A response, with YoungMinds, to ‘My daughter the schizophrenic’

On 19.01.2013 the Guardian’s weekend magazine published a story entitled ‘My daughter the schizophrenic’.  I was previously aware of this little girl as I had seen the documentary ‘Born schizophrenic’.  The documentary gave me sleepless nights.  The article brought them back.  I had to respond and I am thrilled that YoungMinds (@YoungMindsUK) agreed to publish it as a joint statement.  This, for me, indicates that there are many of us, in all sectors fighting for better ways of thinking and talking about young people with psychological difficulties.  This has gone to the Guardian in it’s entirety, I didn’t want a brief comment, that wouldn’t do our outrage and Jani any justice at all and she’s had quite enough of that.

The oversimplification and overmedicalisation of Jani was heartbreaking to read and clinically unsound as I hope to point out.  No child is ‘Born Schizophrenic’, none.

Below is the statement, before I get to it I want to thank Carrie, Lucie and Sarah Brennan (CEO) at YoungMinds for their support and I hope we can continue to fight for a better future for young people experiencing emotional distress.

The article ‘My daughter the schizophrenic ’ (Guardian Weekend 19.01.13) was extremely troubling but not for the reasons which the Weekend may have intended.  Whilst we support the discussion of Children’s emotional difficulties in mainstream media it is important that they are accurately represented.   Jani has undoubtedly had a childhood characterised by frustration and distress, but by investing in a diagnostic label which at best is contentious and at worst damaging, the article does her and your readers little justice.

Jani’s history has been documented in other outlets including her father’s own blog, based in the USA, aspects of this, particularly in relation to familial conflict, are notable for their absence in this piece.   Jani’s father talks about her having imaginary friends with whom she interacts, he talks of this as if it is a symptom of her mental illness, it is nothing of the sort.  Many children create imaginary friends and interact with them, research indicates that around 8% of children ‘hear voices’ that others do not.  By the end of the article, Jani’s hallucinations were still present but not bothering her.  Notably there’s little evidence that they bothered her initially.  They bothered her parents and professionals though.   Jani’s difficulties with social communication, demonstrated in your article, are not accounted for by her diagnosis in which so much is invested.  The variance of her cognitive development and her social and emotional difficulties in the context of her familial interactions are not explored in terms of her development, which reinforces the mistaken view that Jani’s difficulties can be explained by a diagnostic label lacking in clinical validity and utility which creates significant experiences of stigmatisation of those to whom it is ascribed, as last year’s report by the Schizophrenia Commission highlighted.

In addition, there are comments made in relation to the label schizophrenia which are simply untrue, such as ‘schizophrenia cannot be fixed’.  People do recover from psychosis, often.  Some comments are downright insulting: ‘schizophrenics are those people raving on street corners’.  Although negative, these views of people with psychosis are not the focus of our concern.

There are references to clinical conclusions which are misleading.   The piece makes reference to Jani’s IQ test as if this would make a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder incorrect.  Again, this is plainly wrong.  People who have difficulties which place them on the Autistic Spectrum can have raised IQ levels (even if in one domain such as verbal or performance IQ), this is not a clinical abnormality.  The therapist states ’mentally she’s between 10 and 11 years old’.  Again, wrong, aspects of her cognitive functioning may indicate levels which would be seen more frequently in this age range but not all of her functioning, as is clearly related.  This is misleading and clinically incorrect.  There is no reflection on Jani’s social interactions and their importance, aside from one telling reference to her progress in hospital where ‘she loves the other girls and they love her.  It’s as if she suddenly has a dozen older sisters’.  Is her progress in this environment coincidental?

The consequences of this medico-centric approach is starkly highlighted by January’s medication regimen, Clozapine, Chlorpromazine (Largactil) and Lithium are extraordinarily powerful neuroleptic medications which are considered ‘last resort’ even in adults with ‘treatment resistant’ psychosis and Jani was aged only 8.   Polypharmacology is poorly researched in all populations and in children the literature is sparse to inform practice.  Once on such a potent mix of medication, the likelihood of her ever being able to come off them is negligible.   The long term effects are simply unknown.

The emphasis in the piece appears not to be Jani’s experiences but those of her father.  The title of his book is ‘January First: A Child’s Descent Into Madness And Her Father’s Struggle To Save Her’.  We would respectfully suggest that Jani’s ‘descent into madness’ is not evidenced by even the basic clinical information detailed in the article.   Jani’s presentation since birth seems to suggest that more neurodevelopmental factors ought to have been considered and a more biopsychosocial approach to understanding Jani , including the factors outlined above to begin with, may have reaped different results.  Labels do not promote understanding, they stop us trying to understand, Jani most likely has that label for life and yet she is still a child.

