Of all the things we have learned along the way, the greatest comfort comes in the fact that there is strength in numbers.  As we started this journey, there were few other souls that we met who could understand what we were going though.  But slowly we discovered other families who are dealing with many of the same issues.

In an effort to share as much information as possible, we have established this Resources page to help others in their journey.  Think of it as a trail of digital pebbles, allowing others for follow our footsetps or blaze a new trail, boldly marked so that others may follow.

Eventually, we will connect the blogs in a “webring” of connected sites, each offering a different voice and viewpoint of this complicated issue.


Facebook Support Pages:

The Jani Foundation:

The Jani FoundationPromote your Page too


The Jani Foundation’s mission is to provide aid to families with children suffering from mental illness by using various media including TV, blogs, and social networking to pressure state and county mental health organizations, contracted agencies, and hospitals into providing quality care for your mentally ill children. It is a place to go when you need help dealing with the system’s treatment of you and your mentally ill/autistic spectrum child. Whatever your issue, we will do our best to help, through both media awareness and our knowledge of legal requirements for care. We deal with insurance companies denying payment for inpatient care, hospitals trying to release psychotic children before they have stabilized, and Child & Family Services and other agencies trying to break up your family rather than help you. Our goal is to give is to publicize the struggles of families with mentally ill children against those suppose to help, publicize poor or insufficient care for mentally ill children, and give parents a voice that puts them in control of their child’s welfare. The Jani Foundation does not discriminate. Everyone whose lives are touched by mental illness are welcome.

Support Group for Parents with Special Needs Children

Support Group for Adult Mental Health Consumers

Yahoo Support Groups:

The Online Child Mental Illness Parental Support Network, created by Michael Schofield & Tony Dinkel (father of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome/Bipolar), exists to provide a social support network for parents raising severely autistic and/or mentally ill children. Whether your child has been diagnosed with bipolar, schizophrenia, psychosis NOS, or a Spectrum disorder, we do not discriminate. All are welcome. Currently we have members from all across the United States, Canada, and Australia. It is my hope that eventually we will have enough members so that one day there will be another parent with a mentally ill child close to you who you can turn to for support and assistance (and vice versa). For now, come share your story with others who know exactly what you are going through. You don’t have to be alone with this anymore. Since this group is unmoderated, it is a closed, non-public site open only to members. Click this link to request membership.

The Online Adult Mental Illness Support Network, a sister private group created to offer support and connection between adults living with mental illness. This is a brand new group and is still in its early stages, so please join and share. Like the Child Mental Illness Group above, this group is unmoderated, non-public, and open only to members to protect member privacy.




Ask a Bipolar allows others – the sick, caregivers (parents especially), curious, family – a chance to ask about the experience of living with mental illness in an anonymous way (not just BP, as I have Schizoaffective Disorder and….many others). We also post other experiences.


Personal Blogs

Jani’s Journey or January First (prior to March 2010)

The Mindstorm: Raising a Mentally Ill Child

Briana’s Life (features Briana and the Schaffers from “Born Schizophrenic: Jani’s Next Chapter”)

“Raising Crazy” (Facebook page)

The Whispering Child: The Quiet that Rages inside the Mind of a Young Child with Mental Illness

Adventures in Bipolar Land (Kristen and her son were featured on “Bipolar Mysteries” during Discovery Health’s 2010 “Psych Week”)

More Than Words (The Wohlenbergs from 20/20’s “Haywire”)

Finishing Off My Family


“Cuz I Can Fly!: A Girl’s Travels Through Psychosis

Poems, Pain, & Healing

A Schizophrenic & A Dog


Books & Story Collections

Nutterville Stories-This Book, “Nutterville… and Other True Stories of Coping with Mental Illness” is a tribute to many troubled yet glorious people. Their stories told by a superb storyteller are deeply moving and will stay with you for the rest of your life.

45 comments on “Resources

  1. jennifer
    Hi – just wanted to let you know your link to Jennifer’s Blog takes you to the CP website.

    Note from Michael: Thanks for letting me know, Tamara. I fixed the link. Jennifer’s blog is now listed under its actual title “More than Words.”

  2. Blog
    I just started up a blog titled Poems, Pain and Healing. It chronicles, among other things, my personal battle with mental illness. I would feel honored if you added it to your resources, or even read it.

    Thank You,

    Note from Michael: I added your blog to my “resources” page, Eri. Pass on my best to Jennifer. I know you are on her blog a lot as well.

