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The Kids Still Dance in City Streets

I get a lot of comments on my blogs and often times those comments include questions. Most of them are easy to answer, so easy that if so inclined I could give a one word answer:

 

Do you think Jani might be possessed by (insert your culture’s version of “demons” here)?

 

Do you think Jani’s symptoms might be caused by (insert bacterial infection here)?

 

Have you tried (insert crackpot “cure” here)?

 

No.

 

Two letters. Very simple.

 

But every so often I get a question or questions like the ones below. I will bold the relevant questions.

 

 

Hi Micheal,

 

I have a few questions, just because I’m curious, if you don’t mind. I’m wondering, if you know, what the long term outlook is for a person with childhood onset schizophrenia? Are the issues of these kids as adults similar to those who have schizophrenia starting in adulthood or do they get better/different?

What are your plans, if any, for Jani as she reaches her teen years and early adulthood? Can kids like Jani be kept safe in the home with the parents once they are bigger and more independent?

My best friend during my teen years was mentally ill. I don’t know what her diagnosis was but I believe that she was bi-polar. It had been obvious even as a small child that there was something wrong with her. She only spent about a week in a regular 1st grade class before she was moved to what they called a “therapy school”. At 13 her mother couldn’t handle her anymore and she went into a group home and started on a road going from group home to foster home to institutionalization. It didn’t go well. She just got worse. She once got mad at me and started to stab herself with a pair of scissors. She was very self destructive. She eventually became a hardcore heroin addict and last time I saw her she looked horrible. Her clothes were dirty and she had hair down to her waist that looked like it had not been brushed for weeks. It was a sad sight.

I know that both her parents had tried very hard to help her and a lot of resources had been used on her to no avail. Despite all of this she still went downhill. How do you prevent that from happening to kids with mental illness like my friend and Jani? What have you seen with families that have gone before you and now have adult kids?

You are probably just taking a day at a time with Jani and it’s impossible to know what she will be like five years from now. I’m curious though if you have any kind of tentative plan for her when she’s 15-16 and on?

 

Of course this stuff is really none of my business. It’s just something I started to think about while reading some of your blog and I thought it doesn’t hurt to ask.

 

Keep up the good work! I think you and your wife are doing great.

 

Excuse me for a moment while I pick myself up off the floor.

 

There was no way the young lady who asked these questions could have known what the impact they would have on me. She meant no harm, but she might as well have hit me with her car at 60mph., leaving me dazed and bloodied by the side of the road.

 

Except that she was nice enough to stop and come back for an answer.

 

You see, she didn’t ask just ANY old question. She asked THE question, the question that haunts all of us who have a severely mentally ill child, the question that hovers around us like a wasp that we are trying to ignore, the question that all of do our damndest not to think about. It is a question so hard that if you dare to think about it, the consequences for your own life can be dire. It is the question that drives some parents to run away, that drives others into addiction, be it alcohol, heroin, meth, prescription pain killers, dangerous sexual behavior, or any other mind-numbing activity such as watching baseball on TV (my personal choice).

 

Yeah, it’s that bad. It is the ultimate question we fear.

 

And you had to go ask it. Dammit, the Angels aren’t playing tonight.

 

You’re gonna make me answer you, aren’t you? Fine. Let me go have a cigarette first. Or two. I’ve been chain smoking since I started this blog, which keeps forcing me to go outside on our balcony. But what I am really doing is stalling. I’m not sure if I’m stalling because I don’t have the answers or because I don’t like the answers. Probably a combination of both.

 

First, let me explain how I think about the future. For me, the future is tomorrow morning, when Jani and Bodhi wake up. Then the future will be tomorrow night. I am writing this on a Thursday. The weekend is the future because I have to think about how I am going to get the kids through the weekend. And then next week, the gap week between the end of the school year (today) and the beginning of summer school.

 

That’s about it. Everyday somebody I run into will say “You have a book coming out soon, right?” I stare at them blankly for second until I remember that yes I do have a book coming out and I will struggle to remember the date. Oh, yes, August 7th.

 

Astronomers estimate that in approximately four billion years from now, our sun will expend its supply of hydrogen. As its mass decreases, it will lose the gravity that holds it together and it will begin to expand, consuming all the inner planets, including Earth.

 

Do you care?

 

Of course not. Because 4 billion years is a length of time you really can’t conceive of. It’s meaningless to you.

 

August isn’t quite 4 billion years for me. Perhaps a closer analogy might be 180 million years, when the continents collide again into another supercontinent.

 

When your future largely consists of tomorrow, maybe even just tomorrow morning, you don’t have time to think about events beyond that you know might happen but right now are meaningless, like the death of our sun.

 

Next, I will give you my well-versed answer about the future. What did you want be when you grew up when you were five years old? A teacher? A firefighter? An astronaut?

 

Are you doing that now, or on your way to doing it?

 

Probably not.

 

I have only ever met one person who now does for a living what he wanted to do in high school (commercial airline pilot).

 

In kindergarten you know EXACTLY what you want to be when you grow up. By the time you get to your freshman year in high school, you have no idea.

 

So what happens in the intervening ten years? Why did you stop wanting to be an astronaut?

 

That’s a tough one to answer, isn’t it? The short answer is “I grew up,” which is really a nice way of saying “shit happened.” Maybe math got harder. Maybe your friends didn’t want to be astronauts.

 

But basically what happened is life happened. Things changed. Things got more complicated. As you grew older, everything that you thought you knew about the world and your place in it got called into question. You became more unsure of yourself. Maybe your parents split up. Maybe you had to take care of a younger sibling. Maybe you had to go to work to support yourself or help out your family. Maybe you got knocked up by the first boy to tell you he loved you.

 

In a word, reality hit.

 

And you adapted, as humans do. You adapted and survived. You changed your goals to fit the situation you found yourself in.

 

In essence, what happened to me and Susan is simply a slightly more extreme version of that. Jani was born. Circumstances changed and we adapted. The two apartments for two years? Adapting. Humans generally adapt to their environment, as does all life.

 

So that’s another excuse for not thinking about the future: no matter what plans we make, circumstances will change and we will have to adapt. Which makes planning kind of pointless.

 

That’s my story and I would have stuck with it except that you had to ask about Jani’s future and the future of kids like her.

 

Okay, enough beating around the bush. Let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we?

 

I’m wondering, if you know, what the long term outlook is for a person with childhood onset schizophrenia?

 

 

Short answer: Unknown

 

Essay answer: The long-term outlook for a person with child onset schizophrenia is unknown because there have been no long term studies conducted (and to my knowledge there are none currently going on). There are multiple reasons for this. The history of treatment of mental illness has a checkered past, particularly in Europe and America. Muslim doctors at the turn of the first millennium were actually the first to speculate that symptoms of mental illness were of biological origin. In medieval Europe, what we would today consider the mentally ill were either burned at the stake or, later, locked away in dungeons, which became the first “sanitariums.” By the 18th Century, the mentally ill were usually locked away with people suffering from tuberculosis or terminal syphilis. It wasn’t until the 19th Century that the British created the first sanitariums specifically for the mentally ill. Since medications did not yet exist, there was no “treatment” in the modern sense. In the late 19th Century, what came to called “psycho-surgery” came into fashion, better known as the lobotomy. Yes, it was like curing a scratch on your arm by amputating your entire arm but it was nonetheless the first active attempt to “treat” the mentally ill.

            The first anti-psychotic medications appeared in the 1940s, with Thorazine being the revolution that ended the practice of lobotomies. Thorazine and Haldol were the most responsible for the “de-institutionalization” of the mentally ill.

            There are records of children being in sanitariums dating back to the 19th Century, although the reasons why are unclear. Despite child onset schizophrenia appearing to be “new,” there are records of children ten or even younger being institutionalized “with psychotic symptoms” from the turn of the 20th Century through the early 1990s and the closure of nearly all state run mental hospitals. To doctors working in state run institutions in the 1960s and 70s, seeing children with schizophrenia was not uncommon.

            So why are there still doctors who insist children cannot develop schizophrenia? Because they weren’t around back then. They came up through the medical system in the post institutional era and so unless they work in a teaching hospital like UCLA’s Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital they have probably never seen it. It is human nature to deny the existence of that which we have never seen. The ancient Greeks though the dark spots on the moon were oceans (hence the reason why Apollo 11 landed in the “Sea of Tranquility”). It wasn’t Galileo invented a more powerful telescope that humans got their first good look at the surface of the moon and realized there were no oceans. My point is that doctors, therapists, school psychologists don’t know what they are seeing until they get a closer look.

            So why no studies of the long term outlook? There are several reasons. First, the primary focus of psychiatry, like all medicine, is to alleviate symptoms of the illness, not study it. Second, child onset schizophrenia, like adult schizophrenia, is not a popular area of research because, well, there’s not a lot of money in it. If you want to study breast cancer or prostate cancer, you can find dozens, even hundreds of foundations that will fund your research, not to mention the federal government’s NIH (National Institute of Health). Diseases that only afflict a small minority, even physical diseases, simply don’t get the funding. There is a study at Duke tosequence the DNA of children with schizophrenia and compare it to their parents, the purpose being to look for what are called “deletion events” (missing DNA strings) or, vice versa, extra DNA strings (since most DNA passed from parent to child unchanged, even accounting for the occasional mutation). They have sequenced Jani’s DNA but lack the funding to do so for me or Susan. Right now they are trying to get another grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). So researching schizophrenia in children is not a popular area of study because of lack of money, prestige, and recognition.

            Another reason there are no long term studies is the simple but significant problem of finding a study group. Leukemia is easy to diagnose. Schizophrenia in children is not, due to resistance from doctors to label a child with the worst mental illness known to mankind, the difficulty parents and caregivers have in even obtaining care (getting Medicaid or private insurance to pay for mental health care, particularly inpatient, is like pulling teeth), and the fact that because many symptoms of schizophrenia are also symptoms of autism, bipolar, or ADHD, many kids go years before getting diagnosed. For that reason, many are not diagnosed until their teen years, which is another reason why child onset seems so rare. Yet every adult person with schizophrenia I have ever talked to admits to having symptoms as a child (perhaps not as severe as Jani but still there).

            For all these reasons, nobody has started a study on children diagnosed with schizophrenia when the intention of following them into adulthood. There simply isn’t enough of them and this area of research is just not a priority in our society at present.