Furthermore, there can be little doubt that the messianic tone of the book title sits uncomfortably.  Considering his casting as saviour, there is little about Jani’s father’s interactions with his daughter, this important information is missing and there is little emphasis on what life must be like for Jani.

The reason ‘some people, even doctors, have been so unwilling to identify or believe in child-onset schizophrenia’  is simple, as a categorical, biological explanation of experience it does not exist.  The label which has become the albatross around Jani’s neck (how will people talk of her this week?) is one she will find hard to cast off and the effects of the approach taken by those responsible for her care may yet have their strongest implications to come.

Whilst we accept that this was not an opinion piece and based in the USA, the material is highly sensitive and presents an image of childhood emotional well-being which is inaccurate and imbalanced and has the potential to cause anxiety and concern amongst young people and parents alike.

We expect the piece caused unease in a significant amount of those who read it and deservedly so.  Jani deserves better than the treatment and support she has been given and we expect better from the Guardian and hope to see a much more balanced approach in the future.

Yours Sincerely,

Dr Gordon Milson                                                                                            Sarah Brennan

Clinical Psychologist                                                                                        Chief Executive

Head of Children and Young People’s Services                                   YoungMinds

Applied Psychology Services, Bury, Lancs.

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28 comments

  1. Reblogged this on Claireot's Blog and commented:
    I was going to write about this article, but this blog puts across my thoughts much better. Joint blog by a clinical psychologist and the Director of Young Minds.

    1. Thank you Claire, that’s very kind of you.

      1. A pleasure- it was an infuriating article, and I was so pleased to find your eloquent response. Thank you.

  2. Reblogged this on Beyond Meds and commented:
    Important letter in response to ‘My daughter the schizophrenic’ (Guardian Weekend 19.01.13)

  3. [...] Reblogged from Clinical Psychology and People: [...]

  4. chrisahickey · · Reply

    Children can and do have schizophrenia. I rarely agree with Michael Scofield, but the connotation that Childhood Onset Schizophrenia is impossible is simply false. I rejected the notion when my son was first diagnosed at age 11 after exhibiting symptoms since toddler-hood. When my son attempted suicide for the first time at just shy of 12, I could no longer deny it. Even then my husband and I rejected the idea of medication, but by 13 it became a part of his treatment. My son is 18 now and is far down the road of recovery after finally achieving stabilization at age 17. Childhood Onset Mental Illness is real. More than 50% of adults with mental illness showed symptoms before the age of 14. Denying that means more people struggling to achieve stability and recovery longer into their adult lives.

    1. Hi Chrisa,
      Thanks for taking the time to read my blog post and to comment on it. I believe it’s important to post all comments (as long as they’re appropriate) whether or not they agree but I wanted to respond appropriately to your comments.
      Clearly this is an issue that you are passionate about as am I. I hope I get the tone of this response right and please accept my apologies if I come across rude or dismissive.
      Firstly, I don’t think it’s right for me to comment on individual cases without having sight/accounts to hand. This is true of you and your son so I hope you don’t think I’m being evasive by not talking about him. I read the story about Jani but most importantly I saw the film.
      I think what’s evident is that we come from very different start points, my view (and increasingly many others) is that what many people call symptoms I see as some something more, humane and not outside people’s life experiences. As you can see in my other posts (for eg: Low mood or depression…) I have a real issue with categorical definitions of mental ‘illness’ for reasons which I think make sense.
      I agree that many mental health difficulties begin in childhood, it would be folly to disagree that point, but what people call ‘symptoms of mental illness’ I see as different. The example I gave was voices, something that isn’t there. Many children have imaginary friends or hear a friend and interact with them (I once ordered my imaginary friend, Barnaby the bear a drink in a restaurant, the waiter was completely baffled) I do not have schizophrenia or, currently at least, any specific mental health difficulty. Someone may say ‘she was having mood swings aged 4 that’s where the bipolar came from’ but that is normal childhood development to have dysregulated swings of affect as a 4 year old. Temper tantrums in a 2 year old is not schizophrenia, bipolar or the newly defined Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder. Many ‘symptoms’ are reactions to the environment in which we live, a way to try to adapt. That, in my view can not be defined as illness.