  3. Ask A Bipolar
    Hello again Micheal;
    I hate to ask for things like this; but I feel what Marybetth and I am doing is important, and I need your help with it. Recently, I co-started a site, Called Ask A Bipolar, with another person who has experienced mental illness. It allows others – the sick, caregivers (parents especially), curious, family – a chance to ask about the experience of living with mental illness in an anonymous way (not just BP, as I have Schizoaffective Disorder and….many others). We also post other experiences. I have my voice,a nd your honesty about your family was a big part of that.


    Thank you, and I hope you don’t mind linking our site.

    Note from Michael: Will put it up as soon as I can.

  4. very interesting
    The more articles as far as this problem found at the (link pending). I read, the more interesting and informative info I manage to find! And always something new!

    Note from Michael: What is in the article? The link seemed to be in Spanish and couldn’t find anything related to schizophrenia.

  5. Hi, I just watched your show on the dsc.channel…thank you so very much for your caring and brave life you lead! I was uplifted. I am a mom of 9, but my youngest three boys all suffer from mental disorders, My 9 year old has bipolar,odd and tdd and aspergers. My 7 year old is autistic, and my 5 year old seems to be heading down the same path as the 9 year old, with the addition of acute asthma that requires a lot of hospitizations and food allergies with all three. Yes, our life is as different form the norm s yours seems to be, but I was so taken aback by your beautiful words, our children were MEANT to be on this earth, our mission is to help themfeel as much joy, love a dn acceptance as they are able. Please tell me about your resources, and how I can be connected to others…also, are there any others whose spouses suffer from mental illnesses? My husband has schizophrenia also.

    Note from Michael: Hi, Lori. Please consider joining our support group for families with mentally ill/autistic spectrum children that we set up. We have about 150 other families in it now. The link is: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/parental-support/

  6. Very moved
    Many apologies if this is not the right spot for this comment – but I just wanted to say how moved I was by your courage and dedication. My brother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was 17, and the following years were very traumatic and sad for him and my family. He initially starved himself, which we were told can be a sign of denial of the disease, starvation being a preferable option to some sufferers to facing the fact that they must live the rest of their lives with a severe mental illness. After several years of anguish and many different meds, he stablilised a bit. We were very fortunate in that Manly Hospital in Sydney, NSW, had at the time ( and possibly still does) an excellent mental health ward, with creative, funny, dedicated and caring staff. He also had an outstanding psychiatrist. When we moved to Western Australia we found the support systems not nearly as good, (the main psychiatric centre here is called ‘Graylands’ if that is any indication) , but fortunately by then the severity of the illness was abating. He is now 39, and has been married for over four years. He finds it very hard to hold down work, but is a wonderful artist and is currently working with me on illustrating a children’s book. He also speaks regularly for Schizophrenia groups in WA about his experiences. His medication now is one of the newer slow release ones, and has some side effects, as they all do, but seems to help keep the hallucinations at bay most of the time. I found your story to be so moving, articulate and honest. I wish you all the very best in your endeavours, which are both practical and most needed. If there is any small thing I could offer it would be that we could never have dreamed at the height of Alex’s illness that things could be as good as they are today.

    Caitlin McGuinness

  7. Opinion
    I wish I could find such informative sites more often. I regularly spend much time on lust looking for some worthy sites when I can find something to read. Your site is surely one of them. I wish you futher success. My site – [url=http://filecraft.com]search engine on rapidshare files[/url]. Hope to be useful for someone

  8. My blog
    It was mentioned by you before that you’d like to add my blog (A Schizophrenic And A Dog) to the list of personal blogs. I just wanted to sent a friendly reminder because I know you are busy.

    Note from Michael: Thanks for the reminder. I have added it to my “resources” page.

  9. Your daughter is a sweet, precious, angel. Please, for her sake, open your mind and consider integrative medicine. What you have been doing so far is obviously not helping her. She looks very sick and very unhappy. You are missing a very important link in her illness – food allergies/intolerance. I have an autistic child and this has made a world of difference for us. No, it will not be a magic cure but it can make the difference between severe and mild symptoms. Please have her tested for IgE food allergies and delayed food allergies. I promise you, you will be amazed at the results.

    Note from Michael: I would disagree with the assessment that she looks sick and unhappy. I think that is a giant leap from watching her for a few minutes on a TV show. I am dubious about the connection between food allergies and psychosis but it is a moot point. If you had read my blogs you would see that if Jani doesn’t get the food she wants, she will simply starve herself. She has done this and lost several pounds. That is what psychosis does. It convinces you that not eating at all is better than eating something that isn’t her favorite. The idea that you can really alter the diet of someone who is deeply psychotic is somewhat laughable. If Jani eats at all, we are thrilled. Also, very nice of you to say that what we are doing is “obviously” not working based on 40 minutes of airtime. It is too bad you didn’t get to see her a year earlier when she was chewing on furniture until her mouth bled because “it makes my mouth feel better.” She has come along way and what we are doing is indeed working. But when you have an agenda, you tend to see what you want to see, don’t you?

