January First: A Child's Descent into Madness and Her Father's Struggle to Save Her by, Michael Schofield
I received this book from Netgalley; I requested it because I had seen the documentary about Jani “Born Schizophrenic”. So I was able to really see the behavior while reading this book, the story of Jani is so sad and her parents are handling it the best they can. Yes, there were times when this is a tough read but Michael Schofield is brutally honest in how he deals with Jani, other people, his wife and his son; he is also very honest about the toll it’s taken on his own psyche.
Mental illness is tough in any family or situation but to have a child this young with schizophrenia is beyond words, I honestly don’t know how I would handle it. The fact that Jani is incredibly intelligent gives me hope as it does her parents that one day Jani can have a stable as close to normal life as is possible, not an over medicated zombie.
This is a tough look at a very tough subject but I want to know how it turns out I want to follow Jani’s life and see if what her parents have done for her helps her in the long run. I hope that one day Jani can become a productive member of society and that she is able to have a wonderful life.
See, this book made me care so much about Jani because her father wrote with such raw emotion I was enthralled with this heart-wrenching story. I would highly recommend watching the documentary Born Schizophrenic: January’s Story and following Michael Schofield’s blog http://janisjourney.org/ .
I think watching the documentary first was helpful to understanding how Michael and Susan deal with Jani’s behaviors, because it helped me better understand why they make the choices they do. I also think this book is great because of all the parents out there are dealing with a mental illness in a child they know now they are not alone. When you think about how many other children and families out there are dealing with the same sort of situation, who we don’t know about or where would Jani be if it was 20+ years ago.
I wish Michael & Susan and their family luck in life and the strength to make it through.
4 ½ Stars