      The concept of schizophrenia is poorly defined to say the least. Using a categorical system it is possible to have 2 people who have no symptoms in common both being labelled as having schizophrenia. This patently makes no sense. There is no clarified, cluster of symptoms that can be reliably identified as a disorder called schizophrenia (for further info on this see for example: Madness Explained by Richard Bentall).
      Some of my specific concerns and one I have becoming increasingly aware of is the concept of schizophrenia in children. I am particularly concerned about issues relating to neurodevelopment such as social communication problems (Autism, Aspergers ASD etc) being misdiagnosed as schizophrenia,I will be blogging about this soon. This is most often when the neat box of say Autism doesn’t define all the problems. My view is that boxes rarely define children or people, a greater understanding is needed. These neurodevelopmental difficulties are not mental illnesses, they are developmental difficulties (I don’t like the term disorder, especially in children) and need to be treated as such. I know that children in these groups can be at risk of developing other difficulties with their emotional well being, I see many people on the Autistic Spectrum who are very anxious or have low mood due to their increasing awareness of their difficulties with ‘fitting in’ and fulfilling basic human needs such as having mutually satisfying relationships. But they are not ill. Children who have difficulties which place them on the autistic spectrum can appear very ‘odd’ or do, say, express very ‘strange’ things when emotionally aroused, this can mistakenly lead people to label them as having schizophrenia, or psychosis to use the preferable term. I know this may not be relevant to you at all, but I hope it explains a little where my comments on Jani and her situation come from.

      As I said above, I sincerely hope my reply is received in the manner it is meant and thank you once again for taking the time to comment.

      Gordon

      1. Gordon: Thank you for responding. I find it puzzling that you say you won’t comment on individual cases on people you haven’t met, then go right into why Jani is misdiagnosed.

        These aren’t imaginary friends in the majority of cases of children diagnosed with childhood onset schizophrenia. It’s an eight year old who cries and pulls out fist fulls of her own hair to try and make the demons be quiet. It’s an eleven year old who attempts suicide rather than follow the commands of his hallucinations. It’s a ten year old, so paranoid and tortured she can’t be left alone for 90 seconds getting on the right medication and treatment to allow her to blossom into a star softball player in high school.

        I am happy to put you in touch with dozens of parents who would welcome you spending a few days with their children to see that it is real. Just say the word.

      2. Hi Chrisa, I did say that I had seen a one hour film of Jani and wasn’t keen to comment on your own case. Jani’s family have put her in the public eye, on camera, on blogs (since removed) and in print. There are many facets to Jani’s presentation which are not concordant with her diagnosis. I know children can be troubled by voices, I know children can be troubled by hallucinations. I have worked with many children and young people who are distressed in this manner. I do not however, believe in a diagnosis for life which is what this is, nor polypharmacology in young people with developing brains. How can we understand the fact that Jani is reported to have found moving into a residential centre more settling and is reportedly less distressed? Isn’t it possible that there are environmental factors which may be mediating her distress? These are the questions I ask, every day in my work with young people. I don’t doubt for one second that the families you mention have children who are genuinely distressed, it is the cause, maintenance and nature of this distress I am querying.

        Respectfully,

        Gordon

  5. They diagnosed an 8-year-old child with schizophrenia and put her on Clozapine and Lithium – because she has imaginary friends? Dear God in heaven, the harm this label and treatment will do to this little girl is astronomical.

    I will be turning 60 this year, a few weeks after my first great-grandchild, my granddaughter’s baby, is due to be born. These milestone events are forcing me to realize that time is running out, and I need to stop HIDING my personal TRUTH, and SPEAK OUT, while I am still alive and able to do so.

    Yes, being labeled a schizophrenic carries a horrible, life-long stigma. And yes, the widely-held belief that schizophrenia is incurable is DEAD WRONG. Many of us have fully recovered from schizophrenia. You don’t hear a lot about people like me, because when we were schizophrenic, we were so cruelly ostracized by our families and by society, that after we become well we typically choose to hide our painful history, and Pass For Normal.

    But, even when we hide our “shameful secret” from the world, we still carry the hurtful stigma of our old schizophrenia label on the inside, where it continues to cause a great deal of pain.

    I was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1967, when I was 14 years old. My parents put me in a state insane asylum, one of those huge, horrible, over-crowded human warehouses that have long ago been closed and torn down. I was in the mental institution for 2 years.