  10. BHRS Director
    Several months ago, I watched the program on Discovery Channel about January and I really enjoyed it. I am the director of a Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Service (BHRS) and am interested in somehow obtaining a copy of the program on DVD so that I could share it with my staff of TSS and BSC/MT’s so that they understand what families go through when dealing with children with disorders such as this. Any guidance as to where to go to purchase the program would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! Please reply to me via e-mail and/or this blog.

    Note from Michael: Beth, unfortunately Discovery does not release individual specials on DVD, only series, so there is no DVD available. However, I would be happy to speak to your staff (if possible- I don’t know where you are located). If you would be interested you can email Steve Truitt. His email is at the bottom of the main page.

  11. i understand your language
    my son alex is 9. he is in the hospital for the second time in less than 6 months. i have read some of your blogs and for the first time in a very long time i felt like someone else out there in this world was speaking my language. i was stunned to read the same words i say on a constant basis from your blog. alex was diagnosed bipolar in december but i have to say i believe down to the depths of my soul my son is schizophrenic. i remember seeing jani on oprah and the discovery channel. watchinng her on tv was like watching my son. i just wanted to say thank you because instead of fearing a “new” diagnosis i accept it. i know he is being evaluated now for schizophrenia. they have ruled out autism as of todays eval. i could write a book to you on how much you have helped me but instead i will just say thank you and hopefully we will get to speak in the future. much regards- amanda

    Note from Michael: Hi Amanda, are you aware of our private online support group for parents with children who have mental illness. Join and believe me you will see your life everyday. Here is the link: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/parental-support/ You have to request membership. Just mention that we talked via the comments on my blog.

  12. your daughter is possessed, i was finishing her sentences for her, the first time i saw her on oprah
    your daughter is possessed by demons, you need to take her to someone super holy and have her prayed over, also it is strange for a girl to be possessed so young, did you or your wife make an vow or say “i would give me daughters soul if is just something”, i could be wrong but this thing i do know your daughter is possessed.

    Note from Michael: Do you really think I would ever say something like that? What on earth or the universe could possibly be worth trading Jani’s soul for?

    And you’re right: She is possessed. By mental illness.

  13. A Different Perspective
    I am in the process of watching your story on television. I am not a doctor and my perspective is one that is based on experiences of faith, spirituality, and God. I believe over 50% or more of mental illness is misdiagnosed. Me and my husband went through a year of torment of a severe spiritual nature which lead to me doing my own research into other factors that could create erratic uncontrollable behaviors that could be misdiagnosed as mental disorder or illness. I know this all may sound strange but I was drawn by Jani to try to reach out and share this information as I firmly believe that there is always hope.

    There is a doctor who is also a pastor. He has written many books that have helped restore many many individuals, some of which had been diagnosed with severe mental illness for years and are now free from it. The name of the pastor is Dr Neil Anderson Phone: (865) 342-4000 and I believe he is located in Tennessee.

    I sincerely believe if it were possible for you to meet Dr Anderson there could be a greater hope for improvement in your family’s life.

  14. Goodness
    Michael: Keep doing what you are doing. You are an example of what a parent should be, dedicated to their child and their child’s happiness.
    People whO have nothing nice to say: I can’t believe you would put so much effort into coming onto this man’s website and saying rude things like’ obviously what you’re doing isn’t working’ or ‘ You’re daughter is possessed’ . You, obviously are close-minded to educating yourselves about the mental illness that this wonderful, vibrant little girl suffers from.
    I’d just like to also say that I know and have witnessed that these mental disorders DO in fact exist and I would like to commend the families that reach out to the Schofields and compliment them an d donate to their cause because that’s what is needed. People need more education on mental illness so the victim’s can stop living in a world that stigmatizes them and treats them like lepers.

  15. No Cure But Recovery is Real and Possible
    I work in mental health, have my own diagnosis and believe that recovery is a very real possibility for anyone. I understand the challenges that you are going through with Jani because I was witness to them with my own brother. Today, he’s in college and doing pretty good despite his diagnosis.

