MyBlog, MyBlog , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Welfare Check

Sorry but it’s no[t] right or fair or ethical to subject the world to potential danger just to spare the feelings of these parents who foolishly, selfishly bred twice. Either medicate these kids to the zombie level or put them [i]n an institution. They are proven violent and cannot be cured. -Yahoo commenter

The gunman suffered from an undisclosed mental health issue, and was under the care of a variety of health care professionals… -CNN

The first quote is from a comment posted ten days ago in response to this article about my children in advance of “Born Schizophrenic: Jani and Bodhi’s Journey,” airing this Monday, May 26th, at 10pm (Eastern and Pacific) on Discovery Fit & Health. Nine days before 22 year old Elliot Rodger killed six people and severely wounded 13 others near UC Santa Barbara. The article, although sensationalized and filled with inaccuracies, has over 1300 comments, most of which deal with the issue of whether Jani and Bodhi should have been born. Some attempt to make their point more palatable by saying “Why did these parents have children if there was mental illness in their family?” This is a form of self-denial. Even those who actually were brave enough to use the “E” word (eugenics) don’t want to admit that they share the same thinking as the Nazis, who, as I have also blogged about before, learned the method of efficient human extermination they would later use during the Final Solution first on the mentally ill, mentally disabled, and physically disabled.

That the concept of eugenics is alive and well in 2014 is scary. Oh sure, I get that it’s the internet, where people can anonymously spew crap online and nobody important is actually listening to it. But the problem with that anonymity is that it allows people to say what they would never say face to face with another human being but unfortunately actually think. Or is that the internet simply lends itself to spouting off half thoughts we all have? After all, the electorate aren’t furiously writing their members of Congress to say they want legislation protecting them from the mentally ill. Right? Nobody has brought this issue up in town hall meetings and candidate meet and greets. Right? I don’t hear CNN recording a candidate shaking hands with an elderly couple eating pancakes at some diner in New Hampshire and the elderly couple expressing concern over these dangerous mentally ill who will kill us all if not locked up. Right?

And then Elliot Rodger goes and brutally murders a bunch of people and within hours the term “mentally disturbed” is being used by the actual authorities investigating.

I’m going to pause here while NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) issues their standard statement that the vast majority of individuals with mental illness are not violent.

Have they done it yet?

SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the arm of the Health and Human Services Administration that is charged with government services and policies regarding “mental health”) won’t say anything at all, because mental health for them is essentially depression and anxiety. Psychotic illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar, are not even acknowledged by SAMHSA. I’m serious. They even make no mention of the words.

No, I am not saying Elliot Rodger had schizophrenia or bipolar. I have no idea what he had and can’t speculate from a Youtube video where he calmly plans retribution on the girls who wouldn’t have sex with him and blames us, society, for his still being a virgin at 22. But of course, killing a bunch of people because you identify as being socially rejected is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

Society, it seems, has finally stopped saying “Why?!” when a mass killing happens. They are willing to attribute it to mental illness, partially because this information is being released to the press much faster. It used to take months, even years, and by then the story was forgotten. Now it is out there while the dead are still oozing blood onto the pavement. And partially it is because it is true. The vast majority of single event mass killers (as opposed to serial killers) in recent times have had a history of mental “health” problems preceding their horrific crimes against their fellow humans.

And now my children, my precious girl and boy, have been lumped in. They, by bad luck of their respective diagnoses of schizophrenia and autism, “subject the world to potential danger.” Another comment sticks out to me from a mother who would never let her kids around my kids.

I can’t get too angry though because I brought this on. Yes, I did. How many blog entries and Jani Foundation Facebook page posts have I written, drawing a connection between Jared Loughner or James Holmes or Adam Lanza and my children, especially Jani?

My God, what have I done?

I did it with the best of intentions. I did it because I wanted society to understand that we could have prevented what Loughner, Holmes, and Lanza did. They were children once, just like Jani and Bodhi and somewhere along the line, I believed, the non-existent support system for the mentally ill failed them and people died. I believed that if we simply could have mandated inpatient psychiatric treatment for those three young men, we could have saved lives.