    Many doctors have told me over the past 40+ years that I must have been misdiagnosed, that I could never have been truly schizophrenic, because I am “normal,” and schizophrenics never get well. I wanted to believe all the professionals who told me I could never have been schizophrenic, because who wants to acknowledge that they ever were psychotic?

    Deep in my heart, though, I have always known the truth, which is that based on the DSM definition of schizophrenia, I was schizophrenic for 2 years as a teenager. Then, I got over it. And, I stayed over it, without taking any anti-psychotic medication, since my release from the asylum in December, 1969.

    Ten years ago I was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, caused by multiple incidents of extreme trauma, most of which occurred as a direct result of my old “crazy label.” I also struggle with periodic bouts of depression and anxiety, which goes along with my PTSD. I am working very hard to heal completely from my PTSD, and I believe I will fully heal, even though this is yet another “label” that is widely believed to be incurable. I have made huge progress in my healing from PTSD, already.

    For two years, between the ages of 14 – 16, I heard a multitude of voices talking inside my head, nearly every waking moment. These voices were loud, terrifying, and disorienting. I also occasionally had frightful visual hallucinations. But I never ranted and raved on any street corner, I never walked around talking to myself – I didn’t need to, the voices could hear my thoughts, just as I heard theirs, LOL – and, I never once harmed or tried to harm nor in any way threatened to harm, anyone. But, for the “crime”of hearing voices, I was locked up in the most horrible place, drugged into a zombie-like stupor, and treated… I don’t even want to go into how I was treated there. It was very bad.

    To this day, more than four decades since the voices stopped and I was released from the insane asylum, I am STILL treated like an embarrassment, and an outcast, among the majority in my family of origin! This continues to be true, despite the fact that I have not in any way been psychotic since 1969!

    I brought 2 wonderful sons and 1 wonderful daughter into the world, and I raised them halfway decently, I think; not perfectly, but better than a lot of parents do. When I was in my early 40s, after my children were grown, I went to nursing school and was elected class president (although I didn’t even run for the office). I graduated with perfect grades, and scored in the top 1 or 2% in the entire nation when I took my licensing exam (I’m so brilliant I can’t even remember which percentage I was in, whether it was the top 1%, or 2%! Ha! But I know it was one of those). Within two years of graduating from nursing school, I fulfilled my lifelong dream of writing a novel, The Second Mrs. Robinson, which was published in April 2000 under the pen name Rebecca Rochelle. (Although it didn’t sell very much, my novel was recently re-released by the publisher as an ebook. I wish the publisher had told me they were going to do that, I would have liked to make a couple of changes. Oh, well…)

    Being labeled schizophrenic at the age of 14 caused me nothing but HARM… and has continued to cause me harm, for almost half a century. But – being labeled with schizophrenia has NOT stopped me from getting well and living a (mostly) good life. Today I am very happily married, and have been for the past 9 years, to my best-ever-friend. Today I like myself, as I am finally getting rid of my lifelong feeling of intense inner shame, which my family, and society, taught me to feel about myself, thanks to the cruel stigma of my old “schizophrenia” label. I am finally learning today to be proud of all that I have overcome. It feels great to look in the mirror at my aging face, and actually be PROUD of the person I see reflected there! It feels great now, but it has been a very long, hard road for me to get to the place where I am no longer ashamed of being me.

    I have been through a great deal of hurt and trauma in my life. But no other pain that I ever experienced even comes close to the pain of Not Liking Myself. No other emotional wound can compare to the horrific agony of self-loathing, caused by the deep shame of believing that I was born hopelessly defective, and inherently unworthy of such things as basic courtesy, compassion, kindness, respect – and love.

    Today I know that hearing voices when I was a teenager is nothing to be ashamed of. But, what is being done to Jani, and to countless others like her – that is very shameful.

    Thank you for speaking out about this heartbreaking injustice.

    Lady Quixote/Lynda Lee

    1. Hi Lynda,
      thank you so much for posting that reply. Your account illustrates why I and others continue to fight hard for a rethink on working with people with mental health difficulties. You have eloquently described the dangers of labelling humans with inhumane diagnoses. You should be proud of what you’ve achieved, it’s remarkable. Your strength to overcome the injustice of how you were treated is a source of huge admiration and inspiration to me and many many others.
      Thank you once more.

      1. Thank you! It wasn’t easy for me to write and post all that — it was actually the first time I ever put it all into writing. I appreciate what you are doing, and for giving survivors like me a place where we can feel safe in speaking about our experiences. Most people do not want to hear it!