    I would suggest that you look at some of the work by Pat Deegan, Ed Knight, Mary Ellen Copeland, Sherry Mead, Robert Whitaker and David Gonzalez. Its a huge variety of work but the one consistent message is hope and recovery. Just keep up with what you are doing because, as far as I’m concerned, it’s the right path that you are taking with Jani.

    Hugs and Hope,

  16. Hopefully a practical suggestion…
    Unfortunately, I’m only 22 and live with my parents, without enough money to make a difference for the Schofield family, yet I do have a recommendation based on my own experiences with schizophrenia, which began in my early teens (with hospitals and medications following thereafter). I’ve had many ups and downs, but in the end what’s helped me greatly is my music. I play the piano (self-tought after getting on medications) and have developed a fascination with classical music and various things related to it, including the composers themselves (though they’re all long dead, of course). It seems that music interacts with the brain on a very chemical level and Oliver Sacks has even written a book called Musicophilia, which touches upon the relation between music and the so-called mind (I actually haven’t read it, but I saw a documentary on it). January obviously seems to exhibit high intelligence and I believe it’s quite possible that an artistic outlet could be useful in a theraputic sense (via whatever appeals to her). There’s something about art and its relationship with humanity that neuropsychiatry has only just begun to tap into. It’s certainly true in my case, and although such an idea must have already occured to the Schofields, I thought I might hint at it myself. I also wish to encourage them by saying that while I’ve in no way achieved a normal and independant life, even in my relatively isolated days I find much pleasure in the world and humanity as a whole, and my situation is, of course, still developing. I, too, was fortunate enough to have a loving set of parents and regardless of the impact of schizophrenia on the ability to be accepted in society as normal and to be what society calls successful, the quality of any patient’s life can always be upheld through the simplest means. Furthermore, it certainly doesn’t hurt to be able to turn your deficient processing of reality into something pleasant whenever possible. She appears to already be making a heroic effort towards this goal. If this comment doesn’t make much sense, I apologize, but at the moment it seems sufficient in expressing my thoughts and feelings.

  17. i have a question my daughter says she hears ghosts in her room and they say her name and tell her to come to them. My daughter also is ethier very happy or acts like the world has come to an end. Her words when something happens its the worst day ever. Does this sound like maybe she is hearing voices? do you think she might have a problem?

    Note from Michael: HI Jennifer, I really wouldn’t be the one to answer that. What I would do in your situation is first go to your pediatrician and tell him/her the situation and see if you can get a recommendation to a psychiatrist if necessary. A doctor is really the only one qualified to determine what might be going on. We do have a private support group for parents with mentally ill/autistic spectrum children at http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/parental-support/ but if you are concerned I would definitely see if you can get an appointment with child psychiatrist. If you need help in that regard, you can contact me at michaeljohnschofield@me.com.

  18. Show and a thank you
    I did see your show, (January’s Story) and am quite impressed. I have worked in group homes for people with delays and some were also mentally ill. From what I have seen, people with family involvement do MUCH better.. Kudos to you for keeping Jani home.
    I have depression and anxiety, and while I do okay for the most part with the support of friends and some medication, I can empathize on how hard it is to raise children, one being mentally ill. I was diagnosed with mild depression as a teenager, and as I got older, it got “worse.”.. I KNOW how much my parents support has helped me…. I know it will help your daughter as well

  19. empathy & support
    Hello Schofield family!
    Hi from England – we watched ‘Born Schizophrenic’ on the Discovery channel last night and found ourselves transfixed by your plight and your gorgeous little daughter’s disorder.
    We wish you all the best for the future, we admire your strength and dedication.
    Please give Jani a hug from us and let her know that people of the other side of the atlantic are thinking of her.

    Love & light
    Russ, Cassy & the kids x x

  20. Trying to digest my brother telling me my son has early onset schizophrenia
    Hi Michael, Susan, Jani and Bodhi,
    The first time my son said he would take a knife out of the drawer and stab himself to death he was seven years old. Doctors told me he has ADHD and behavior issues. My son is about to turn eleven; diagnosed ADHD/ODD/Biploar/Asperger’s with irritability. He has been to the hospital for one week because of suicidal ideation possibly brought on by zoloft. During his hospitalization, my son started to tell me about a “teenager” dressed in a “robber outfit” and carries a bat, axe and ak47 and the “teenager” is killing people. My son now tells me that he has been seeing this for 5 years (ok, he is not good with chronological time) the point really is that I had hoped the hallucinations were a result of the zoloft but apparently not. I am trying to find a way to figure out what’s next; how do I help him?! We’ve run the medication route; stimulants bring out the negatives. One of my brothers sent me a link to your site and said my son may have early onset schizophrenia, my other brother says he’s just being a boy; and the doctors haven’t mentioned this to me at all!! Just trying to get good information. I am a single mom.