Other advocates warned me of the danger of associating these killers with the mentally ill I was ostensibly trying to help, telling me that we would get nowhere in terms of improving treatment options because society does not help those they fear. I dismissed them as cowards for not “owning” these killers as belonging to us, our people.

And now I read about people believing my children should be locked away for the rest of their natural lives because they are either a threat or a burden to society. And they would actually be able to do this if I’d had the influence to bring back the state hospitals, as I have advocated for some time.

But another six people are dead, cut down in what was supposed to be the prime of their life. Of course, if the Federal Government did nothing substantial after 20 children under 7 were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, they probably won’t do anything about this. Right now the instinct is to find the Adam Lanzas and Elliot Rodgers of the world and lock them up. But to lock them up before they have committed a crime requires changing the law to make it easier to place someone in a psychiatric hold, make it easier to actually force anti-psychotic medication on them, and, finally, to actually build those locked state hospitals for the mentally ill that we, the taxpayers, allowed to be shut down from the 1970s to the 1990s. Camarillo State Hospital is now California State University, Channel Islands. Do you want to close that campus, tell the students to get out, and re-open the state mental hospital, which was the last one to actually take children? I mean, does the California State University System really need 26 campuses?

The fact is we have come to a crossroads. The general public is scared of the mentally ill. If they are scared of an 11 year old girl and a 6 year old boy, all the “most mentally ill are not violent” comments in the world will not going to change their minds when all they see of mental illness is its albeit rarest incarnation, the mass killer. They don’t give a shit about my children and they sure as hell don’t give a damn about you adults with mental illness, worrying about keeping your jobs or completing your college degree. When a society can justify the removal of children from their ranks based on projections of their likely future, we have reached the edge of the Final Solution. We have not yet reached the point of the Nazis where we are willing to kill such children, but once the cost of restoring those state hospitals becomes reality, it won’t be long. Death is cheap. Taking care of someone over the course of their apparently unproductive lifespan is not.

For the advocates out there who will keep denying that the severely mentally ill can be violent, you can keep going. I admire your tenacity. I respect it. I get it. You are fighting to “fit in” with the larger society. I used to scoff at the idea that they would come for you to round you up and lock you away. Now I am not so sure.

The concept that previous violence is the best indicator of future violence clearly does not hold true in these cases. The fact that you’ve never been violent, or so you believe, won’t matter. You have a history of being “mentally disturbed.” You try to hide it but honestly this is like an African American painting on white-face: you can’t hide who God made you. You can’t hide how your genes aligned. All that will happen is that you will be silent witness as the mentally ill are wiped from the face of America. That is, until they find out about you. It will happen. Despite your best efforts, you will have an “episode.” College and life are stressful. Stress is lifeblood to psychosis. The fact that you have no gun means nothing. Rodger’s first three victims died of repeated stab wounds. There have been plenty of mass stabbings (I recall one in Houston). Look, I am all for banning handguns. The NRA is irrational. There is no meeting them halfway. Certainly, banning handguns would cause a severe reduction in mass killings, as it has Norway and Australia, both of which took action to do so after mass killings. Banning handguns would help. Rodger is just the latest to buy his guns legally because there was nothing to prevent it. Loughner bought his gun legally. Holmes bought his gun legally. Lanza’s guns were legal.

Banning guns would limit these mass killings to those so “mentally disturbed” that they don’t mind getting up close and personal with their victims, which is what it takes to stab somebody. Rodger believed he would be a “god” and certainly it is easier to “play god” and lay waste to your fellow humans with a gun. It removes you somewhat from what you are doing. You are just pulling the trigger. You are above the death, just the agent of it.

Or maybe not. Rodger did stab three people to death. He clearly had no issue looking his victims in the eye (which is what I assume it takes to stab somebody repeatedly).