 

In the end, the outlook varies from child to child and is dependent on how well the respond to medication (the better the medication works, the better the outlook), plus environmental factors such as family and home stability and support.

 

 

 Are the issues of these kids as adults similar to those who have schizophrenia starting in adulthood or do they get better/different?

 

Short answer: No and no.

 

Essay answer: The outlook is better for those who develop schizophrenia later in life.  This is because if schizophrenia sets in during the late teens or early twenties, brain development is nearly complete (most brains finish “growing” at about 25). This means that if the young adult or adult is able to get treatment fast enough, they have a very good chance of making a near complete recovery (no one ever makes a “full” recovery-anyone that tells you they have is either lying or delusional). This is because they have more “tools” at their disposal when they become symptomatic. They already have some social skills in place. What makes child onset worse is that it essentially robs the child of normal social and cognitive development. Jani’s illness hit her before she’d had the change to develop social skills, which, at least socially, perpetually puts her behind the eight ball. Now that Jani is relatively stabilized by medication, her social and cognitive development is picking up right where it left off. The nice thing about medications and the reason I encourage them is that, over time, they can undo the worst of the damage done by the schizophrenia, which is now believed to be a degenerative brain disease similar to Alzheimer’s.

 

In the end, a child with schizophrenia can make huge achievements. It just takes them longer because much of their formative neural and social years have been lost.

 

 

What are your plans, if any, for Jani as she reaches her teen years and early adulthood?

 

Puberty is the great unknown. Doctors never have any idea what will happen to a child with a severe mental illness as they enter puberty. They can get better. They can get worse. Frequently, medications must be adjusted around this time, both dosage and type. One thing I didn’t mention above is that adults tend to respond much better to the newer “atypical” anti-psychotics (which have fewer side effects) than children, who, for reasons not yet understood, tend to respond better to the older “typical” anti-psychotics like Thorazine and Haldol. The problem, and it’s a huge problem, is that their bodies often can’t handle the high doses necessary to calm the psychosis, sending them into what is called “dystonia” (muscle spasms or locking) or, long term, tardive dyskinesia (permanent shaking). It is a hell of choice to have to make: Poison the body to save the mind or let the mind go to save the body. We chose the former because if the mind goes, the body will likely follow.

 

Our plans for Jani are this: We are not pushing academics. She does as much school as she can do. I think she is capable of getting a high school diploma (although I don’t think she will ever be able to function in a mainstream classroom) but college? I doubt it. I mean, if she can, great, but I’m not planning on it. I don’t know if she will ever be able to live completely independently. I have no issue with her and Bodhi staying with us as adults. What Susan and I must do, and this is why I hope the book is successful, is buy a safe home, perhaps a farm, outright where Jani and Bodhi can live after Susan and I are dead and gone. I cannot leave this earth until I know they will be taken care of. I want to buy them a home and set up a trust that will pay property taxes and utilities in perpetuity. We are doing our best to make sure Jani understands that she must always take her medication. That is probably my biggest fear: that once I am dead or incapacitated that there will be no one to make sure Jani takes her medications. This is why I would like to get Jani together with Briana and other girls growing up with schizophrenia. I hope they will take care of each other when we are all dead and gone.

 

In the end, my plans haven’t changed: Keep Jani alive and find her as much happiness as I can. I want her to keep wanting to live, wanting to keep fighting her illness.

 

 

 

 Can kids like Jani be kept safe in the home with the parents once they are bigger and more independent?

 

This depends on the child and it depends on whether the child’s level of violence decreases as they get older. Jani’s has, for the time being. However, I know other parents who had little boys who are now 12, 14, 16. It’s easier to take the blows when they are little. It gets harder when they get bigger. I know one mother just got her nose broken by her son.  This is why I am such a big believer in Thorazine. It works very well against the violence.

 

I will always keep Jani with us. I can’t imagine life without her. Bodhi is growing up. Right now Jani is not violent. I pray the violence does not return or if it does that we can treat it quickly.

 

How do you prevent [becoming a homeless drug addict] from happening to kids with mental illness like my friend and Jani? What have you seen with families that have gone before you and now have adult kids?

 

For me, the key to answering this question is what you wrote here:

 

“At 13 her mother couldn’t handle her anymore and she went into a group home and started on a road going from group home to foster home to institutionalization. It didn’t go well.”

 

This is where we come to the “nurture vs. nature” impact on mental illness. It is entirely possible that your friend would have wound up a homeless heroin addict no matter what her mother did.

 

But….based on my albeit small sample and what I have been told by the head of UCLA’s Adolescent Psych Unit, sending a mentally child “away” increases the likelihood of this particular outcome by about fifty percent, particularly the closer to age 18 the child returns from what is called “residential treatment.” Because state hospitals no longer exist, the only remaining alternative if you are unable to keep your child in the home is residential treatment. The problem with these places is that they are not terribly therapeutic (I can already envision the angry parents who are going to lay into me on this one). They are not medical treatment facilities. They all follow what is called “behavior modification,” which is a system of reward and punishment for good and “bad” behavior, respectively. The problem is that child who suffers from psychosis cannot control their behavior. Yes, they are aware that what they are doing is wrong but they are compelled to do it. By nature, humans, like all animals, are conditioned to avoid pain. You put your hand on a hot frying pan. The nerves in your hand send signals to your brain, which interprets those signals as pain and responds, retracting the muscles to pull your hand off the frying pan. The problem with all psychosis is that it scrambles the signals between the body and brain. This is why you will see homeless people wearing six jackets in one hundred degree heat. They literally do not feel it. This is also why a taser will not bring down someone who is psychotic. They do not feel the pain because the body cannot communicate effectively with the brain and vice versa. Behavior modification will not work in a child (or adult) in active psychosis because they are locked within an internal world that prevents them from recognizing what is happening to them. That is why your friend didn’t care that she was dirty and unkempt. With psychosis, personal hygiene is one of the first things to go.

 

But in the end, although I would never endorse residential, I am a man dealing with a psychotic daughter. I am not a mother trying to defend herself from her sixteen year old son who is a head taller and fifty pounds heavier trying to kill her because the voices in his head are telling him she is the enemy. Circumstances must always be taken into consideration. We were lucky, which I always acknowledge. We were able to keep Jani (who was then a threat to the safety of Bodhi) through the goodness and graciousness of complete strangers who donated money so I could maintain the two apartments. Not everyone has that option. Not everyone gets their story in the LA Times or gets on Oprah.

 

Ultimately, whether the child goes to residential or not, the single biggest factor in the future of a mentally ill child is the involvement of the parents. If the parents don’t give up, there is a good chance the child won’t either. Showing your child that you love them, will always love, and will always be there for them is the best way to prevent what happened to your friend. If her mother truly did “give up” emotionally on your friend, that more than anything is why she ended up the way she ended up. And I have to tell you she will probably die, sadly.

 

You are probably just taking a day at a time with Jani and it’s impossible to know what she will be like five years from now. I’m curious though if you have any kind of tentative plan for her when she’s 15-16 and on?

 

Yes, we are. I don’t know where we will be in five years. I know she is my daughter and part of my family and I will pay any price to keep my family together. The elementary school district she is in has been fantastic in working with us to create a completely unique program for Jani. They gave her time and space, letting her work one on one with a teacher. Next year (fifth grade) we are going to try her back in her special ed class for a half day each day and see how she does, something that even a year ago I thought she would never be capable of. She has two more years in this district and then passes to the high school district. Whether she continues at that point depends on how comfortable she feels and how willing to work with us the high school district is. The key to keeping the psychosis at bay is keeping Jani’s stress level down and stress only grows as you get older. I do worry about that. We may homeschool at that point. But to be honest, whether she learns anything is immaterial to me. I just want her to be happy. Jani has no friends locally. She still constantly talks about her hallucinations as if they are real and she tends to repeat questions over and over again (her way, I think, of trying to fix reality in her mind). Connecting with neurotypical kids her age is pretty much impossible. There are other girls like her but they are spread out across the country.

 

But she does like older kids, teenagers, because they are nicer and more tolerant. And like any normal nearly ten year old girl, she is starting to like boys.

 

Four years ago, I never thought Jani would ever reach this place. I never thought I would ever have to worry about boys. And that feels pretty good.

 

Jani will never be a completely typical kid/teen/adult. But she is carving a life out for herself and we will be there every step of the way.

 

If I have learned anything about life, it is this: Life is tenacious. Despite all attempts to destroy it, it hangs on, even in places you would never expect.

 

And it never ceases to surprise me.

 

 

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63 comments on “The Kids Still Dance in City Streets

  1. Re: Dancing in the Streets
    Wonderful blog. Brought tears to my eyes. Not the first time. But it gives me hope. Sometimes I think of Jani as Hope.

    So:

    Dance, little sister, dance

    –Rolling Stones

  2. These days, when I dream of striking it rich, the first thought isn’t vacationing in Japan, but hopping a flight to LA and scoping out property for a combination day school/boarding school for MI kids… and the required animal shelter. 🙂 Just a dream, and it’s not even really mine, but just reading your blog makes me want to help make your dream come true.

    Technically I have no stake whatsoever in this fight, nobody I know has severe MI, but it looks like I’m not the only one who wants to join in and see what we can make happen.

  3. Another wonderful blog, Michael. I think there is hope for Jani, she will be okay. I understand your predicament, as my parents worry about the same thing: when they are gone, who is going to take care of me. I was diagnosed as having schizophrenia, bipolar, depression; however, those turned out to be false. It took us years to find out what was wrong with me–which is Asperger’s. I function well with a lot of support, I do well academically; however, the social and independent arena is where I fail miserably. I apply to UCLA as a psychology major this fall, however, I do not know how I am going to go to Los Angeles without my parents. Although, I am hoping the regional center will help me even though I am an adult now. What I am trying to say is that mental illness truly does take away from your potential and it impedes dreams and causes emotional pain due to stigma. Some are lucky and some are not. I think Jani will do great due to her support system and her bravery. I hope I can build up a support system as well, besides my family. I am not as brave as Jani, however, I am hoping I can start to build up my confidence and not worry about what others think. Did Susan tell you that I go to the same building as Jani does to see my doctor when we travel to L. A. I see a psychiatrist at the MCLA center. Fresno does not have any good services, so we travel to L. A. every month. Anyway, keep up the great work, I cannot wait to read your book in August. Good luck to you guys. Hopefully, I will see you guys in person one day. 🙂

    Note from Michael: You always got us, Ruben.