    Note from Michael: Hi Liz. Is your son seeing a psychiatrist on a regular basis (at least every two weeks)? I can’t say whether your son has schizophrenia or not. Only a doctor can do that and it takes a long period of observation. We do have a private online support group where your questions can be answered and you can find others going through the same thing. Here is the link to join: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/parental-support/

  21. Wondering if you could give me some advice?
    Hi Schofields how are yall? i was wondering do you know any support groups or programs that help low income family’s receive extra help for the holidays or year round for children with mental illness.Im trying to raise a family by myself pay for therapy’s and medications that arent covered by insurance, food,rent,traveling back and forth to appointments and hospitals,on top if it dealing with my treatments and trying to survive myself and dont qualify for any type of assistance which i dont understand why but the state of pa is not 100me;ntal illness friendly…i know you guys know its impossible to survive without help i was wondering if you know any organizations or anything…you guys have given me hope when i thought i have lost all of it…”Master” is here today for Isaiah “it” is telling him to do bad things…can you please give me advice ? Hope Jani is well!!!!:)KIDS ARE THE REASON I AM HERE THERE MENTAL ILLNESS WILL NOT HOLD ME DONE I WILL GROW STRONGER single mother of isaiah 5 jason 13 and nai 11 ADHD, Bipolar, Dissociative identity disorder,PDD-NOS, Aspergers, OCD, ODD, possible childhood schizophrenia,depression just to name a few

    Note from Michael: Sadly, no. We (Susan and I) provide financial assistance to families in need when we can but right now there is no such organization as you describe. This is precisely what we want to accomplish with the Jani Foundation and are working to set that up. I realize that doesn’t help you immediately.

  22. My sympathy towards you
    Hi my name is Amos, and i am from England, i saw your video on Oprah show, and i was moved by it, unfortunately, i guess as a family you have searched for a cure from different directions and there is none. Doctors can’t conclude what it is apart from giving it a name, to declare that your child has got schizophrenia.It breaks my heart when i see people going through a ruff life like that.
    please, i got a suggestion, i am not forcing my opinion on you, so i hope you wont be offended by it. All i am asking is ask Jesus to heal your daughter from that sickness “Psalm 50:15- Let your voice come up to me in the day of trouble; I will be your saviour, so that you may give glory to me.” “Isaiah 53:5-But he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed”. I don’t know if you believe in God?? but please give it a go, call on Jesus in times like these. it won’t cost you a thing to call on his name. If you don’t no what to say to him i can suggest some words ” dear Jesus, i come before you, and i ask that you please heal my daughter from what ever she is seeing, your word say in Psalm 50:15- that i should let my voice come up to you in times like these and you will deliver me and my family, you will be my Savior and i will give you glory” So dear Jesus if your word also says that in Isaiah 53:5 that in your strips we are healed then Jesus i ask you to heal my Daughter in Jesus Name, Amen”. please give it a go, and trust Jesus to heal your daughter. I will be praying for you and your family. thank you for understanding me.

  23. Vi su programa y me conmovio ver el gran amor a Jeni, la fortaleza de su matrimonio y el coraje con que han enfrentado esta situación. Dios los bendiga y les de la fuerza para seguir adelante. Desde Guatemala muchos ánimos y fuerzas. Son una pareja admirable digna de imitar.

    Nota al Michael: Gracias.

  24. Hello Michael,

    I wanted to let you know that I have been showing the LA Times video about Jani in my General Intro Psych classes for years. The video helps my students not only understand the disorder, but also the stress involved with raising a child with a mental illness or disability.

    I myself have a son with severe disabilities, who is 23 years old. It has not been an easy road, and for different reasons than yours, obviously. He is deafblind, has balance problems, is incontenant. But ultimately, the stress of having a child with intense needs is the same, I believe.

    I wanted to ask you about Jani’s sleep. Does she sleep now for periods of time? My students repeatedly ask that question, as in the video, both she and you look completely exhausted. We also study sleep in my classes, and the question often comes up: If Jani isn’t ever getting into REM sleep, couldn’t that cause hallucinations (a common result of not getting REM sleep is dreaming while you are awake!)? So, I vowed to write and ask you this question.

    By the same token, my child who is deafblind has a sleeping disorder. As an infant, he only ever slept at night, and then only for 6 hours at a stretch, and this hasn’t changed much. We do give him melatonin supplements in the evening to help him fall asleep, and this has helped tremendously.