No, as advocates, whether you are a person with a mental illness or a loved one of somebody to has one, the time has come for change. Society would prefer you, like my children, never existed. You have no right to exist. Your existence means only suffering for others and, insidiously, for you, and this is the road to elimination. It will start, not with the government. It never does. It will start with vigilante justice. They will start with those on the streets, raving to thin air, ironically the group with least access to guns. If you have a history of mental illness, you are a threat. They believe you are capable of killing their children, just as some believe my children might harm their children.

Are we to hide the symptoms of our illness, just as some Jews hid their religious background?

Or do we take control of the situation while we still can?

[Elliot] Rodger’s family contacted police in the weeks before the rampage because they were concerned about his mental well-being after discovering social media posts about suicide and killing people, attorney Alan Shifman, a family spokesman, told reporters Saturday.

And Rodger wrote about it in posts on his YouTube channel: “I temporarily took all of my Vlog’s (video blogs) down due to the alarm it caused with some people in my family. I will post more updates in the future.”

The man sheriff’s deputies met during the “welfare check” on April 30 was “polite” and “shy,” Brown said.

“He expressed to the deputies he was having troubles with his social life, and that he would probably not be returning to school next year,” Brown said.

There was nothing in his behavior to suggest he was violent, and the deputies “determined he did not meet the criteria for an involuntary hold,” he said. –CNN

The family asked for a welfare check, concerned by Rodger’s social media posts about suicide and killing people. When police checked on them, Rodger was “polite.”

There was nothing in his behavior to suggest he was violent and the deputies ‘determined he not meet the criteria for an involuntary hold.’

That’s because an involuntary hold of 72 hours requires that the individual be an IMMEDIATE THREAT TO THEMSELVES OR OTHERS IN THIS EXACT MOMENT IN TIME THAT THE ASSESSMENT IS DONE. It doesn’t matter if you were writing posts about killing people five minutes earlier. You are not an IMMEDIATE THREAT. It doesn’t matter that as soon as you leave the ER you will hang yourself in the bedroom, you are not an IMMEDIATE THREAT.

That has to change. I know so many adult advocates cringe at this for fear of being placed on a 72 hour hold but you know psychosis. You know it goes in and out like the tide. You know disordered thinking can be hidden. For those of you who have attempted suicide and survived, you know it was not a sudden decision. The danger is not when you are in the 72 hour hold. It is after, when you are alone with your thoughts.

You also know that adults cannot be forced into inpatient treatment without a judge’s order. Even parents of teens with severe mental illness cannot force medication compliance.

I’ll be honest. I would much rather police take my children in for a 72 hour hold than kill them or taser them. It’s three days of your life. And if you need intensive psychiatric care you get it. And if you didn’t, you only lost three days. Better than losing your life.

So here are my proposals that we must get behind:

1.      We must support Laura’s Law and “Assisted Outpatient Therapy.” We must work to make it easier to enforce med compliance.

2.      The 72 hour psych hold should be changed so that the individual will be admitted for any written statement of suicidal or homicidal ideation in the last six months, in social media or anywhere else. I say “written” because it proves you said it and avoids hearsay. There must be other safeguards to prevent abuse.

3.      The United States should ban handguns, starting with high capacity magazines and high caliber weapons. The ban on “assault style weapons” goes without saying.

4.      A psychiatric examination should be part of every annual physical.

5.      SAMHSA should be eliminated from the HHS and responsibility for mental health services turned over to a new agency that answers to the National Institute of Mental Health.


These actions are, of course, massively oversimplified. To accommodate the 72 hour psych holds, we need more inpatient psychiatric beds, and they must be in full medical hospitals. Right now, individuals in questionable mental states are released due to a severe shortage of beds. Yes, society is going to have to pay for more inpatient psychiatric beds. Or they can pay with their lives.

In the end, where these killers were “mentally ill” doesn’t matter. What matters is they needed the strongest intervention.

Whatever you feel about what I wrote, you must acknowledge this. Those amongst us who most needed the help didn’t get it.