  4. You guys are doing such a great job. I am fascinated by your lives and your stories, and I often find myself coming back to this blog. And I’ve learned alot from reading it- about mental illness and about life in general. I really love how your main goal for Jani is for her to be happy- I think happiness is something that is often pushed aside, or replaced with stress as we grow older. Happiness is a goal we should all have for one another.

    Anyways, thanks for this blog. It’s a beautiful thing that you guys share your family’s struggles and immense love with all of us readers!

    Thanks,
    Izzy

  5. Future
    Really good blog considering that you had to answer those really scary questions.

    I agree with you about residential treatment. When I was 12 I was hospitalized because I was suicidal. There was a boy there, a little older than me, who had schizophrenia. The day after I arrived was the day he was supposed to be discharged. That morning, he threw a chair at one of the teens and the nurses had to restrain him and eventually give him a shot to knock him out then put him in the “quiet room.” He still was discharged that day. I remember one of the older teens on the unit told me that he was violent all the time but the “behavior modification” (not the term the teen used) wasn’t working so they had eventually just started sedating him and then letting him back out with the rest of us until he was violent again. The other kids/teens in the unit were focusing on working their way up the “levels” to get more freedom (going to the vending machines, drinking soda at dinner instead of milk or tea, etc.) To this boy, incentives for good behavior were lost to him. The hospital couldn’t handle him so he was given back to his parents…I always wondered what happened to him. I remember so clearly because I didn’t know that kids could have schizophrenia, but he did.

    I really hope that the book helps you get a house that you can leave for Jani and Bodhi. I really hope that you are able to establish that trust fund for them. I asked my mom once what will happen to me when they are too old to help me. I live in an apartment above my parents’ garage. I am not stable enough to live in an apartment somewhere in town. I don’t know if I will ever be stable enough to hold a job. When I asked my mom that question, she started to tear up. She says she doesn’t know what will happen but it does worry and scare her. It scares me as well. I can’t imagine how I will cope with life without the guidance of my parents.

    Those are just my thoughts on what you wrote, which again…was very good. I’m also glad to hear that Jani is progressing at school. From what I’ve read from you and Susan, she really seems to like to learn. I hope she continues to enjoy learning as a teen and as an adult.

  6. I recently told you how your compassion has taught me to be more patient with my friend who has bipolar…that same friend recently confessed to me that she was raped…twice. This got me thinking and worrying about Jani in conjunction with this blog, talking about her growing up and being interested in boys. With a lack of social skills, Jani is a prime target for predators who get their kicks from the disabled, be it mentally or physically.

    I hate to add to the firestorm of worries about her growing up, but it really scares me to think that Jani could be taken advantage of.

  7. Hang in there!
    Hang in there Jani’s daddy and of corse her mommy and brother and as always HANG IN THERE JANI!!!!!

    it’ll be alright….somehow

  8. Two Letters…NO
    My husband has Cystic Fibrosis and has had two bi-lateral lung transplants. I can’t tell you the number of times I have been asked your first three questions. My answer is always “are you fucking kidding me?” which always shuts people up right away. You might want to try it – it feels good! 😉

  9. Thank you
    Thank you for calling attention to childhood mental illness. My older brother has co-occurring schitzoaffective disorder along with drug addiction. He’s in his 30’s now, but his illness was obvious from the time when he was a baby, when he would bang his head on the ground to the point where he would lose consciousness. As a kid he was put-on and taken off medication and given multiple diagnosis’s until he started self-medicating with pot and crystal meth as a teenager. When we were growing up in the 80’s and early 90’s, even less was known and recognized about childhood mental illness. My parents just brushed off his paranoia’s that the radiation from the sun would kill him (he covered himself with tinfoil and wore it to school to reflect they rays) and that the government was monitoring what he watched on TV (at the age of 7). I remember a childhood of speaking in hushed tones in restaurants because he became hysterically upset if he thought that he was speaking loud enough so that someone could record what he was saying. My parents admit now that they handled his illness poorly. When they put him on medication, they said that the side effects made him tired, so they took him off his meds without looking at other options. I still have hope that with the correct treatment that he can become a productive adult, but much has been lost by not properly treating his illness in childhood.

    Keep fighting for your kids. You’re doing a good job. Children around the nation will benefit from your efforts.

  10. Michael,
    You might want to take a look at this article [url]http://schizophreniabulletin.oxfordjournals.org/content/23/1/105.full.pdf[/url], which describes a 42 year longitudinal study of 44 patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia. There’s also other research out there on childhood-onset schizophrenia and plenty more on adult schizophrenia. I just did a quick Google search and found a whole variety of things.

    Note from Michael: Interesting. I will have to read this study.

  11. Some people are just amazing!
    Mate, I stumbled upon your blog while watching some videos on the you tube, and – what an amazing family you are….

    As someone who knows and learns about these things through lives of others, by reading about it and watching documentaries, I can’t really ask anything constructive nor give some advice of that kind, so I guess even reading this what I am writing right now would just be a waste of your time, but this story and the effort and love you put in all this just left me speechless…
    I did my share of hard times and sorrow – I spent 4 years of my childhood in a devastating and horrible war, in Bosnia, seeing things that people can’t even imagine, so one of the prices I payed was – that my emotions went slightly numb and sometimes I find it hard to get moved by stories and problem of others, but this story of a brave, beautiful girl and her devoted and caring parents really did move me a lot…

    So, as I said, I know that my post wont be neither a constructive nor a helpful one, but I simply couldn’t stop myself and I had to write you and at least send you my best, BUT really and most sincere my BEST wishes for you, your son and wife and for that amazing and brave little angel you got there!
    I hope that, as the time goes by, medical scientists will find some more solid answers and offer some more efficient therapies to make it all easier for both you and Jani!
    Tho, I am 100% sure, and I am sure Jani feels the same – your and your wife’s love, devotion and care helps her more than any science, any medicine or theory! You people are one amazing and loving family and all I can do is to wish the best for you!

    Many greetings from Europe!

    M

    Note from Michael: Thank you, M, for your post. What can I say to someone who saw what you saw during the Bosnian War? I can’t even begin to imagine the horrors you witnessed.

  12. CURE FOR YOUR ILLNESS
    Hello Michael, Susan and January. I’m in Queretaro, Mexico (I’m mexican) and I’ve seen and prayed for your case, specially for Jani. Well, as Jesuschrist said: What in grace you’ve received, in grace you give it, and for the case what I mean is that the only way to liberate your lovely child is by the power of Jesus, as God. Receive Jesus in your heart as your Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10) and then pray for your child and even better if Real Christians pray for your whole family and help you in the process of being free of the demons attacks (This is the very matter. Really it is) Mathew 15:21-28. Read the scriptures. Ask for the correct help in the correct place (Real Christians) and you and all your family will be free. And because this is not a matter of a magic bottle, it’ll take time and patience but all of you will be free forever and besides we’ll be in Heaven together. Read the scriptures and more. Me and my wife and my daughter were in similar cases but now we’re free. We’ll be praying for you this month left, so I beg you to join us and pray with us for your daughter. Jesus loves you all. Jesus bless you. You’ll whitness the POWER OF JESUSCHRIST, but you must beleieve it (Hebrews 11:6). Now adays psychology and science name the attack as Squizofreny, but what it is, is what Jesus always has known, attack of demons and bad spirits (Every other spirit that is not The Holly Spirit of God). We have too many illness in this world, but they are not real illness, they are attacks, but people don’t believe that and that’s why we are this way. I say it again. It’s devil’s attack and the only one who defieted him was Jesuschrist (John 10:10). We love you and hope you take this seriously. Jesus will liberate you up.

  13. Calalini song
    Have you heard the song Calalini by Vocaloid? they wrote it for jani

    Note from Michael: Yes, I have. I like it but it’s not real accurate to Jani’s experience. She doesn’t seem afraid of her hallucinations but sometimes she does wish they would leave her alone.

  14. I commend you immensely!
    Schizophrenia is the most insidious disease ever. I had a close friend in high school who later became schizophrenic. It was devastating for his family and friends. Unfortunately he developed it as most people do, later in life. At least Jani has not known any different. You and your wife are amazing. I just pre-ordered your book. Most of the teachers in my department are waiting to read it. We have used articles and interviews that you have done in our classroom. Once again, unreal what you and your wife are doing.

  15. Born Schizophrenic: January’s Story
    Hello Michael,
    I just recently saw the show on TLC today and I wanted to ask if you all were believers? I do not want to offend you or your family if you’re not, but I just felt compelled to say something to you.

    I am a believer and as someone who believes in the scripture and spiritual warfare…when I saw the video of your daughter screaming for help “help, pull me out of here”…before she was diagnosed…I knew exactly what it was. When you said as a baby she would stare at things that weren’t there and follow it with her eyes. This is a sign that something is really there…spiritually there are things that are there whether we know it or not.

    There is a story in the Bible about a man who went to Jesus to ask him to heal his son; because his son would try and kill himself…he was tormented by demons. Jesus rebuked them out.
    Mark 9:14-29 New King James Version (NKJV)
    A Boy Is Healed
    14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. 16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”
    17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. 18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
    19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” 20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
    21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
    And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
    23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe,[a] all things are possible to him who believes.”
    24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
    25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
    28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
    29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”[b]
    When a child sees/talks to an imaginary friend…and that “friend” tells them to do something to hurt themselves there is a demon present.
    I do not know if you have heard this before or not, but I felt I needed to say something.

    Everything happens for a reason and I believe that you all make great parents. You are showing the world that if you all can get through this than other people will be inspired to not give up hope too.

    I am sorry if I offended you or your family by telling you this story, but I felt something tug at my heart. I will keep you all in my prayers.

    Sincerely,
    Elizabeth Rodriguez

    Note from Michael: No, I am not offended. I just don’t discuss my faith. It is the only aspect of my life I don’t share. It is my own. I believe in God and Christ but no, I don’t believe in “spiritual warfare,” at least of the type you believe.

  16. I don’t think jani is possessed. This is a biological disorder. I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder when i was 17 yrs old.(i’m 23 now) I showed some symptoms of schizophrenia when i was younger. My symptoms (for the bi-polor) started at 13 yrs old. When i was 16 almost 17 i started hearing voiced and have visual hallucinations (not all the time) i completely went out of reality. My parents didn’t know what to do. They told me I was a totally different person. I was hospitalized 6 time in 2 months. It wasn’t until i turned 20 i finally got control of my hallucinations. I still have my good days and bad days.