  6. It’s a well-known fact that Michael Schofield and I don’t see eye to eye on many things, and I see some important questions in your post. But I also see a categorical statement that is patently untrue:

    “The reason ‘some people, even doctors, have been so unwilling to identify or believe in child-onset schizophrenia’ is simple, as a categorical, biological explanation of experience it does not exist. ”

    I beg to differ.

    My son began showing signs of something at 18 months. We didn’t jump straight to Schizophrenia, however. We exhausted every other neurobiological and physiological possibility. And when he was first diagnosed at age 11, we refused to believe. We refused medication. Until he attempted suicide just before turning 12, to stop the voices from terrorizing him.

    My son is 18 years old now and it has taken all this time to find the right combination of therapy, supports, and medication to achieve stability.

    In a day and age when we know that 50% of adults with mental illness show signs before the age of 14, how can you say it doesn’t exist? As a former vehement doubter, I can tell you, unequivocally, it does.

    1. Hi Chrisa,

      I’ve responded to your comment below.

      Thanks,

      Gordon

    2. It seems you’ve misinterpretted Gordon’s message. He isn’t saying that children don’t experience emotional difficulties, he’s saying that it is pointless to label this as an ‘illness’ called ‘schizophrenia’ rather than attempt to understand what is going on for the child, and why they may be having these experiences, or ‘symptoms.’ If we move away from listing ‘symptoms,’ and instead view these as manifestations of distress, we can begin to understand how to help. That’s the issue with Jani’s story – no one is attempting to understand the meaning of her experiences, they’re just labelling her as “ill.” How does this help Jani?
      @aimeecroft86

  7. Coral Giffin · · Reply

    This is a story that needs telling. At Jani’s age I had skipped two classes and was thought to have an IQ of 148. At ten years of age I tried to kill myself by eating every medicine and tablet I could find at home. I spent a year on 25mg Tryptinol 4 times a day. Needless to say I slept through most of that year. I was the baby who screamed and could not be comforted. Would only sleep in my own cot or bed and hated new clothes. You could not cuddle me to sleep, only the motion of a pram and later a car would send me to sleep. I rocked back and forth until my cot moved completely across the room. I wore the hair off the front and top of my head. I screamed at the sight of strangers. But I went onto high school, worked, married, had a son who is now 30, upgraded my education to tertiary with two qualifications, and didn’t de-compensate until my early 40’s. Major Depressive Disorder was diagnosed, followed six years later with Borderline Personality Disorder (Atypical, high functioning) and finally at 50 with Aspergers traits. Now I am a full time artist who paints in watercolours and and whose work sells well. I take an atypical anti psychotic and an anti depressent. I also use nutritional supplements krill oil, magnesium oxide and taurate, spirulina, and a swiss womens multi!!! My point is bugger the label, and the medication, do what you have to, to remain in the mainstream. I have. I have 17yrs experience with autism/aspergers and transition to independent living. I can tell you one thing, we all value our independence, our rights to the fullest quality of life that can be attained. That requires treatment, mental health services, friends and especially family. The ability to be included and valued and contribute, they are the real deal. Regardless of labels, fund the services to intervene in kindergarten and up with treatment and therapy regardless of at what age. Oh by the way I am 54 and still see lots of colourful and wonderful things that others don’t see.

    1. Thanks for you comment and for sharing your story Coral. You certainly collected a few labels along the way. I will have to quote you “bugger the label” is a classic! Seriously though, you are an inspiration, thank you so much for sharing it.

      Gordon

  8. It seems to me that although you are not directly saying this, that you are blaming the parenting/ parenting styles of the parents for the child’s mental illness. You don’t exactly say it, but is heavily implied.

    1. Hi Dawn, thanks for the comment. I think that what I’m clear about is that the diagnosis does not explain Jani’s presentation. I make several references to the fact that there are aspects of her presentation that are similar to a child with social communication difficulties. I feel uncomfortable with the fathers presentation of Jani, yes, him declaring himself a saviour feels uncomfortable. As it would with any parent I worked with. Jani’s father had a blog which has been removed but made reference to him attempting to ‘break’ Jani. I don’t think that professionals in Jani’s case have done her justice at all but I’m concerned that the full picture is missing from this little girls story.

      Gordon

  9. [...] DSM5 has raised some great concerns on this topic. An article in last month’s Guardian prompted strong reactions from some. And in the context of my own professional practice, I have spent a long time in [...]