And now they are all dead.

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

14 comments on “Welfare Check

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. What you say, and how you express it, is like you are pulling my thoughts straight out of my head and writing them down. You do it much more eloquently however. I tend to curse a lot more. haha.

    Reading those comments left about your children at first left me dumbfounded. Then really angry. But finally i settled on an emotion that i believe best fits. Pity. I pity the person who commented. I pity them and their narrow minded view. I pity the children they are raising and the people they interact with. Because, in the end they have become so one dimensional. I hope one day they see beyond their narrow minded view of the world, but thats up to them.

    As you said so brilliantly a while ago. They are the clowns to the left of me and the jokers to the right, and i’m stuck in the middle. And i chose the middle every time!

    Just thanking you for all you do. I live in Australia, but so much of what you do and the means in which you go about changing the system touches me.

    My father is a diagnosed Paranoid Schizophrenic, and has been for all my life. My parents are no longer together, and we were primarily raised by my mother, though custody was joint. My dad didnt have the means to do it alone, and the system here is far from perfect. He has been on medication for as long as i’ve known, but he hasn’t always kept taking them (a fear i know you have towards your children as they grow up)… i have seen him committed to Mental Institutions (back in the 90s), had the CAT team called to our house on more nights than i can remember. Have witnessed multiple suicide attempts (none successful thankfully) and watched my dad live the wave that is Schizophrenia in all its forms. He doesn’t have a job (hasn’t since i was very young – I am now 29), and the state does the absolute least it can to help him.

    Life has been cruel in that regard, but you make the best of a bad situation and continue on trying to make the quality of life as great as possible.

    I have a younger brother who rarely speaks to my father. His reasons are his own. I believe its because he doesn’t understand. Or wishes not too… i don’t hold it against him. I wish sometimes i was able to be like him.
    Dont get me wrong. I have hated my dad so fiercely at times. I’ve blamed him for how my life has been affected, and wished he would just “snap out of it”. But i know deep inside that that is simply my issues, not his. He has done nothing wrong. It isn’t his fault anymore than it is mine or the next persons.

    I was diagnosed with OCD, Agoraphobia, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Bulimia all by the time i was 18. The OCD was there sooooo much earlier, but i was clever at hiding it. The Depression and Agoraphobia i managed to hide too until i was technically and “adult”… what gave it all away was the Bulimia…. something to this day i consider part of my OCD. Its a ritualistic process, and i’ve always used it as a coping mechanism… as im sure a large number of ED patients do.

    None the less, i have managed to achieve a great deal in life. I was an Elite Gymnast. I graduated High School, and then University with a degree in Psychology (its funny how life works). I have become a successful Gymnastics coach, using my psychology background a great deal with my gymnasts. I am a proud Aunt, and happy woman.

    However i still battle daily with my MI, and i know this will never end. I am medicated, i see psychologists and psychiatrists and i have to religiously check in with the mental health professionals. I have had set backs, and struggled, but i find i am content and happy in who i am.

    I have good days and bad days like any “normal” person does. But i feel blessed. I feel honoured i have been tasked with these challenges. It wouldn’t have been given to me if i wasn’t able to handle it. I fight for those who can’t, and i empathise with people across the board.

    I wish there were more people out there in the world like you, Michael & Susan. I commend you for what you do. And i hope that you continue to for as long as humanly possible.

    Kind regards,
    Veronica (or Vronnie as i am known)

    1. Hi Michael! My name is Sarah. I’m from Ontario, Canada, and I know it’s a little odd that I read your blog constantly and keep up with how your family is doing – among others, but I’ve had a fascination with it for some time. When I was 16 (I’m 17 now), I was researching the effects Cipralex (I think you call it Lexapro across the pond) – an antidepressant I was prescribed, which also was for my social anxiety – anyways, I was really worried about side-effects, since I had a bit of paranoia a few years before that my ADHD medication was causing me to lose memories from my childhood. It freaked me out, but nevertheless my doctor assured me he’d never give me anything dangerous. That’s besides the point though.