    I have always felt alone. I have never met anyone with schizophrenia/affective disorder. After watching your shows it has made me feel not alone. You two are amazing parents. I have HIGH HOPES for Jani. stay strong

    Note from Michael: Mimi, you are DEFINITELY not alone. If you are on Facebook contact us through http://www.facebook.com/janifoundation and we will get you into a wonderful, totally supportive and non-judgmental. I don’t want to put up the link here because the group is secret and closed to all but members. You can also email me at michaeljohnschofield@me.com.

  17. I BELIEVE THAT THIS SMART,GIFTED, YOUNG GIRL HAS NO MENTAL ILLNESS, BUT COULD POSSIBLY BE POSSESSED BY ONE OR MORE NEGATIVE ENTITIES.I RECOMMEND YOU LOOK INTO CHILD POSSESSIONS AND RESEARCH ON THE SYMPTOMS.IT’S A VERY COMMON OCCURRENCE,YET MISUNDERSTOOD. THEY SAY THAT JANI “HALLUCINATES”,AND SEES THINGS OR PEOPLE THAT AREN’T THERE. THESE ARE NO HALLUCINATIONS. JANI IS A VERY GIFTED KID THAT SEES WHAT OTHER PEOPLE CAN’T SEE . MANY CHILDREN HAVE THE ABILITY TO SEE THINGS FROM OTHER REALMS THAT ADULTS CAN’T SEE. BUT DOCTORS MISDIAGNOSE OUR KIDS AND POISON THEIR BODIES WITH THEIR “MEDICATIONS” THAT DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD.WHEN YOU SEE YOUR CHILD POINTING OR STARING AT “NOTHING”, MORE THAN LIKELY, THEY ARE ACTUALLY WITNESSING SOMETHING THAT HAS THEIR ATTENTION. JANI IS CRYING OUT FOR HELP BECAUSE SHE WANTS TO BE JANI AGAIN. THESE ENTITIES HAVE FULL CONTROL OVER HER MENTAL STATE. PLEASE IF YOU WANT TO HELP THIS YOUNG BEAUTIFUL GIRL, I SUGGEST YOU AT LEAST LOOK INTO DEMONIC POSSESSIONS AND GET IN TOUCH WITH A PRIEST IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY. DON’T GIVE UP ON JANI, THIS MAY BE THE ONLY THING THAT CAN HELP HER. THAN YOU CAN SAY “YOU TRIED EVERYTHING AND THERE’S NOTHING ELSE WE CAN DO” PLEASE LOOK INTO IT.

  18. Question, Michael: you say the latest research has it that schizophrenia is “a degenerative brain disease similar to Alzheimer’s.” But I have also heard that people with schizophrenia, as they get middle-aged and older, tend to kind of mellow out and be less symptomatic than they were when they were younger. Is my information incorrect? If not, how does this reconcile itself with the “degenerative brain disease” thing?

    I read a book once called “The Day The Voices Stopped” by a man whose schizophrenia struck him like lightning when he was fourteen. He wrote about the exact moment when he started hearing voices. He went through the usual misery of hospitalizations, suicide attempts, maltreatment, drugs that didn’t work, some trouble with the law, etc., and his family rejected him and refused to believe he was ill; they thought he was being difficult on purpose. Then finally, when he was like 50 years old, he found a drug that actually worked for him and his voices got quieter and quieter and eventually faded away entirely. And this was a man who had been sick for like 40 years by that point, and seen by just about everyone as being beyond help. I hope the same thing can happen to Jani.

    Note from Michael: Every case, every individual is different. Some get worse as they get older and some get better. There are a variety of factors. Active treatment does seem to slow down the progression of the illness. But if you watched the show you saw Dr. DeAntonio at UCLA say that it is very rare for children this severe to improve.

  19. Greetings and Support
    Support to you, your family and Jani. I’ve watched numerous videos about your family and my heart goes out to you.

    I was struck with sz at the age of 37 (I am now 41). What I’ve learned since then is that my college education and my prior adult experience in no way prepared me for the actual experience of psychosis. Even the words used do not articulate what one actually perceives. So hard to explain.

    I would like to reach out to you as an extended support network of people who know not only what Jani experiences from first hand experience, but also what it is like to be an average adult struggling with what may sometimes be overwhelming. I am @clearlysz on twitter and I also left my blog address.

    Your patience and your compassion are so laudable and I doubt you receive enough support and recognition for your endurance.

    All the best to you and Jani. 🙂

    Note from Michael: Are you on Facebook? We have a private closed support group for adult suffers of mental illness: https://www.facebook.com/groups/140248069431111/. You can also contact me directly at michaeljohnschofield@me.com or at http://www.facebook.com/janfoundation.

  20. Thank you for sharing I was so scared when I found out my
    son hears voices telling him to do bad things I was scared
    for our futures but I draw strength from people like yourself
    I know now we will make it living our lives as they unfold just
    like everybody does. Nobody wakes up and thinks today my
    life will end but for some it does. Nothing is for sure in this
    world and people like your family giving and sharing with the
    rest of us helps as you will never know. Thank you

    Note from Michael: Jayne, we have two completely private online support groups for parents with mentally ill kids so you can see that you are very much NOT alone. On Yahoo we have http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/parental-support/ and on Facebook we have https://www.facebook.com/groups/144622772289553/. Both are closed to all but members. You are always welcome in both.

  21. Jani is a blessing
    I just wanted to say that Jani is a blessing to me. The experiences you have had in your family and what you have shared have helped many other kids and their parents. What an inspiration. Sending many prayers your way to encourage you on and into the days ahead. 🙂

  22. important please read
    I am not going to shout this message for all to see and put in their 2 cents. There is a cure for this disease. No I’m not selling anything no I am affiliated with any drug company or TV company. I saw your show just now and am offering you help. Email for more info. I know this is your child and I will provide or consent to a background check of myself for you by ANY place of YOUR choosing. This is not a hoax and no I dont want anything from you.

    Note from Michael: Obviously you did not bother to read the blog that you are commenting on. There is no cure. To promote a “Cure” is to sell false hope and to diminish from the importance of providing quality of life services to mentally ill kids. There is no quick fix. Quick fixes never work.

  23. hey, i’ve been following january’s story for quite a while, and i know they edit things on tv, but it seems when she’s distracted from things like riding the horses, she doesn’t even mention numbers or anything like that but when she’s in a controlled environment or just plain bored, that’s when all this happens, couldn’t they maybe teach her distraction techniques like when you think of seven the cat, i don’t know think of ice cream tnen maybe the focus will switch, i don’t know i just was curious.

    Note from Michael: We are working on that. That is the eventual goal but it takes time. She is getting there.

  24. I just watched a documentary about Jani on TLC. I wanted to say that I will be praying for the four of you. I was also wondering if there is any schizophrenia organization I can donate to. Thanks so much. I am amazed by your strength through all this.

    Note from Michael: Thank you. There actually no specific non-profit that exists that focuses on providing services to children and families dealing with schizophrenia. If you would like to help financially, I encourage people to visit http://www.facebook.com/janifoundation. There are always families with schizophrenic or other severe mentally ill children struggling to make ends meet and we encourage people to make direct donations via paypal to those families. That way you know where you money is going, as opposed to faceless giant 501c3s. If you aren’t comfortable doing that, I suggest donating to Carousel Ranch, which is where Jani gets her equine therapy. They are a 501c3 and they really do help a lot of special needs kids. You can learn about them at http://www.carouselranch.org/. We support organizations that provide concrete services, not “awareness” programs, but that’s just us.

  25. For the idiots!!!
    You fucking idiot who believe that little girl is possess!!! I’m bipolar, and not possess. I know what is to not be in control of my action and words. Mental illness is painful for the family, the friends and for the person who live with it every single day. For the persons who believe that Is possession you are MENTALY RETARDED!! This little girl have a IQ of 146, what do you score??? I believe in GOD but not in stupid person like you. Sorry , to read comments like this pissed me off!!!

  26. I have to say I SO admire you and your wife’s dedication to allow your daughter the absolute best life she can have. I just saw the TLC show and can honestly say that I never knew Schizophrenia could hit children. I think that this is a great way to get the word out there, and raise some publicity on an issue that most people prefer not to think of. I pray that you are able to set up a home and trust fund for your children for after you pass, and that even more than that, in your lifetime you would see big strides forward in figuring out how to better manage this terrible disease.

    I also just have to say how much it irks me that people would say all you need to do is pray to get her better. I am a christian, I believe in the spiritual realm, but that in no way means that mental illness and psychosis is caused by this. I think the churches who would pass off mental illness as demon possession are doing a great disservice to those that suffer from this, when they should instead be working to support those who struggle. If this was my daughter, I have to be honest when I say that I would be FURIOUS at people for saying my precious child is possessed. Anyways. Sorry, I know a bit off topic and definitely venting.. it just angers me.

    Thank you for being willing to expose yourself to silly (to put it nicely) people, in order to get the word out there and raise publicity about the terrible disease that is mental illness. I know it opened my eyes to a problem I haven’t ever thought about deeply.

    Note from Michael: I am a believer as well and I believe God works through people. We are His tools.

  27. Hello Michael,
    I see that you already have some comments on here from people who are believers like me in the healing power of Jesus Christ. I know this probably seems repetitive for you to hear this again, but I hope you will seriously consider that your daughter may be under attack. I know if this were my child, the first place I would take them is to our church. There are some things that medicine can’t cure, and demonic possession is one of them. I just watched the documentary of your story on TLC, and all of the classic signs are there. What really tugged on my heart was when she was crying out for help. She is aware that she is being tormented, and she wants it to stop. She is aware that she has no control, and she is desperate to be free of the torment that she has been suffering since she was an infant. I know that you don’t believe in spiritual warfare, but it is very real. Jani cannot fight this battle alone. She is only a child. Please trust the Lord. I challenge you to begin a regular prayer schedule with your wife, pray for your daughter with sincerity and humbleness, and see if things don’t improve. What have you go to lose? God’s word is always true, he never lies. Jesus didn’t get up on that cross for nothing. By his stripes, we are healed. Start claiming that healing for Jani! I believe that you are wonderful parents that only want the best for your children, so please, I encourage you to actually exhaust every option. But I know for sure that you won’t have to try anything else if you turn to Jesus. I will keep your family in my prayers. God bless you.

