The Hearing Voices Movement: In Response to a Father – ‘My Daughter, the Schizophrenic’

Jacqui Dillon

January 21, 2013

There was a heart-breaking and disturbing story in this weekend’s Guardian newspaper entitled ‘My Daughter, the Schizophrenic’, (1) which featured edited extracts from a book written by the father of a child called Jani. He describes how Jani is admitted into a psychiatric hospital when she is 5, diagnosed with schizophrenia when she is 6 and by the time she is 7, she has been put on a potent cocktail of psychotropic medications:

”Jani is on three medications: Clozapine, lithium and Thorazine (known in the UK as Largactil). This combination has been the most successful. Are her hallucinations completely gone? No, but as she will tell us, they are not bothering her. It’s like having the TV on in the background, volume turned down, while you’re doing something, and every so often you look up at the screen to see what 400 the cat and other hallucinations are doing. They remain on Jani’s periphery, but she can still function in our common reality.”(2)

This harrowing description exemplifies the worst excesses of responding to a deeply troubled child’s distress as if it were a pathological illness, with the full psychiatric arsenal. What ensues can only be described as an account of psychiatric, human rights abuse.

If only Jani and her family were offered alternative kinds of help such as that developed by Voice Collective, (3) a London-wide project set up to support children and young people who hear, see and sense things others don’t. Voice Collective works with children, young people & families, and with professionals and organisations offering a whole range of services including peer support groups, so young people can meet with other young people with similar experiences, creative workshops, 1-2-1 support around making sense of voices and finding coping strategies, an online support forum. Voice Collective also offers a range of support services to families as well as supporting schools, social services, child and adolescent mental health services and other youth agencies to work with children & young people who have these experiences.

As one parent who has been supported by Voice Collective said:

‘You have brought us ‘normality’ within these experiences. You have taught us that with the appropriate support young people can lead happy and successful lives. You recognise the love we have for our children and have taught us how to support them”. - (Mother of a 12 year old)

How different things could be for Jani, her family and countless other children and families around the world if there were greater awareness that such humane and healing alternatives exist; approaches which help without doing more harm.

Questions, comments and/or reflections are welcome on this website or via Twitter @JacquiDillon

Jacqui Dillon’s website: http://www.jacquidillon.org

  1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/19/my-daughter-the-schizophrenic
  2. January First: A Child’s Descent Into Madness And Her Father’s Struggle To Save Her, by Michael Schofield, published on 1 February by Hardie Grant Books.
  3. http://www.voicecollective.co.uk/

 

Jani and her family originally appeared on the Oprah show in 2009. Many of us within the Hearing Voices Movement were so saddened and disturbed by Jani’s treatment that we wrote an open letter to Oprah Winfrey. Here is the open letter from INTERVOICE – the International Network for Training, Education and Research into Hearing Voices – an international organisation dedicated to spreading positive and hopeful messages about the experience of hearing voices across the world, reprinted again.

Dear Oprah,

We are writing in response to your programme about “The 7-Year-Old Schizophrenic”, which concerned Jani, a child who hears voices, which was broadcast on the 6th October 2009. We hope to correct the pessimistic picture offered by the mental health professionals featured in your programme, and in the accompanying article on your website. What upset us most and moved us to write to you, is that parents will have been left with the impression that they are powerless to help their children if they hear voices. We are also concerned that the programme gave the impression that children with voices must be treated with medication. We note that the medications mentioned in your programme all have very serious side effects. (For example, antipsychotics such as Haldol cause neuronal loss, block the dopamine pathways in the brain required to processes rewarding stimuli, and carry a high risk of neurological and metabolic side effects such as Parkinsonianism and diabetes. Their effects on the developing brain are largely unknown and, in our view, they should only be given to children as a treatment as absolutely last resort.)

We have been researching and working with adults and children like Jani for the last twenty years, and our work has led us to very different conclusions from those reached by the mental health professionals on your programme. One of our founding members, Dr. Sandra Escher from the Netherlands, has spent the last fifteen years talking to children who hear voices, and to their parents and carers. This work is the most detailed and thorough investigation of children who hear voices carried out to date [1, 2]. The most important findings from recent research on hearing voices are as follows:

Prevalence of Voice Hearing in Adults and Children

Recent large-scale population (epidemiological) studies have shown that about 4-10 % of the adult population hear voices at some time in their lives [3-5]. Only about a third seek assistance from mental health services. Amongst children, the proportion hearing voices may be even higher [6] and, again, only a minority are referred for treatment. Hence, it is wrong to assume that voice hearing is always a pathological condition requiring treatment.

Psychological Mechanisms

Everyone has an inner voice. Psychologists call this phenomenon ‘inner speech’ and it is an important mechanism that we use to regulate our own behaviour (plan what we want to do, direct our own actions). Child psychologists have long understood that this ability begins to develop at about 2-years of age [7, 8]. Hearing voices seems to reflect some kind of differentiation in the mind’s ability to tell the difference between inner speech and the heard speech of other people [9, 10].