      I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this way, but you mentioned in January First that you were on ADHD medicaiton when you were young, but to me and my classmates with attention defecit, the internet is like crack cocaine to us. Everything moves so fast, and you can see and hear so much in so little time. Where as in ‘real life’ everything moves so slow to me, I tend to just blank out and let my imagination or my love of reading take me away from the boring classroom.

      Annnnnyways, while researching the effects of different medication, unable to remember the exact name of the drug and not wanting to ask my mom because she didn’t want me looking up the effects either. Since apparantly it would cause me to subconsciously have those side-effects by knowing what they are. I don’t think I’m susceptible to that junk though.

      While researching different medications, your interview/story for Jani with Oprah came up, and the title caught my interest (at the time I only knew of two types of Schizophrenia – Paranoid and Undifferentiated), I hadn’t known it effected kids at that time.

      So I read it.

      I was shocked and a little mystefied. I also was extremely sad. Because despite the glaring differences between Jani and myself – or even other children I knew growing up – I could see similarities. My friend, Brie, had severe bipolarism that only got worse when her father passed away in the eighth grade, my old school enemy Jaden was my friend at one point before he started exhibiting sociopathic traits that caused him to do some unpleasant things. The reason I say I saw similarities is because Jani in your book, and in the blog seemed so lonely. Even if she was never alone. It really depressed me – such a smart and pretty little girl who didn’t fit in. I’m glad she does now, by the way, though. That she has friends that understand her. I’m happy for your family she’s improved so much!

      But she was lonely. I could tell. She seemed like a sweet girl when Oprah was talking to her (though I dislike that woman because of how…false she can seem sometimes, but I guess that’s a celebrity thing). I was very lonely growing up – in my school kids rejected me and others like me for having ADHD which effected my ability to really communicate properly. I scared them because I was so hyper, so easily distracted, and so random. So I never really had friends up until the 8th grade, and even now in the 12th those friends are rare and casual.

      I’m not sure why I’m writing this. Maybe because I’ve imagined so many times sitting down and having a conversation with you? There’s not many adults around here that are intelligent enough that they really hold my interest. They mostly just want to lecture you. Maybe because I’m reading your book again for the first time since last summer? Same copy from the library as last time (Amazon was frustrating me so I gave up trying to use it), and I’ll probably get fined again for keeping it longer than I should. Even if I already have it memorized.

      But as I said before. I’m really happy for Jani. Happy she’s doing better sometimes, happy that she can be such a good big sister to Bodhi and a good daughter to you and Susan. She sounded amazing from what I read about her (aside from mental illnesses stemming from my own depressing and social anxiety, I also have a fascination with IQ and child prodigies and such), and so intelligent!

      I hear stories all of the time about these unhelped mentally ill people who I’ll admit I didn’t think much about (aside from shedding a few tears when I learned about Sandy Hook, I was at a Holiday dance), but now since I regularly started reading your blog and re-reading your novel, I keep my eyes open for the news. In fact, I heard a couple of days ago about a shooting where several RCMP officers in Moncton were killed. I’m not sure if the perpetrator who they recently apprehended was mentally ill – according to family he often talked about killing a large number of people and himself, and was obsessed with deadly mass-shootings – I don’t know why I have this sick fascination with mental illness and deadly crime. I’ve always wanted to be a freelance writer, or a journalist, ever since I was 13. I never thought I would want to do anything else. But I do have thoughts about different careers.

      A career to help people. A while back, St. Thomas’s (where I live – we’re just known for being the town that killed Jumbo the elephant), only psychiatric hospital closed down, and a great majority of the adults who resided there were sent out onto the streets. They’re homeless now – some of them talk to me occasionally, just looking for company or some coffee change. It depresses me even more.

      But it also makes me want to get out of this town. And do something great. I always wanted to write – and I didn’t care whether it made me rich or famous or whatever, I didn’t care. I just wanted to write.