    -Christine

    Note from Michael: Did you even read the blog that you are commenting on? I ask only because I address this at the very top. I guess my question to you is why is it so important to you to believe it is a demonic attack and not a biological illness? Do you tell people with cancer who express a desire to get out of their pain-filled bodies that they are under spiritual attack? I don’t ask this to mock your faith. It is a serious question.

  28. Thank you
    I watched your TLC show Born Schizophrenic last night and boy, I wish I had enough word to describe the amount of admiration that I have for both you and your amazing wife. What emotions grew inside me while watching. Such mixed feelings of sadness, joy, love, fear, anxiety….. I can’t even begin to imagine what you experience on a daily basis.

    I truly believe that you and your wife are angels. True angels that G-d picked to go down this journey of life. You have opened so many doors to people that need help. You have brought attention to such an important subject that the majority of people have NO CLUE about. The recourses that you have enlightened other families going through the same situation, is priceless. The courage and strength that you have given to others is such a blessing.

    In my opinion, the most amazing accomplishment with this devastating situation is that you and your wife have turned this whole experience into such a positive outcome. From tears to smiles, from fear of the unknown to answers, from not knowing how to deal with frustration to coping mechanisms for the day to run smooth ….. I could go on and on!
    BRAVO , BRAVO, BRAVO to you both.

    Watching the show helped me. You and your wife sure taught me how to improve the way I handle situations in life. I will everyday think of you when I strive to better my decision and choice making. For every action there is a reaction. Watching the patience, calmness and the state of endurance of you both under difficult circumstances is one of the best examples for me to emulate.

    Your gorgeous and loving children will be in my prayers.
    G-d bless your whole family.

    Tiffany

    Note from Michael: Thank you, Tiffany. I wish I could say I felt that patience every moment of the day. Trust me, I’m no angel. I lose my cool. But when I do I just try to remember that whatever frustration I feel, Jani got the worse end of the deal. I am still a work in progress as much as Jani, trying to get better, trying to be a better person for her and Bodhi.

  29. Watched last nite,don’t know quite what to say…just wanted you to know that I will be praying for your family. I was so moved by your dedication and determnation to what is best for your children. Please tell Jani that I think she is awesome and that I send her sunshine and rainbows.

    Sue Adams
    Macon, GA

    Note from Michael: Thank you, Sue. I will.

  30. Just became aware of your story last night.
    I am the father of a 16 year old mentally ill child. He is not as severe as Jani, but many of our challenges echo yours…with the added complication that my “child” is 6’2” and weighs 200 lbs.
    My wife and I were very moved by the special on Jani. We were moved by the extremity of your circumstances as well as by your devotion to your child. I will admit that, selfishly, we were also moved because the show was, indirectly, an accurate depiction of the impact our son’s mental illness has on our lives.
    When I am asked how I deal with our situation, I say that every day I wake up in the middle of a vast ocean. I cannot possible reach or even see any shore. I have exactly two options, tread water, or not. I choose to tread water.
    If there were any prayers left in me, I would pray for you and your family. I can at least thank you for the inspiration and for the knowledge that I am not alone in this ocean.

    Note from Michael: No, Steve, you are DEFINITELY not alone on that ocean. There are so many other parents. It is great to hear from another father. There aren’t too many of us. I don’t know if you are interested in any private online support groups but we have two for parents of MI kids: one on facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/144622772289553/ and one on yahoo: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/parental-support/. Both are completely private and closed to all but members. It would be nice to have you and hear from another father:)

  31. You are both amazing parents.
    I turned on the TV yesterday and the documentary about your daughter was on. I just want to say, both you and your wife are amazing parents. The amount of patience and love that you both have is extraordinary. I am so happy to see two individuals that are working together to give this little girl the best quality of life possible. I work with children and if just a few of the parents had the level of patience and understanding that you two have, the world would be a better place. Please keep up the good work.

    Note from Michael: Love is easy. Patience takes effort. It takes us taking our own medication and constantly remembering that Jani’s behavior is a product of her illness. It takes a commitment to our children above ourselves. My point is, it takes a lot of work. I don’t want people to think it comes easy.

  32. Thank you
    You are a great writer and a truly fantastic parent. Thank you for using your voice to educate people like me and also support others dealing with mental illness. I saw the show last night on TLC and was really touched by the love you and Susan have for your children and the courage that it gives you to do anything for their happiness. Hats off to you. God bless you and your family!

  33. I just wanted to say thank you! thank you for sharing your family and educating us. I watch and take note. I have a family memeber whom is older and has schizophrenia. It wasn’t something that was known about. You are putting this out here for all to see and know that this MI is true and more people have then we know. Your family is a family that we all can only hope to be. A true example of a family. I will always watch and hope for all the things your family deserve. I look forward to seeing Jani and Bhrodi on that big farm taking care of the animals and living off the land! It will happen ….always hope and never ever give up. This is what I learned from watching your family and always stick together. best wishes…take it day by day….live for today! thanks once again to your entire family!

  34. Schofield family,

    I’m truly sorry people continue to blame her illness on “demonic possesion” or “lack of prayer”. Your family is in my thoughts and I hope will all of my heart that some sort of resolution is found to give your family the peace it deserves. Stay strong.

  35. I watched the show last night on TLC, I am absolutely moved and amazed by this family and all they have been through and will go through. These parents are beautiful and their love for their children is so moving. The times when Jani looks just exhausted and her eyes are so tired and she can’t escape from her mental illness just break my heart – Thank God for her family and the people who support them all. Much love to you all

    Note from Michael: Thank you.

  36. Michael,
    Here is a serious answer to your question. I am not saying that there is absolutely no chance that Jani actually has schizophrenia, unrelated to demon possession. People who believe that every sickness, be it physical or mental, is 100% of the time a demon possession, have adopted weird and wacky beliefs. I just want to make it clear that I’m not one of those people. I know that genetics and abnormal brain chemistry and structure can cause these symptoms too. All I was saying is that there is a possibility, which if it were my child, I would explore that possibility. I would want to rule out all possibilities before exploring our options for treatment. That being said, even if there is no demon possession in Jani’s case, I can tell you that God heals all sickness, not just spiritual, but physical too. I can tell you this firsthand, as I have experienced it for myself and witnessed it within my own family and church. Please understand that I’m not some religious extremist. I’m just your average Christian woman that is concerned for all life, especially God’s greatest creations: us human beings. If I misspoke in my previous comment, I apologize. I meant no disrespect to you or your family, and I hope I haven’t offended you in any way. I absolutely believe in the power of prayer and the healing power of the Lord, and I only wanted to share that with you, to give you some hope and encouragement, because I know that what your family is going through is by no means easy. I can just imagine the day to day struggles. I will keep your family in my prayers.

    -Christine

  37. Michael, I am so moved by the grace with which you handle people’s insistance that mental illness is demonic posession. I have a mentally ill son, who had a 3 month pyschotic break at age 8. My husband and I, both followers of Jesus,have had to deal with that preception from other Christians. No, we don’t believe that our sweet boy, who innocently loves God with his whole heart, is posessed; his mind is ill. Much less exciting,and way harder to fix than demon possesion…
    On another note tonight I was struggling with my own questions about my son’s future and your writing comforts me. Thank you. All the best to you and your family.

    Note from Michael: Dear Naomi, we have two totally private, member only secure online support groups with parents going through what you are going through. Faith and science are not mutually exclusive. God works through people. God sends people to help us. If you are on Facebook, we have a Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/144622772289553/ and we also have a private Yahoo group: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/parental-support/. You and your husband are welcome in one or both!

  38. I just watched the two TV segments about Jani’s illness and tour family. I pray for you all, especially for you and your wife to have some time together; time for the marriage that brought theses two lovely children into the world.

  39. Have you tried
    Dear Parents of Jani , Have you tried classical homeopathy for your little girl? There are several remedy provings that are related to the symptom picture and behaviour you describe. You might want to try to contact Professor George Vithoulkas in Greece. He is the world’s greatest classical homeopath, and the recipient of the Swedish Government’s Alternative Nobel Prize, The Right Livelihood Award, for his contribution to homeopathy. George Vithoulkas is a great man and a wonderful, loving man. He is the best. You can contact him through his website: http://www.vithoulkas.com -he has an academy on the ilsand of Alonissos. The great thing about homeopathic treatment is that it has no side effects and you need very few treatments. Homeopathic remedies are very inexpensive, pennies, actually- so there would be all to win, nothing to lose. I completely fell in love with homeopathy when I was treated by a doctor, with homeopathy, at a Berlin hospital 19 years ago for 26 years of serious asthma, hay fever ,and eczema . I expected nothing – but in 8 days, 26 years of serious illness was gone. That is 19 years ago. I have been well since. I’m not suggesting that treating your daughter would be as simple, but the method is deep and gentle and I have seen fine, remarkable results treating emotional/mental disease with homeopathy. I myself ended up studying and going to homeopathic college in the U.K. and I have been practicing now for 10 years- and am starting to work on a Masters Degree in Homeopathy at a university in the U.K. in the fall. So this is a very serious proposal. With great warmth, I encourage you to try to contact Professor Vithoulkas in Greece.Warm regards-

    Note from Michael: I do not support alternative medicines as a REPLACEMENT for medication. In addition, to if parents choose, but I am not going to put Jani through unproven treatments.

