Nightly shout­ing causes a dilemma

Times Standard (Eureka) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - You can con­tact Amy Dick­in­son via email: askamy@amy­dick­in­son. com and fol­low her on Twit­ter @ask­ingamy. Amy Dick­in­son

DEAR AMY » My boyfriend and I just bought a condo.

Most of our neigh­bors are re­ally nice and have been re­spect­ful (for the most part). How­ever, an in­di­vid­ual in the unit di­rectly be­low ours has been do­ing some­thing that’s un­set­tling and dis­turb­ing to me.

He screams and shouts ran­dom words — for rea­sons un­known to us. Some­times I can make out what he’s say­ing, and other times I can’t.

I can hear him from ev­ery room in my unit, but mostly in my bed­room.

This oc­curs dur­ing late-even­ing hours, but some­times at other times, too.

Maybe he is dis­abled or suf­fer­ing from a psy­cho­log­i­cal con­di­tion. I’d like to pay him a ca­sual visit to let him know he is dis­turb­ing us, but my boyfriend thinks I’m over­re­act­ing.

I don’t want to be­rate him for be­ing loud and dis­re­spect­ful. I sim­ply want to let him know that we can hear him, in case he is un­aware. Part of me wants to be­lieve he’s just re­ally into sports or video games, but I still don’t think we should have to sit back and just deal with it, espe­cially if his scream­ing is di­rected at another per­son liv­ing with him and the sit­u­a­tion could po­ten­tially be dangerous. Please ad­vise! — Earplugs 24/7

DEAR 24/7 » If you have a cred­i­ble be­lief that your down­stairs neigh­bor is harm­ing some­one, you should act on your con­cern by calling the po­lice.

In the ab­sence of that be­lief, be­fore po­litely no­ti­fy­ing your neigh­bor that you can hear him, you could dis­creetly raise this is­sue with your condo board — they might be aware of his sit­u­a­tion and be able to ed­u­cate you about what is go­ing on.

There is a brain dis­or­der called Tourette Syn­drome (or “Tic Dis­or­der”) that causes peo­ple to vo­cal­ize in ways like you de­scribe; these are called vo­cal “tics,” and may also be ac­com­pa­nied by sud­den phys­i­cal move­ments. This is not a psy­cho­log­i­cal, but a neu­ro­log­i­cal ill­ness.

This is from the web­site from the Tourette As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica (Tourette.org): “Tics can be com­plex. Vo­cal tics (for ex­am­ple, cough­ing, sniff­ing, throat-clear­ing, or yelling out a word or phrase) and mul­ti­ple mo­tor tics (for ex­am­ple, blink­ing or shrug­ging the shoul­ders) must both be present for a di­ag­no­sis of Tourette Syn­drome (TS), al­though they might not al­ways hap­pen at the same time.”

“Tics may ap­pear to be pur­pose­ful. How­ever, tics are neu­ro­log­i­cal in na­ture. They are of­ten de­scribed as urges that must be com­pleted. Even when they seem to be ex­pressed in re­ac­tion to a cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, they are not within the con­trol of the [per­son] with TS.”

Ob­vi­ously, you should do what­ever you can in your own home to mit­i­gate or muf­fle the sound. Rugs (or more rugs) might help.

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