      But now I do. I want to be famous. The good kind of famous. I want to help people. People like the woman I see all the time near my school, wearing ten jackets in the middle of spring and pushing around a Walmart shopping cart with everything she owns in it.

      Admittedly, I find your blogs to be very dark and depressing – no matter how intelligent and thought-provoking I find them to be. Probably why I keep reading. Overall I’m a dark and depressing kind of girl. Probably just because I’m an angsty teenager now.

      You’re the reason I took an AP psychology course this year instead of creative writing. You’re the reason I’m determined to do something meaningful and lasting with my life. I want to help people, like that woman I mentioned. I want to help people like the so called’ heartless’ killers in the world who just didn’t get the help they needed in time and eventually ‘snapped’. I want to help people like Jani and Bodhi. And their friends. The other children you talk about all the time.

      I know one silly little message from a random Canadian girl who lives a 35 hour drive from where you do. But I wanted you to know you really did effect me. Your book and family effected me.

      For the better, I’d like to think.

      – Sarah

  2. Wow. You take so much flak and outright abuse from such dense, clueless people. Thanks to you for continuing the fight in the face of all the idiotic naysayers. You do make a difference. You are having an impact. I’m so grateful to you.

  3. I am so saddened by the responses of some misinformed, unenlightened people. We need to work to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. While, my heart is heavy for you, I am so glad that you are sharing your story. My husband and I were talking during the airing of Born Schizophrenic tonight that television really has the ability educate people. We are also a family struggling with mental illness. I have an anxiety disorder that has been disabling for parts of my life. Our 9 year old son has also been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and is being watched for Asperger’s Syndrome.

    Thank you for your courage and for sharing your story. Your commitment to your children is so inspiring. Remember, those of you that do not struggle with mental illness, we are all human beings; each frail and flawed in his or her own way.

  4. I am bombarded by peers on social networks and out in the world being so misinformed about this incident. My brother developed scitzophrenia last year, we also both have bi polar. The effects mental illness takes on a family are tremendous, and one of the hardest parts is if someone else hasn’t gone through the struggles before, they don’t understand it at all. Yes, when someone is in physcosis, it’s scary, but when it’s our loved ones, those feelings don’t compare to the saddness and hopelessness that we feel.
    Anyone with a mental illness needs care and constant support. This man was in SB, living independently from his parents, and refusing treatment.
    Stricter gun laws are important, I believe they should be inforced, there should be a mental health background check.
    BUT MORE SO, there needs to be as much focus on mental health as we give all of the other things hurting us and others, like cancer or Parkinson’s. These battles differ but the severity of mental health is ignored.
    These people are not our enemies or someone to fear. We need younger generations to see how to approach those with an illness with understanding rather than fear, because these illnesses only worsen when the person feels unloved or threatened.

  5. Being an Australian, I am not going to start telling our Amercian cousins how to regulate their lives (ie gun laws). I have just started to read Elliot Rodgers autobiography and the thing that strikes me is how painfully honest he is when describing his childhood. People will be able to accuse him of many things, but liar won’t be one of them. What a tragedy. How did such a wonderful human being with so much promise, go so wrong? Reading his work you realise that the first victim of this tragedy was Elliot. It was like he was living a parallel reality – not the life we live. He even realised this, calling it his twisted world. I don’t think he just hated women – he hated all of humanity with one exception – his Father. Hate and jealousy destroyed Elliot long before it destroyed his other victims. And of course, his victims were wonderful human beings too. May they all rest in peace.

  6. Hi Susan,
    many prayers are said for you and your dear family out here in ATX!
    hugs and love,

  7. Hey Michael,

    A message from the Netherlands here. Just randomly checking in. My own struggle with mental disorder and childhood neglect always keeps me hungry and interested for others, their stories, their struggles, their lives. It makes me interested in keeping up with stories like Jani’ and Bodhi’s and your family,so that’s why I ended up here.

