, the feelings that result are confusing and upset your emotional balance. That is why having a plan that not only deals with the practical but also the emotional will help to alleviate the confusion and avoid the anxiety.
The following are some of the fundamental steps to ward off Depression and Anxiety
1. Eat healthy food and get good exercise and rest.
2. Deal with the facts not the fiction.
3. Re-enforce yourself-esteem by remembering challenges you have faced and overcome in the past.
4. Maintain and/or develop interests, hobbies, education, reading, writing, volunteer work, anything that gets you away from the situation physically and/or mentally.
5. Write down your thoughts and feelings about your situation, often getting it down on paper allows you to reflect on your thought process and stops thoughts from going around in a loop inside your brain, it helps develop your objectivity.
6. If you feel very stressed, unwell and desperate go and seek help, don't delay, do it now. See your GP about a referral to counseling – at the time of writing this a GP in Australia can refer you to 5 free counselling sessions. If you don't want to do that, contact one of the help organisations like beyond blue or lifeline - Ph: 13 11 14 - for advice and support. Share your thoughts, talking your problems through will help maintain your objectivity.
Ph: 13 11 14 - Lifeline web site.
24 hour anonymous and confidential counselling
support and referral for everyone.
Sane Australia - SANE Australia is a national charity working for a better life for people affected by mental illness through:
Beyondblue - a national, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related disorders in Australia.
Health Insite a healthdirect Australia health information service. Links providing information to assist you to maintain good mental health.