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Schizophrenic father
Dear Emma,
I have had a Schizophrenic Father sinceI was ten years old, although I only found out in 2013 that he had schizophrenia. He is a total nightmare, even though he lives in another country.
I have lost my job in London, and many friends, and moved to Thailand to get away from him.
Then I bought a house, and got a new job, and yet he showed up in my life again.
You may ask how does he do this; first he got a friend of mine’s phone number and pesters him until he passes on the number where I work. I have found out that he spends six hours a day on computers, ringing people behind my back to try and track me down.
I have tried everything, moved and not told anyone.I have lost three jobs in Thailand because of him. He tracks me down in Thailand by calling Thai people that speak English, he tells them that I do not take care of my family. So then these people ask me why I don’t take care of him and don’t always understand when I try to explain to them about schizophrenia.
It is like hitting your head against a wall, to have the same story every day.
When I was young I helped to run the farm when he was in hospital for two years.
This constant troublesome behavior has caused me depression. I rang the police in the country where he lives but they said I had to make my complaint to the Thai police! I don’t know what to do to stop this.
Troubled by schizophrenic father
Dear Troubled,
Mental illness is a big problem, not just for those who are mentally ill but also those who have to deal with the repercussions as you have. Emma assumes the police where he lives want you to file a complaint with the Thai police which can then be forwarded on to them. Honestly, however, Emma does not see how much this will help. Usually police in most countries will not get involved if there is no violence involved. Thai police most likely would not take the complaint since it does not sound as though he is violating any Thai laws.
Emma would recommend that your best option would be to deal with his illness head on. It sounds as though he has no other family but you, if this is the case then your best option would be to try and contact his doctor and see why he is not taking medication to treat his schizophrenia. If you have family back home then ask them to help you get him treatment. If he is not capable of taking care of himself then you may want to see about getting him committed to a mental hospital.
This is a terrible dilemma and Emma understands your great difficulties in coping with this issue but does not believe that the police will do anything at all. Emma suggests contacting groups that help with schizophrenia in the country where he lives and see if they can give you some advice on how to deal with his problem there.

Annoying neighbor lady burning in the city!
Dear Emma,
I recently moved into an older mooban in the city and was astonished to find the elderly lady next door burning leaves in the garden and in the street in front of my house. I coughed loudly as I slammed my windows shut but it didn’t faze her and she proceeded to light a few more.
This is very close to my house and the smoke comes straight into my windows. How do I cope with this issue? I must confess I was shocked that in this day and age she thinks it’s a good idea to burn her leaves! I must also add I was surprised that she had so little consideration for her neighbors as to burn right in front of their houses.
How do I cope with this problem?
Dear Neighbor,
Firstly, hints don’t work, your best option would be to go over there some day, perhaps with some fruit and a smile and ask her nicely to not burn her leaves. Offer to clear them for her if she will sweep them up.
Most elderly people have been using fire to get rid of leaves and other natural wastes their entire lives. It probably doesn’t even cross her mind that it is not acceptable, annoying and illegal. For her it is just a natural way of doing things.
Instead of creating bad feelings with your neighbors, create good ones and talk with her nicely and gently. Explain that you have breathing issues (even if you don’t just say that you do, it will make her feel sympathetic) and that the smoke makes you very ill. Then offer to help her remove the leaves whenever she needs. Next time you see her sweeping be sure and go out immediately with a big rubbish bag and start collecting the leaves. She will appreciate your help and concern and it will become a habit for her to not burn her leaves. Eventually she may even start helping you collect them too.
As the old saying goes, “You collect more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.”