    Thanks for your heartfelt blog and I hope your book is published soon, as I would very much like to read it! Nancy

    Note from Michael: Hi, Nancy! Thank you so much for showing the LA Times video in your Psych classes. It is gratifying to know that the next generation of psychologists and psychiatrists are learning both about psychosis illnesses and how to recognize them.

    I agree it is very much the same, although in some ways I think your situation is harder. Hearing your story makes me feel immensely grateful that I can hear my childrens’ voices and they can hear me. I do think that being deaf-blind would be very similar in the sense of your son being trapped in another world. But it gives me great joy and hope to know he is now 23, even if there are still problems. I know there is no cure for schizoprhenia and I do not expect a full recovery. For Jani to stay alive and find moments of happiness is my only goal.

    As to your question, Jani sleeps very well now. Part of that is the sedative effect of the medications but she was sleeping through the night long before the medications, by about two years old (as long as she got sufficient stimulation). I would say the reason we still look tired is because we are still always on the go. There is no stopping and resting. To keep Jani’s psychosis at bay we still need to provide constant stimulation. She has limited abilities to self-entertain but she is getting better.

    I have often speculated if there was a connection between her lack of sleep as an infant and her psychosis, but I tend to to think the former is a symptom of the latter. I am aware that a lack of REM sleep can cause hallucinations. What would be interesting for your students to mull over is that Jani does not appear to dream at all. So even though she sleeps a full night, I am not sure she dreams. She doesn’t ever describe having dreams. She has had a sleep study and we know she drops into REM (although she has a lot of movement in an hour) but has never described having a dream.

  25. One resource that helped me survive a teenage psychotic onset was therapy. I focused on five sensory sensations to limit the delusional cognitive ideation.

    Has Jani been able to experiment with different therapy techniques to limit the hallucinations’ impact and help her focus? This may be essential in limiting the illness when the rest of her brain forms as a teenager.

    A wide range of techniques work depending on the person. Jane Alexander discussed how she used meditation to turn her multiple voices into one coherent perception. http://possessingme.com/bio/meditation-as-a-cure-for-mental-illness/

    Note from Michael: Not as organized as that. She does get therapy and it is somewhat cognitive but right now it is mostly focused on helping her come to terms with and develop a vocabulary for her emotions. It’s hard for me to see Jani meditating as she is child and like all kids has a hard time sitting still but there are things we do. Animals, for example. I work with her to keep her focused on a particular task related to caring for animals.

  26. I didn’t get good results from meditation and had to rely on cognitive therapy techniques in my adult years to further challenge the rumination. (Cognitive therapy uses questions to force one to think through a problem. This stops painful reactions by forcing other parts of the brain to become active. It is more like an exploration of how the mind functions than logic.)

    Mental health programs also use simple vocational programs at the computer to help people focus. If Jani can explore techniques, she may find ones that can help her for the rest of her life.

    Thanks again for your wonderful work. I am blown away by Susan’s podcast. She is helping many families defend themselves from a brutal system. Thanks!

  27. It sounds like you are doing a lot of great work with her. You are keeping her occupied so she does not fall into the delusional rumination, which shows incredible devotion on your part. She is also in therapy at a young age, which is a great head start.

    Hopefully, something like play therapy may help her experiment with techniques that are tailored to countering visual hallucinations later, when she is ready.

    Note: She does play therapy. Basically, we take any opportunity for social interaction (as long as it isn’t true stressful for her). Slowly we are building her comfort level with the real world.

  28. Focusing on concrete visual sensations, like the chair or wall, helped stop a psychotic onset in my teens and probably saved me. Therapy techniques may greatly help her in her teens too. They are rough years for many psychotics because that is when parts of the brain develop.

    Note from Michael: Yes, I am a bit apprehensive about the onset of puberty. I have no idea what will happen then.

  29. Hello Michael,

    I am a college student and I am doing a project on schizophrenia and I need to have a video documentary to show to my class about my topic. I was wondering if you could tell me how I could get a copy of Jani’s story that was shown on tv?

    Thanks, Kaitelyn

    Note from Michael: Hi Kaitelyn, the original “Born Schizophrenic” is available on DVD from Discovery Education for educational purposes although since it is designed to be sold to schools and teachers it isn’t cheap: about $60. The most recent show, “Jani’s Next Chapter” is not currently available. Discovery does not sell DVDs of one time specials except for education purposes. Here is the link: http://store.discoveryeducation.com/product/show/105172. You can search YouTube and see if somebody recorded the shows and loaded them there. I have no idea.