    It’s sad isn’t it?
    The thing that bothers me most about society most is how people are so focused on bashing and denying the existence of mental illness, yet the same people also latch onto these diagnoses in criminals as being ‘the answer’. Suddenly they magically ‘believe’ in the diagnoses too and they feel ‘those crazies’ shouldn’t be allowed in society.

    The only thing they are capable of is forming ‘strong’ opinions on how ‘weird’ stuff just doesn’t belong anywhere. They are unaware of any functional people or inbetweens, because it isn’t a part of their daily lifes. And if it isn’t a part of their daily lifes, than they feel it can’t exist.. If it does bother them, in the form of violence, then they form a strong opinion that it shouldn’t exist because they don’t like it. It’s only can’t or shouldn’t, it’s all a form of denial of the unknown. They just like their world to be black and white, full of token people, either ‘crazy’ or normal. And anything that they don’t know is met with confusion and anger. That makes them incapable of being aware of any ‘inbetween’ stage of mental illness, which causes a complete denial and lack of treatment for everyone caught in the stage between functional or completely broken down.

    It’s either:
    “Nah, it can’t exist, because my world doesn’t allow it.”
    “No, this shouldn’t exist because it is unacceptable in my world!”

    It’s never: “This exists outside of my own personal world.”

    At least they aren’t the center of your universe. Yeah, you know that of course, but I also know that feeling it isn’t the same as intellectually knowing it. That’s why I just want to tell you that these people aren’t the center of the world. You are the center of your own world, and you are brave enough to venture out of it and realize that the world is a larger place than just you. This person can’t kill that strength. They are stuck at one place and they’ll never be able to pass you by. You will be able to pass millions like them though, with ease.

    I love your dedication, thank you Michael! May we all never stop speaking up about the lack of proper conduct towards mental disorders and disabilities!


  8. I truly admire these parents for giving their all to take care of their kids, I was saddened when I first saw this story but was inspired by the parents dedication and perseverance, keep finding the strength to deal with this. Your children were put here for a reason and you are blessed because of it.

  9. My heart aches when I see your family’s struggles. (Most recently, Bodhi’s and self-injury were so difficult to witness.)

    I don’t know how mental illness is best addressed on a societal level, but I do know this: I love both Jani and Bodhi with all my heart.

    They are more than their mental illnesses and as they develop their own interests, I’d love to see productions that focus on their interests and gifts. (Maybe a cooking vlog by Jani, for instance.)

    Sending loving thoughts and support to all of you.

  10. (Corrected post)

    My heart aches when I see your family’s struggles. (Most recently, Bodhi’s terror and self-injury were so difficult to witness.)

    I don’t know how mental illness is best addressed on a societal level, but I do know this: I love both Jani and Bodhi with all my heart.

    They are more than their mental illnesses and as they develop their own interests, I’d love to see productions that focus on their interests and gifts. (Maybe a cooking vlog by Jani, for instance.)

    Sending loving thoughts and support to all of you.

  11. I thought it was difficult to watch on TV the struggle you all face every day until I saw the quote from the “yahoo commenter” in your blog. That quote is so much more difficult to read than anything I have seen of Jani and Bodhi. It was like a punch to the stomach. I searched for your website blindly expecting to find nothing but awe for how you love and care for Jani and Bodhi and each other. My 3 children have each had problems but are now healthy adults, so i know how fortunate we are. I can only hope that those that support those horrid comments are never parents or carers to anyone. The world is a better place because of your family and those that support you. I live thousands of miles away but I wish I could play a part in your lives. Please understand I dont underestimate how difficult and heartbreaking it must be for you and the many bad days you must have but please know that your family makes us all work harder to care for those we should look out for. Love to you all. Marilyn

  12. I just wanted to say that I am so proud of you and your family for sharing Jani’s story with the world. Despite the cruel comments from a world that doesn’t understand, you are do a GREAT service to those of us who suffer with serious mental health issues. You give me hope, you give me strength and you are encouraging to me as a parent. Always keep your head held high! Love and Light! <3