  40. LSW
    Dear Michael,
    Your story is so moving. I’ve been doing case management and now family therapy for both adults and kids (often in the same home) for years. I’ve known a couple “early onset schizphrenia” instances, but both were pre-teens at diagnosis with some insight into what is real and what is hallucination.
    I don’t want to jump on the “have you thought of this bandwagon”, but watching Jani’s videos made me think very strongly on a few of my own family members (all on the same side, yay genetics) who are diagnosed with everything from autism to mood disorders to schizophrenia. I believe it’s the same chemical/neurotransmitter problem manifesting in different ways. Really, the diagnosis doesn’t matter except for billing purposes because you are doing exactly what you should be doing; taking every symptom at a time, measuring the effectiveness of medication and treatment on that symptom, and moving on. This will be an endlessly repeated cycle until we get Star Trek tricorders that can measure our neurotransmitters without autopsy!
    Thank you for getting your story out. I plan to refer some of my families to your blog for inspiration and support. I’m currently an in-home MST therapist to help families with teens who are on probation or who sexually act out. Most aren’t traditionally mentally ill, but a couple definitely have some breaks with reality happening and the parents don’t understand what they did wrong with their kid, especially if other kids in the home did well. Truth is, problems in brain chemistry and function can easily win out over nurture. Your videos show her pain from her illness, but also the affection she has known from her loved ones. That may make all the difference. Kudos to you, your family and friends.
    FWIW if you decide to leave CA, where I live in Maine is gorgeous and we have programs that are geared toward providing up to 1:1 24/7 supports to kids at home who would otherwise be placed in care. (Called “residential at-home”.) The state has seen a substantial savings by getting individualized services in the home and community rather than operating even more hospitals and group homes. As you can imagine, overhead for these huge buildings is ridiculous and the distance families would have to travel to the “local” facility could be 4-6 hours one way in the same state! We like to take care of our own here, in their own homes, schools and communities.
    Bright Blessings to you and your family.
    Amy

    Note from Michael: I agree. I indeed think we are dealing with a spectrum in which all autism and MI sits. That is why in our advocacy I don’t draw a separation between kids with autism and kids with MI. Also autism can look like MI and vice versa.

    We have no plans to move to Maine but I do have a family in Augusta that perhaps you might be able to help with referrals for care. Can you email me at michaeljohnschofield@me.com or you can contact me via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/janifoundation.

  41. Dear Michael,

    I kinda do understand now as I read your posts about how my parents must have felt when I went on my first psychotic break. That was when I was 16. Prior to losing complete control and landing myself in the psych ward, I had been hallucinating for the past 2 years, on and off till the voices were like a non stop constant companion who wouldn’t shut up. My grades in school slipped (was no longer a straight A student). I couldn’t focus in class as all I could hear we’re the 3-4 people in my head telling me things and screaming at me.

    Am in college now and things have stabilized. Only thing is during manic episodes or incredibly bad depressive episodes they return and give me a tonne of hell. I agree with you that medication helps. Mine have, esp the antipsychotics which helped calm the voices in my head and the mania. They also stop me from seeing the things I do. My church leaders actually made me believe it was Satan n his demons living in my head, but I now know it isn’t. And just like Jani (I’m the oldest at home) , my younger brother is severely autistic. So I do understand how tight finances can be at home with 2 such kids..

    I applaud you for actually understanding how your kid feels and not being judgmental towards her about the things she sees and hears.. Till this day, I can’t tell my parents anything at all. They always end up scolding me for it (I’ve no idea why they do that, but they still do) . Even when the voices are blaring at its worst, I still have to work around it. School’s still really hard at times, but I agree that a good support system is needed and crucial to getting through.

    Lastly just 2 qns:

    any suggestions on how I should approach my parents when I realize I’m losing it ? I often do not have the guts to do so , and that’s when things tend to spiral out of control..

    And is there any form of psycho therapy that works (or that you’ve tried)?

    Note from Michael: Well, first I would join our private closed support group for adults with mental illness on Facebook. It is a great group with wonderful people just like you. You need a community where you feel safe to talk about whatever you need to. When things start to spiral out of control, there will be people right there with you to talk you back. https://www.facebook.com/groups/140248069431111/. Since you are over 18, I would start there. Yes, it would be nice to be able to communicate with your parents. My guess is that they react that way not because they are bad people but because they are afraid: not of you but of your illness. Specifically, it makes them feel powerless when you talk about your hallucinations and voices. As a parent, it is hard to hear your child suffering and know there isn’t a damn thing you can do to help. That feeling of powerlessness can lead to hostility. And even I get that way sometimes and don’t want to hear what Jani has to say.

    I’m not a huge believer is traditional psychotherapy for those who suffer from psychosis. Sitting in an office for fifty minutes across from someone can feel very threatening. What works is community based therapy or interaction based therapy where the therapy is based on learning to deal and to respond to stressful situations that can trigger psychosis. Unfortunately, it is really hard to find a therapist who will do that. It took us years to find a therapist like that for Jani.

  42. Michael,

    It is scary to think toward the future, I know. And it is easy to hear bad stories of outcome from others and feel fear, etc. As a person with severe childhood onset mental illness, I want you to remember that Jani is NOT having the typical experience of such a child. You and Susan are smart. and caring. and proactive. All of these things will NO DOUBT have an impact on the outcome. You say she feels the impact of her meds, right? As she grows and matures, with teaching she will understand that she must keep taking them. She will. Heavy duty psych meds suck – Im not gonna lie. But I think you know that already. As an adult though, I recognize things that I did not as a kid. Thorazine … haldol … awful side effects for me. After some trial and error though, i learned that when you DONT keep taking them you end up on a huge dose in the hospital just got get things back under control. The pros do outweigh the cons if you learn from experience. She’ll get there, you are teaching her the way.

    I have written before and want to convey the same message. There is hope, Micheal. Please know that. Everyone has their own measure of success. Jani has made so much progress in the last few years – with time, maturity, her family, and effort she will find her way. I am not naieve, not do I misunderstand the implications of such illnesses. I was there. I am there. I will always be there. So will she, but ‘there’ does not have to be all bad. It makes me sad it see the jumps people take to extremes based on stereotypes. I know there was no ill spiritedness, but it hits hard when that is your reality. I am a bit odd for, despite severe depression on top of everything else, I am able to see my measure as a person.

    Have faith in yourselves. Have faith in Jani. There are a lot of us rooting for you and doing what we can to aid progress in research, treatment, and education. I’m going to keep throwing you this reminder when it seems relevant – maybe on some level it will draw focus away from the ‘worst case scenario’ that often over shadows everything.

    Liz

    Note from Michael: Every so often a comment leaves me speechless (in a good way). This is one of those comments. There really aren’t words to respond:)

  43. Holding on to your little girl
    because of your friend that was bipolar that is why you hold onto Jani so much! its terrifying to even imagine that happening to your little girl!

  44. Michael,

    My sister has an 11 year old son who has been diagnosed with bi-polar since 4 years old. He has been in and out of the hospital many times as well. He can be violent and aggressive and as he gets older she is very concerned about the safety of her younger son and other children in the community. The thought is now that he is showing signs of having schizo-affective disorder, though his MRI showed some indications that this is could be more of a neurological disease? He will undergo futher testing to rule this out before a definite diagnosis of schizo-affective. He is on major amounts of medication and he is a “fast metabolizer” which does not help. My sister is a single mom and made the decision along with her medical “team” that he would be better in residential after may scary incidents in the home and at school. He has only been in for 2 1/2 weeks and just told his mother that his roommate sexually abuses him at night. We are beside ourselves. This is a seemingly impossible situation. How do you keep both children safe? Our sincere hope was that residential would provide the answer but clearly it will not.

    My sister and I watched you all on TV last week and she commented to me that you seem so strong and are such wonderful advocates. She has done SO MUCH for her son and has tried to keep him in her home for as long as possible, probably even to the detriment of her younger son. I am not sure now what she will do. Anyway, please keep up the hard fight for your children and I wish you the best. Children should not have to suffer like this but it is nice to know they have such strong advocates fighting for them to live as happy and “normal” life as possible.

    God Bless…

    Note from Michael: Leslie, please have your sister contact me at michaeljohnschofield@me.com or via Facebook at facebook.com/janifoundation. She is in a tough position. We were able to do the two apartments because there were two parents. Your sister is a single mom. We also had financial help. Is there other family locally without children who would be willing to take him?

    If not, have her contact me. First, we have a couple of support groups. Second, I can research the residential facility her son is in and what other options for placement (if any) were presented to her. Unfortunately, if her son is saying that he was sexually abused he is probably right. Kids don’t tend to lie about that stuff. Has he told staff? He may not have because he may have been confused. Every residential is different. Some are good and some are very, very bad. The problem is they tend to become a catch-all for all children who can’t function at home. So you get what are essentially juvenile delinquents along with kids with mental illness who are at risk for victimization. Please have her contact me. If nothing else I can publicly lean on the residential to do a better job of maintaining safety.

  45. My son is Schizophrenic too
    Michael, I only caught the last 20 minutes of your story on the Learning Channel but have found clips on youtube. Our son, Jesse is 15 1/2 years old and is currently in the hospital (his 6th hospitalization since January of this year). His medication is off balance and he became dangerous to himself. He was/is having suicidal thoughts and has tried to choke himself with his hands and clothing. He tried to hang himself from his shower hose, though he only told me about it after he had gotten out of the shower, so in actuality, he probably just put his neck through it. The saddest part of this is that he doesn’t want to have these suicidal thoughts and they are torturing him. Jesse is also PDD, which was diagnosed at age 5. I would love to learn more about your daughter, how you came to write your daughter’s story and any information we could swap would be much appreciated. I do not have your email address, so I have given you mine in the hopes that you will contact me! Thanks so very much, I look forward to hearing from you! – Sharon Firester

    Note from Michael: Sharon, my email address is michaeljohnschofield@me.com or you can reach me via Facebook at facebook.com/janifoundation. We have a couple of wonderful private support groups. One is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/144622772289553/ and one at Yahoo http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/parental-support/. As for how the book came to be, my first writing on Jani were Facebook statuses and long comment threads after where I would go through the events of the day (Jani was in UCLA for four months during this time). I was venting and I think trying to find some sense in what was happening. It was my way of creating order out of chaos. I considered writing a book but how it happened was entirely by accident. We happened to have a friend who knew the health reporter for the LA Times and who unbeknownst to us shared our story. She contacted us and followed us for a few months. The LA Times piece (which was pretty significant and I think is posted under “media”) led to Oprah. I had an attorney and he reached out to agents he knew. Two responded. I talked to both of them and went with the one who would let me write the story myself. Then my agent worked with me on a proposal and that along with my blog was sent to publishers. Two expressed interest and one, Crown (then Broadway) said yes. So I would encourage you to start a blog. I would be more than happy to put up a link to it on this website.