  30. How is she ?
    You know as all people ı always wonder what she does or is she Ok ? She has Synesthesia like sometimes imaginary things sounds or it occours to her someone talking . That’s Ok . She’ll be fine . How old is she ? Does she have new photo ? I’d like to see her well . She is a good child as long as you learn how to behave . That would be in the future let her live her childhood . Bye

    Note from Michael: She actually doesn’t have synethesia. Yes, she “sees” numbers but not regular numbers. They are anthropomorphic (human like) and she sees them whether there are any real numbers around.

    The photo of her and me on the main page background is from this past April.

  31. A few things…
    Dear Michael,

    First of all, I want to say I am so happy for what you and your wife have done about dealing with Jani’s schizophrenia! It makes me happy to see parents thinking of any option that could keep their family together when dealing with a child with mental illness.

    Onto another thing… I’m 16, and I’ve begun to wonder whether I may have a mental illness.

    I have auditory hallucinations sometimes. Like… I’ll, say, hear my mother yelling “Roberta! Roberta Dorothy!”, stuff like that, when she’s asleep or not even home, or when I’m at school, especially in silent rooms. I sometimes hear laughing or breathing when I’m completely alone in my room. Like, I’ll hear a voice from somewhere in the room I don’t recognize at all. And there are times where I hear laughing in songs, always at different points in a song.

    And I sometimes see stuff too. I’ll see, for example, a completely black figure standing next to me in an empty classroom (out of the corner of my eye). Sometimes my vision will suddenly look like something from around the time of the “Manson Family”- that grainy, blotchy black-spot type image. And sometimes I see people in motion. The most vivid hallucination I’ve had of someone moving was when I was… fourteen, I think? I saw a misty blue man running into a house, disappearing right through the door.

    There are days where I hear conversations in silent, empty rooms or where a noisy room feels totally silent.

    I’m just a bit of a loss of what to do… I don’t feel like this is something I can talk to my mom about (she always gets weird looks when I mention stuff like that) and I need help….


    Note from Michael: I think you do need to talk to your mother about what you are experiencing. The thing about auditory or visual hallucinations is how much they bother you. If they are getting more intense, it is definitely time to talk to a doctor and you need to share with your mother what you are experiencing. Let me know if I can be of any help. I would be happy to answer any questions for her.

  32. What do they call alternative medicine that works?

    Michael, I read your response to Samantha about integrative medicine with relief and encouragement. It’s so common and even understandable that desperate parents would turn to pseudoscientific interventions and other quackery, and I’m heartened to see you’re not among them.

    I saw the TLC documentary tonight and was fascinated, stunned, and even moved to tears ones or twice. When Jani is doing well, her happiness is infectious. When she’s not, it’s painful enough to watch, and I don’t think I have enough imagination to put myself in your shoes. Your perseverance is inspiring.

  33. Publicity
    I’ve seen both the documentaries on Jani and I was just wondering what she thinks about all the publicity the family has been getting. Does it make her feel like a celebrity? I just wondered since I know if I saw her randomly on the street I’d be like “OMG! It’s Jani! So cool!”. And on an entirely different note, has she ever said why she doesn’t like to be called January?

    Note from Michael: She doesn’t really pay attention and certainly doesn’t feel like a “celebrity.” Jani depends on routine so we stick to it as much as possible. We live every day the same way so it hasn’t changed anything for her. And no, she has never explained why she doesn’t like “January.”

  34. Just to say Hi!
    Hi, Michael:

    When I check my e-mail today, your video interview with fox news in yahoo website caught my attention. Your book “Janury First” title is same as my birthday date.
    I guess you have no religion believes. I suggest you might try take Jani go to church. I am asian and I believe I am a grown-up Indigo Child.

    p.s. I am not a registered use.

  35. Hi Mr. Schofield
    I have written to you once before via your MichaelJSchofield email, and I hope to hear a response from you when you have a free moment. Thank you so much for allowing us into Janis life. She is such a wonderful girl and I greatly enjoyed your book. I read it in just 2 days. So, thanks so much for your honesty and openness and please know both Jani and Bodhi are such beautiful kids and are always in my prayers. 🙂

    Note from Michael: I am sorry. I get so many emails that I sometimes miss certain emails. Please send it again.

  36. Mr
    Just to try and give a hopeful perspective to a sad story. I have been told I would never recover from Schizophrenia on many occasions before. My psychosis didn’t start quite so young as I was 14 when it started and 17 with a formal diagnosis. I have a high IQ of 141. I’m now in my final year of a degree at college and going on to postgraduate study next year. There is Recovery and I said a prayer that January gets to this stage. Best Wishes.

