View Full Version : Born into a world of crazy.

19th November 09, 04:19 PM
This is sad. A girl named January was apparently born with schizophrenia (http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-schizophrenia29-2009jun29,0,4834892.story) (or, if you are always born with it, it manifested shortly after birth).

The article is rather long, so I suggest going to the site. There's also a video. It chronicles the troubles the parents have had, the description "Jani" gives of her phantom rats and cats, and the bafflement of doctors when they see no anti-psychotic drugs working.

It's been a rough week. A few days ago, at UCLA's Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, 6-year-old Jani toppled a food cart and was confined to her room. She slammed her head against the floor, opening a bloody cut that sent her into hysterics. Later, she kicked the hospital therapy dog.

Jani normally likes animals. But most of her animal friends -- cats, rats, dogs and birds -- are phantoms that only she can see. January Schofield has schizophrenia. Potent psychiatric drugs -- in doses that would stagger most adults -- seem to skip off her. She is among the rarest of the rare: a child seemingly born mentally ill.

She suffers from delusions, hallucinations and paroxysms of rage so severe that not even her parents feel safe. She's threatened to climb into an oven. She's kicked and tried to bite her little brother. "I'm Jani, and I have a cat named Emily 54," she says, by way of introduction. "And I'm Saturn-the-Rat's baby sitter."

"I'd rather be 16," Jani says, putting a hand on her hip and tossing a flirty look over her shoulder. "I'm 14 on weekends, Thursdays, Wednesdays and Tuesdays."

She pauses. "All except for Mondays."

Although she can't sit still long enough to read a book, she is a voracious learner. She's also bright -- her IQ is 146. Over the years, Michael and Susan have entertained her by feeding her information well beyond her years: specifics of evolution, the Roman Empire, the periodic table of elements.

"What is the atomic symbol for tungsten?" Susan asks.


Jani talks about living in Calalini.

Where is Calalini?

She leans in to whisper her secret.

"Calalini is on the border between this world and my other world."

19th November 09, 04:36 PM
Read the article, very intense experience for the whole family...that poor child. I'm surprised at the dosage of meds they've pumped her, sounds like a total misdiagnosis and that the doctors are just reacting to her (eg. trying to stop her killing herself by pumping her full of a numbmer of drugs). Doesn't seem to be stopping the hallucinations or even beginning to understand them.

20th November 09, 04:22 AM
I had a friend with (until recently undiagnosed) schizophrenia. She said she used to see war scenes and dead or mutilated people. Said friend is an attention whore so I don't know how true that is.

Lily, you must understand that in the psychiatric industry the standard MO (depending naturally on the disorder) the standard MO is to start people on a certain drug at a moderate or low dosage, then increase the dosage as necessary, and then if that doesn't work switch to a new drug. It's very trial and error. It works eventually for a lot of people, mind you, and I think we'd be a lot worse off without psychiatry, but it's definitely very fiddly and whatnot.

Kein Haar
20th November 09, 11:06 AM
Help them Lily! Help them understand!

20th November 09, 01:01 PM
I think you can count on Jani not getting better any time soon. Sad, but no end in sight for this one.

20th November 09, 02:01 PM
It always sounds so much nicer in the movies.