  46. How can I make family see? Terrified and now helpless.
    Preempting length apology here: My son was initially diagnosed with schizophrenia, though I was not entirely sure. My suspicious were confirmed when, at my son’s therapist’s recommendation, I hospitalize him. He was not quite 6 and gave disturbing answers during play therapy. The incident that set off getting a therapist? Creeping into our newborn’s room and dumping baby soap all over his face. Question? Why? His answer: I had to make him cry. He stayed at Grandma’s 6 hours away after that thinking it was just new brother syndrome on steroids and he was enrolled in a special school attending to behavior problems. When he got home, it was no better and eventually ended up in acute care for a week where they dialed in on severe bipolar. He was hearing things but not seeing them, the moods, etc. He was suicidal and experiencing hypomania. Still a guess, but a better guess based on him.

    While he was at Grandma’s he was the only one, the focus and thus watched and entertained constantly. He’s been in Risperadal and recently went through more medication changes. He’s now 8 – and back at Grandma’s (along with brothers). I have 4 boys now, he who is 8, a 4 year old and 16 month old twins.

    My mother has never been convinced he even has an issue, aside from the early stages when he stayed there, she’s never been around him for more than a couple days and never without me, but never before has not given him his meds. She’s now 20 hours away with my kids but I had to have a hysterectomy and my husband had no ability for time off so our hands were tied at this point because I couldn’t at all care for them properly. Not 4, not my bipolar son and toddlers. They have been there several weeks and my son told me he’s off his meds. Though Jani is more obvious, both her and my in-laws excuse it as boys being boys behaviors (frustratingly so, now that I believe the severe violence from my brother when I was little may be connected, broken bones, knocked my teeth out). My in-laws spend a few hours a year with my sons. I can’t make them SEE. With him and his meds, he’s thankfully well-managed and not zombified too badly. Now during our phone calls every other day, I hear about an incidence of violence or stress and Grandma still says “He’s fine, it was just that once”. He won’t couple home for a couple weeks, and she’s making excuses not to pick up his meds. My middle son, was put on guanfacine at 3 because his violence is far worse than my oldest. I pulled him off and am working on sleep meds only.

    I’ve already battled so hard in so many places, it’s the reason I homeschool my oldest. They, after two hospitalizations (which means of course multiple doctors confirming, adjusting meds, and so on), medicine changes, and knowing he’s been in therapy – they still think he’s fine!! >:( Yes he was managed, that’s why things “looked” fine, though we still had meltdowns. Since he’s not medicated now, I’m not even sure I can trust Grandma to come to our home while we get away for a day or two.

    I’m terrified off his meds, he might hurt his littler brothers. The littler ones are in their own rooms, my mother in her room and their rooms come before hers in her house. But there’s nothing I can do but talk from here, talk to her and be “polite” though my mind wants to give her an ultimatum and give my son what I’m calling phone therapy to let him vent, let him talk about things and reminding him of calming techniques. But I’m not on the phone 24/7!

    She doesn’t get it, in fact, no one in either family does. None of them spend more than a few hours a year with my kids.

    Thank you as well for sharing Jani’s Journey.

    Note from Michael: No, you don’t have to be polite! You are his custodial parent, right? Not grandma. If grandma has no legal rights as custodian then she cannot decide to not give him his meds. Tell her that. And if she still doesn’t comply, then you have no choice but to call CPS on the grounds that Grandma is violating doctor’s orders by not giving your son his meds which makes him a danger to your toddlers. Mary, your mother may be your mother but when it comes to your kids you have to do what you have to do and if that means playing hardball then so be it. I also think you need some support. We have two private support groups: https://www.facebook.com/groups/144622772289553/ and http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/parental-support/

  47. Jani’s story
    I just pre-ordered January First!
    I am looking forward to reading it because I have been following her story from almost the beginning of the blog.
    What a courageous girl! I know first hand what it is like to grow up with a severe mental illness. I have schizoaffective disorder and I have had it since I was a preteen…

    You blog has shown me, and other young people that we are not alone in our struggles. I am glad to see so many families dedicated to their special needs children. I am also glad to see people fighting stigma of SMI in young people. We really have a long journey ahead in terms of breaking prejudice and educating people who are painfully ignorant but, I am optimistic that someday people will ‘smarten up’ (hopefully sooner than later though)

    Note from Michael: Lindsay, if you are on Facebook we have a private, members only support group for adults with MI. If you come to facebook.com/janifoudnation I can friend you and then give you the link. The group is secret so if I give you link right now you won’t be able to see it. You have to be friends with one of the admins.

  48. Michael,

    A question for you, sir. This is certainly not unique – but as an adult with severe MI, I now find myself struggling with the guilt that my young child is beginning along a similar path. Given my experiences, which began in early childhood, its hard to wrap my head around the fact that I am responsible for the possiblility that another human being may have to go through all of this too. You’ve noted a family history for both you and Susan; is the nagging feeling of guilt over your child’s illness something that has/still troubled you? Have you have found it to ‘ease’ over time? I’m still new to this aspect of ‘the game’ and am looking for some perspective. I’m a hopeful person, quite so, but everything feels so … different … when you think of your little one’s future – and can only see your own painful past as the path. I am generally so determined and shoulder whatever comes – so asking for perspective when I feel judged by others for my actions is really tough. Like minded individuals with similar experiences are few and far between.

    Liz

    Note from Michael: I can’t say it ever goes away but the way I look at it is: it doesn’t really matter. What your or my genetics caused really doesn’t matter. Our children are here. We can’t roll back time. We can only do the best for them now. Worrying about what might have been is pointless. I also think that our children are entitled to life. It was not our call to decide whether they should exist or not. How can I look at Jani or Bodhi and say I wish they had never been born? Even knowing what I know now, I don’t think I would have not had kids. Maybe that is selfish of me but I can’t imagine my life without them and I think the world would be a lessor place without them.

  49. MS.
    I am a mental health counseling student with the eventual goal of becoming a clinical psychologist specializing in children with a variety of mental health problems. I remember watching your story on Oprah and it has always stuck with me. It is a perfect example of both the failings of our system for treating (severe) mental health problems in children and also who a families steadfast support and advocacy is more powerful that any medication or therapy. I am pleased that things seem to be getting better for you and Jani and your family, then when you were on Oprah. I hope that things continue to improve. I have seen young people with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder go on to prestigious colleges, graduate and be successful, so don’t lose hope yet. There is an amazing book called the Quiet Room which analyzing in my counseling classes. It’s about a young woman with Schizophrenia and her journey of recovery (mostly takes place in the 1970s and 80s, things have somewhat improved then). She first had psychotic symptoms at 16 or 17, so early, but not childhood-onset. The author of the book, Lori Schiller, eventually reached sustained recovery, is now married and living independently and working as a peer counselor for others with Schizophrenia.

    Anyway, what I wanted to say it is that it is my dream to start a foundation like Make-a-Wish Foundation that grants wishes to children and families battling severe psychiatric conditions. The child would obviously have to be stable enough to enjoy it. To my knowledge, there are currently no other groups doing this, even though there are hundred of groups granting wishes to children with childhood cancer and other serious “physical” illness. If not a wish-granting organization specifically, a support organization that helps families dealing with mental illness get some peace for a few days and maybe sleep a little easier at night, for example helping with rent or help with logistics to take short vacation or something like that.

    What do you think of this idea? Do you know of any other groups doing such a thing? I plan to write to Make -a-Wish and ask them to include Childhood Schizophrenia and other severe mental health disorders affecting children in there list of “eligible life-threatening conditions”, assuming appropiate severity, doctor referral, and parent permission.

    Note from Michael: I think it is a great idea and no, there are no organizations providing either “wish-granting” or respite care. Email me at michaeljohnschofield@me.com or Susan at susandschofield@me.com. Your ideas are similar to ours and we would like to help in any way we can.

  50. question
    hi i don’t want to come off as rude or ignorant, i simply am just curious, i have been watching januarys first and second show and wondering about your son bohdi, do you think he could just be coping jani’s words or behavior from growing up around her? i know youve had doctors/psychiatrists obviously diagnose him but it dosnt seem uncommon for a toddler to dot hat. hes watched his older sister act a certain way and say thing mayb that could b why hes adopted these beahvoirs? just wondering have you ever thought that was a possibility or no?

    Note from Michael: I think it’s unlikely. Bodhi was an infant during the time that Jani was most acute. Then they were largely separate for two years while we lived in separate apartments and Bodhi’s behaviors began before we moved back together. Finally, Bodhi’s behaviors are not really like Jani’s. There are fairly significant differences.

  51. Cant find the login form….
    Michael and Susan,
    I cannot find the Login form on your page so I can create an account. Does this option not exsist if not let me know either way via email. Id love to register.
    Have a wonderful month as smmer ends so soon.

    Note from Michael: The login form is for me, not for guests to the page. You can subscribe to the blog.

    Renee

  52. Hello Parents
    Hello

    It may come off as funny but somehow I have always thought that Schizophrenic people can see the world in other dimension. Like traveling in two different time zones simultaneously.

    However, I wonder how would they react if we tell them that we too see imaginary friends. What if we ask for their acceptance on the existence of our imaginary friends? What if we tell them that we can see their imaginary friends or hallucinations but they appear different to us- like change in color or size.

    Would that build their trust in us? Or will they feel the discomfort that others feel while they are talk about things that do not exist. How do they respond to such theory?

    Note from Michael: I do acknowledge Jani’s hallucinations as real to her. I can’t see them and she knows this but I still treat them as real because for her they are as real as this computer I am writing on. I am not sure it is a good idea to lie and say you see the hallucinations but I definitely think it builds trust to acknowledge that they are real to the person who has them. And they are not “imaginary friends.” Imaginary friends can be controlled. Hallucinations cannot be controlled. Each person with mental illness has different needs. Some are frightened by their hallucinations and you want to bring them out. Either way, the goal is to re-engage the person with our world by getting them into a conversation with you.

  53. Officially Touched
    This story has affected my perception of the people around me so much. I no longer see a person as “that weird kid with issues,” or “the hopeless case.” I see them as oppurtuntiy.
    My little brother has a very good friend, with autism. He is very hyper, moody, and kind. I find myself comparing him to Jani a lot, because neither of them have a firm grasp on their emotions.

    Also, a note about God healing Jani-
    He probably won’t. I am a believer, but I think, if god was going to cure Jani, he wouldn’t have given Susan the idea of two apartments. God is trying to make life more bearable for the Schofields. He made Jani the way she is for a reason.