    Note from Michael: Thanks, Paul. I’m really happy for you!

  37. Hello to the entire family! I must say that I love you all for your strength and commitment to your family. I believe I could be of some great use to your family. I would love to share with you and your wife my personal experiences and maybe some tools that you could add to your box. Is there an email account where I could send some more personal information to a much smaller view-able audience?
    Blessings ~ Lily

  38. Many of you, Schofields included, sound very P.A.N.D.A.S./P.A.N.S. Have you ever undergone assessment by a doctor who specializes in P.A.N.D.A.S./P.A.N.S.?

    Note from Michael: No, we haven’t. My guess is a doctor who specializes in PANDAS would find evidence of PANDAS, wouldn’t they? You find what you are looking for. PANDAS is not universally accepted as a legitimate medical condition but I don’t know. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t but no, none of us have PANDAS.

  39. Hi Michael,

    I sat here for quite some time trying to think of what to say. I’ve read most of your blog entries in the past two days, and it’s turned everything I’ve learnt in my psych undergrad upside down. The idea that the system doesn’t work never occurred to me. The stigma is never discussed in class. We only learn what’s known and never bother to question if it’s wrong.

    I guess I want to thank you for opening my eyes.

    I went into psych because I thought I could help people. But when I can’t even help myself, I’m not sure. I may be going through depression, but I don’t know. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to be a psychologist anymore. It’s too much money and effort for… well, nothing. And while this may be arrogant of me, I think I can still help to care for others despite not having a doctorate in psychology.

    I’m not really sure what I wanted to say. I’m not sure of myself, my capabilities. I just said I could help care. But I’m afraid to take up the task. But I want to try.

    Is there any family in Toronto in need of assistance with… I don’t know, anything? I’m unemployed and wasting away and still looking for a job. Volunteer places don’t even want me. I’ve got plenty of time. I guess it may be difficult and potentially bad to pair a layabout stranger with mentally ill adults/children. I don’t know if you can trust me. I don’t know if I can handle it. I don’t know why I’m still writing this, it’s just full of “I don’t knows” which has been there all my life. Maybe this was a bad idea…

    Note from Michael: I wouldn’t give up. But you have to have the courage to challenge the system from the inside. You can do a lot of good if you are up for it. Feel free to write to me at michaeljohnschofield@me.com and we can discuss more.

  40. Keep up God’s work!!!
    Hello. I really like your blog and podcasts. You are both amazing in the care and support that you give to your children. My mother has paranoid schizophrenia and my brother did as well, though he committed suicide by jumping off a building 10 years ago. My father used to tell me that I gave my brother schizophrenia by dressing him up in girl clothes and curling his hair when he was a baby. Of course this is ridiculous, but people will go to any length to find a cause and someone to blame. I’ve been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and have been struggling with manifesting fears through psychosis. I’m interested in learning ways to prevent this from happening. If you have a supportive group for adults with mental illness…I’m interested in joining. Thank you for your time and keep up God’s work!!!

    Note from Michael: We do have a great support group for adults in a private Facebook group if you are on Facebook. You can write me at michaeljohnschofield@me.com if interested.

  41. As soon as I saw the Oprah show, I knew instantly that Jani was either not medicated or on the wrong type of medication. If you are not medicating your child, all I can say is how selfish. If your child had a physical illness would you refuse them modern medicine? Of course not, that would be child abuse. I really hope Jani is on medication because she so obviously needs it.

    Note from Michael: Jani is on medication and has been since 2009. She takes 350 mg of clozapine (an anti-pyschotic) 75 mg of thorazine (anti-psychotic) and 750 mg of lithium carbonate per day. I can assure you, we are very pro-medication.

  42. I donated! Michael & Susan, please ready my note I wrote with my payment 🙂

    Note from Michael: Thank you, Daniela! We received it.

  43. ‘Gut and Psychology Syndrome’ by Natasha Campbell-McBride MD
    Hello: I’m so very impressed by what I read of all you do for your kids. I know that you’ve touched on – and rejected – a dietary link but you might be interested in this book. I’m not saying that Dr Campbell-McBride’s therories are right necessarily, just perhaps worth considering: http://www.doctor-natasha.com/dr-natasha.php
    All the very best for the future. (Apologies if you’ve already received a similar version of this.)

    Note from Michael: I have but I appreciate your sensitive approach and that you took to the time to find my reactions to diet issues. I really, really appreciate your tact. Thank you so much.