  10. The perspective that one is “blaming the parenting/ parenting styles of the parents for the child’s mental illness” AS IF the social environment can offer no clues to understand and assist. Regardless of diagnosis, human beings are social creatures our interpersonal interactions are ALWAYS significant—it is in a social context that we learn our behavior. The most significant relationship critical to healthy human development is the relationship between a parent and child—it is not about blame, or having false pride that tells you to feel ashamed or blamed for something that is happening to your child; it is, in my opinion, about responsibility. The way we humans treat one another ALWAYS matters–there are critical periods in human development that it matters very much how the most important people in our lives treat us. Obviously, childhood is one of these times. Parents and advocates who brandish a child’s diagnosis like an armor stigmata at the suggestion that a child’s difficuties could be caused or exacerbated by environmental or social factors, need to grow the hell up! Have enough humility to get real and acknowlede that how parents treat their children ALWAYS matters–and no one is a perfect parent. Having raised a child who was given a number of diagnostic labels, I can’t imagine what it would have been like had I been unable to hear when other’s shared experience and perspectives without perceiving it as an attempt to blame or shame me a parent. Are we to assume that once a diagnostic label has been attached, the interpersonal relationships a child has with parents and family members have no impact whatsoever? Are we to believe that the parent’s have no influence positive or negative on their own child? When a child is having difficulties it is not about assigning blame or feeling ashamed; it is about what the child needs, and meeting the child’s needs. It is not about whether the parent feels like people may secretly blame them, or feel a false sense of shame. Parents need to be gaining insight into the child’s perspective on what may be causing the problems the child is having. parenthood. There is nothing wrong with a perspective that your child has a disease, and it’s not your fault—this is not about the parent, it is about being responsible enough not become in effect the victim martyred by a child’s diagnosis. “The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.” Socrates I am not an “unfortunate parent” http://involuntarytransformation.blogspot.com/2011/03/not-unfortunate-parent.html#.UZj_CLV19IQ

  11. P'Gell · · Reply

    While I agree that little Jani has most likely been misdiagnosed, mostly to please her fame seeking parents, I do know that in the USA, where we sadly, do not have a National Health System, a “label” is NECESSARY in order to get treatment paid for, either by the insurance companies or by the State.

    People may not like “labels” but it helps if we are all speaking the same language. I’ve never heard of an insurance company pay for therapy of any kind because someone had “manifestations of distress.”

    People who are “distressed” or simply ill need some kind of treatment, In the USA, one needs a diagnosis in order to obtain this treatment.

    And, while I don’t know if little Jani is truly schizophrenic or not (I used to work with autistic and schizophrenic children, and Jani is closer to atypical autism with severe ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder than any child I’ve ever worked with who has true schizophrenia) but she wasn’t “labeled” because she had imaginary friends (which her parents seem to be coaching her to retain) she was given a label because she has tried to kill herself, her parents and her then helpless infant brother, as well as manifesting a great deal of inner pain and even attacking and hurting animals. She is a violent child with no insight and the desire to kill herself and other people. THAT, at least in the USA, is a description of mental illness.

    I don’t know WHAT is wrong for sure with Jani, but she isn’t an otherwise healthy child who simply has imaginary friends, she has a severe illness and in order to relive some of her severe “distress” she NEEDS to be given some “label.” I agree it most likely isn’t schizophrenia, but, oddly, anti-psychotic meds seem to help her more than anything else.

    1. Thanks for your comments and I’m sorry it took so long for me to approve them, I haven’t been on the page for a while. I take your point re: the need for a label in the US but agree with you that I think they have the wrong one.

      Gordon

  12. Jayda Harris · · Reply

    I will make this short and sweet. I was also disturbed by the documentary on Jani. I could give several reasons/examples as to what was bothersome but the one thing that stands out in my mind is the home video they taped when Jani was a small baby (maybe 4 months old or so). The baby was looking around the room at her surroundings, which is perfectly normal, and the mother is saying “what do you see Jani, what are you looking at?……something that isn’t there? Why in the world does she think the baby is looking at things that aren’t there. If you ask me the parents have, in some strange demented way, wanted their child to be mentally disturbed. They have convinced themselves and there for their very impressionable young child that there are serious mental issues that are not there. The parents should be the ones getting evaluated!

    1. Thanks for your comments, I agree. There was a lot of concerning issues in the programme. I hope things are better for Jani now.

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