    Best of Wishes,
    Kat

  54. serious mental illness vs. spiritual warfare
    Hello Michael,
    I am 41yrs. old and was diagnosed as having schizoaffective disorder at 27 after multiple hospitalizations and suicide attempts. I first experienced hearing voices as a child and assumed then that they were from demons. I struggled with soical issues and depression throughout highschool and with increased psychosis in college. The idea that I was under spiritual warfare was perpetuated by my family and myself so much so that I did not seek mental health care until I had a complete psychotic break in graduate school. Please, people of faith who believe in demon possession and the like, this is counterproductive e appropriate treatment of persons with serious mental/behavioral issues. Mr. and Mrs. Schofeild, you are blessings to your children and to all who struggle with these issues. Thank you for helping to shine a light on mental illness.

    Note from Michael: Thank you for sharing your story, Debra.

  55. Re: Do i think they are possesed?
    You are an amazing family. I wish you all the best in the future. Please dont leave any stone unturned, nor let your beliefs or anything stop you from trying everything you can. With that said please go to a latin priest as their exorcist prayers hold the fullness of Gods power and mercy. Read please Fr Amorths book called ‘An Exorcist Tells His Story. 30 yrs full time doing this work and you will know the origin as demonic by the first appointment. As Jani will no doubt play up to stop it. God BLess please act on this, love goes all the way and this will help you all. bye xoxoxoxo

  56. DEMON POSSESION
    Jani is possessed. She is going through spiritual warfare. Her parents need to stop writing books,seeing doctors and feeding her meds and seek Jesus Christ ASAP! Schizophrenia is nothing more than demonic possesion. I used to hear voices, and have racing thoughts when I first got saved and with prayer (and casting out demons) the voices went away. The devil is a liar. Please pray for this child. Her parents need to bring Christianity into their lives ASAP and save this child.

    Note from Michael: Jani is not possessed. She has a biological illness, like cancer. First, you make assumptions we have no faith. Our faith is our own and I know Christ looks out for Jani. Second, I would never endorse the “driving out of demons” with a child. It is dangerous and traumatic. Any serious person of Christ would tell you that. No legitimate church endorses exorcisms.

  57. I have faith she will recover!
    Ok I saw Jani’s story on Dr. Phil today & the moment it came on I was so grieved in my heart for not only her & the torment she endures daily but for your family as a whole. I fought tears watching it, but since I saw the previews I wanted to watch b/c I’ve always taken a huge interest into psychological disorders I have a degree in criminal justice & one of my favorite classes was ‘abnormal psychology’. I personally suffered from major depression a susposaed personality disorder an anxiety disorder ADHD/ADD & my family has told me for years they think I’m bipolar & schizophrenic as well. I’ve been to numerous counselors psychologist psychiatrist mental health professionals & have been put on at least 9 different types of meds over the past 10 years of my life & the only official diagnosis I got from a psychiatrist was ADHD & an anxiety disorder. I wanted to share a little of my story before mentioning the way I view ‘mental disorders’ now since I’ve came to Christ & faithfully been involved in the deliverance ministry for about 8 months now. I read the previous comments & your responses about not believing its anything to do w/ demonic influences & you don’t discuss your faith but you believe in God & Christ. Well first off how can you be so sure it’s nothing demonic when we can’t see into the spirit realm? We can’t see God yet you say you believe but haven’t experienced His healing power or the deliverance of Jesus in your daughter b/c you don’t believe in ‘spiritual warfare’, therefore haven’t seeked deliverance? Someone doesn’t have to be spitting out pea soup & their head spinning to have a demon dwelling in them. People that accept Chist have the spirit of God dwelling in them..in other words they’re possed by the spirit of God. A persons character personality nature of behavior is governed by what possess them by what compels them if the spirit of God then they do everything out of love are spiritual & grieved over other people hurting or being deceived, if demons then it is whatever the nature of the demon is examples anger unforgiveness bitterness depression death suicide lust addiction infirmity (illness physical or mental) rejection rebellion control & the list goes on & on, if both then there’s a mix between manifestations of God & of the demon(s). God wants EVERYONE to see the truth & be healed from any kind of sickness & set free from any kind of opression or control, & that’s what demons do is try to control people they manipulate lie control the mind (aka mental illness) & even physical behaviors (aka manifestations). I want to make it clear that demons are fallen angels …what is the devil/Satan..a fallen angel he was the most beautiful angel God created but he wanted to have the power God did God knew & he was cast out of Heaven w/ his followers his name was lucifer & he’s the ruler of the earth the prince of darkness & power of the air (we can’t see the wind but it destroys things during bad storms right?) Here I’ll share scriptures as proof that ‘spiritual warfare’ is the story of a believers life & the teachings of Jesus includes casting out demons/deliverance from demonic possessions & healing (from physical & mental illnesses)!
    Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (NKJV)

  58. Beautiful Girl
    I have been following Jani’s story since the first TLC documentary. At first I found her life and the story of your family to be very interesting, but after being able to see Jani grow, I genuinely care about how she is doing. I didn’t realize that you had published a book, but immediately after I saw Dr. Phil the other day I bought it and have already finished it. Your candidness is astounding and courageous. After reading the comments on the blog I am angry, with so many people suggesting spiritual warfare and all of that nonsense. It breaks my heart that people are so dismissive and callous. Jani is beautiful, and it is clear she has a mind more amazing than any of us can comprehend. People turn to those awful indoctrinations when they see something they don’t understand, and need their own explanation. You have more strength than anyone I have ever seen, and by sharing your story (even though you get an amount of ignorant negativity) it is doing the world an immense amount of good. Please keep sharing.

  59. Bonjour
    je viens de voir l’émission et votre merveilleuse fille Jany…
    Je comprends bien que certaine personne on l esprit trop “rationel” pour ne pas vouloir croire au monde de l’invisible,qui pourtant est bien réel…
    « Le schizophrène est un esprit évolué, mais il est perturbé par l’utilisation anarchique et involontaire de ses facultés sensorielles, supérieures aux organes qui génèrent les cinq sens, c’est-à-dire les facultés propres à son âme. Être schizophrène, c’est être prisonnier d’un réseau de communications avec le monde invisible, qui n’est pas structuré ni organisé de façon cohérente. En conséquence, celui qui est pourvu de ce type de réseau s’en trouve très malheureux parce qu’il ne sait pas comment agir pour faire taire certains correspondants, ou pour en appeler d’autres. Rester dans cet état peut, en effet, conduire la personne atteinte de ce dérèglement médiumnique à vivre des situations très désagréables. Les esprits de toutes catégories se manifestent à elle parce qu’ils cherchent toujours un canal pour s’exprimer. Cela est surtout vrai pour les esprits des fréquences inférieures.
    Le schizophrène a donc de fortes chances d’entendre plutôt ces esprits, parce qu’ils sont très proches de la terre et s’amusent comme ils le peuvent. Cependant, ils ne sont pas conscients, pour certains, du mal qu’ils font en agissant ainsi. Ils échappent tous à la hiérarchie spirituelle, et se livrent aux pires excès qui vont parfois jusqu’à manipuler un être faible en le conduisant jusqu’au suicide.
    Les possibilités de guérison du schizophrène ne passent pas par l’absorption massive de ces médicaments chimiques, écrasant l’esprit et transformant le soi-disant malade en une véritable légume, afin d’anéantir ses perceptions. Il faut, au contraire, lui expliquer ce qui se passe réellement, et l’aider à gérer tout le désordre auquel il est confronté. Il faut que la personne soit sensibilisée à ses réelles possibilités de guérison si elle arrive à contrôler ces voix qui l’obsèdent, et qui pour la plupart lui font peur. Il faut que toute personne atteinte par ce problème ne soit plus en situation de faiblesse. Bien au contraire, le schizophrène est un être spirituellement très évolué, qui peut et qui doit s’opposer avec une grande autorité à ces esprits invisibles qui le perturbent, en leur imposant le silence et le respect.
    Le processus de guérison est donc simple et complexe à la fois. Il passera toujours par l’écoute et par la compréhension du possédé, parce qu’il s’agit en l’occurrence d’une véritable possession. Elle n’est surtout pas à prendre à la légère. Bien sûr, les cas sont divers et ne présentent pas tous les mêmes symptômes, mais le fond du problème ou la cause est identique. C’est la raison pour laquelle le traitement passe obligatoirement par une compréhension objective, traduite dans les moindres détails à la personne qui souffre. C’est la seule possibilité qui s’offre à elle de se sentir soutenue et renforcée dans son propre combat intérieur qui consiste à éliminer les voix perturbatrices, et à se débarrasser définitivement des intrus qui s’emparent de façon intempestive, de son esprit. L’être soumis à de telles agressions ne peut résister très longtemps, surtout si le traitement qui lui est proposé est exclusivement chimique. Le traitement psychiatrique doit passer par la compréhension spirituelle des manifestations. Elles ne proviennent pas du cerveau comme le pensent les médecins, mais se produisent au contraire par le processus d’écoute télépathique ou clairaudient du corps éthérique.
    Sachez, savants psychiatres, que si la folie se manifeste chez une personne schizophrène, la cause est essentiellement liée à l’absorption de vos médicaments chimiques qui ne font que détruire. Rien de ce malaise observé ne peut être guéri de la sorte. En agissant ainsi, vous réduisez l’être à l’état d’esclave. C’est-à-dire que vous relayez avec une méthode de soins uniquement chimique, les méfaits de l’action occulte et invisible précédemment décrite. Le cercle est très vicieux. Oh ! Bien sûr, vous n’êtes pas responsables puisque vous ignorez pour la plupart l’existence de cette influence, malgré tout ce que vous entendez de la bouche même de vos patients. Mais il faut que vous sachiez à partir de maintenant inverser la tendance : alterner soins physiologiques et spirituels, et progresser lentement mais sûrement vers une nouvelle thérapie.

    Pour terminer, je dirai ceci : les schizophrènes sont des êtres merveilleux d’amour et lumineux dans toute leur splendeur. Ils doivent lutter eux-mêmes contre les esprits sombres qui les réduisent à l’état d’esclaves, et savoir qu’en agissant avec la foi d’être vainqueurs, ils s’en débarrasseront définitivement sans aucun secours thérapeutique médicamenteux. »
    https://sites.google.com/site/roseetor/schizophrenie-et-exorcisme

    Note from Michael: I don’t even have to translate this to know this is crap. Oh, excuse me: C’est des conneries

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