Link to Trauma

A common theme in research with both adults and children is the relationship between hearing voices and traumatic experiences. In adults, around 75% begin to hear voices in relationship to a trauma or situations that make them feel powerless [11-13], for example the death of a loved one, divorce, losing a job, failing an exam, or longer lasting traumas such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse. The role of trauma was identified in 85% of the children we have studied, for example being bullied by peers or teachers, or being unable to perform to the required level at school, or being admitted to a hospital because of a physical illness. In short, our research has shown that hearing voices is usually a reaction to a situation or a problem that the child is struggling to cope with.

Voices have a meaning. A related and equally striking finding is that the voices often refer to the problem that troubles the child, but in an elliptical manner. To take just one example from the children studied by Sandra Escher:

The voices told an 8-year-old boy to blind himself. This frightened his mother. But when we discussed whether there was something in the life of the boy he could not face, she understood the voices’ message. The boy could not cope with his parents’ problematic marriage. He did not want to see it.

We wonder whether anyone has attempted to establish why, in Jani’s case, the rat is called “Wednesday”, why the girl is called “24 Hours”, and why is the cat called “400″? What do these mean for her? Why does Jani want people to call her “Blue-Eyed Tree Frog” and “Jani Firefly”?

Good Outcomes Without Treatment

Recently, Sandra Escher conducted a three-year follow up study of eighty children who heard voices, aged between 8 and 19 [1]. Half received mental health care but the other half were not given any specialist care at all. The children were interviewed four times, at yearly intervals. By the end of the research period 60% of the children reported that their voices had disappeared. Very often, this was because the triggering problems were dealt with or because the child’s situation changed – for example, following a change of schools.

Helping Children Who Hear Voices: Advice to Parents

It is important to appreciate that the desire to make voices disappear, although usually the goal of the mental health care services, is not necessarily in the best interests of children. Some children do not want to lose their voices. If children can find within themselves the resources to cope with their voices, they can begin to lead happier and more balanced lives.

The most important element in this process is support from the family. Unfortunately, we have found that mental health services often fail to have a positive effect on children’s voices, because they foster fear rather than coping. However, we have found that referral to a psychotherapist who is prepared to discuss the meaning of voices is often helpful.

It is important that parents do not assume that hearing voices is a terrible disaster but instead regard it as a signal that something is troubling their child. If parents assume that voices are a symptom of an illness, and are afraid of them, the child will naturally pick up on this feeling. This can lead to a self-defeating cycle in which the child becomes fearful and obsessed by the voices.

We would like to offer this 10-point guide for parents, indicating what they can do if a child tells them that he or she hears voices:

1. Try not to over react. Although it is understandable that you will be worried, work hard not to communicate your anxiety to your child.

2. Accept the reality of the voice experience for your child; ask about the voices, how long the child has been hearing them, who or what they are, whether they have names, what they say, etc.

3. Let your child know that many other children hear voices and that usually they go away after a while.

4. Even if the voices do not disappear your child may learn to live in harmony with them.

5. It is important to break down your child’s sense of isolation and difference from other children. Your child is special – unusual perhaps, but really not abnormal.

6. Find out if your child has any difficulties or problems that he or she finds very hard to cope with, and work on fixing those problems. Think back to when the voices first started. What was happening to your child at the time? Was there anything unusual or stressful occurring?

7. If you think you need outside help, find a therapist who is prepared to accept your child’s experiences and work systematically with him or her to understand and cope better with the voices.

8. Be ready to listen to your child if he or she wants to talk about the voices. Use drawing, painting, acting and other creative ways to help the child to describe what is happening in his or her life.

9. Get on with your lives and try not to let the experience of hearing voices become the centre of your child’s life or your own.

10. Most children who live well with their voices have supportive families who accept the experience as part of who their child is. You can do this too!

Conclusion

In conclusion we would like to stress that, in our view, labelling a seven-year-old child as schizophrenic and subjecting her to powerful psychotropic medication and periodic hospitalisation is unlikely to help resolve her problems. Indeed, the opposite is most probable: children treated in this way will simply become more powerless. Because your well respected, award winning show reaches out to so many people, we are concerned that there will be many viewers who will be left with the impression that the treatment Jani receives is the only method available. We fear that this may cause some children to be subjected to an unnecessary lifetime in psychiatric care. It is very important to recognise that hearing voices, in itself, is not a sign of psychopathology.

We hope you will give consideration to the possibility of making a future programme showing the other side of the story, one of hope, optimism and with a focus on recovery. Perhaps you could make a programme about a child with similar voice experiences to Jani, who has been helped to come to terms with her or his experiences and to discuss with the child, parents and therapists how this was achieved? If there is any way we could help make this happen, please contact us.

We look forward to hearing from you on the issues raised in our letter.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Baker

INTERVOICE coordinator

(Letter re-edited with the kind assistance of Professor Richard Bentall)

Selected bibliography:

1. Escher, S., et al., Independent course of childhood auditory hallucinations: A sequential 3-year follow-up study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 2002. 181 Suppl 43: p. 10-18.

2. Escher, S., et al., Formation of delusional ideation in adolescents hearing voices: A prospective study. American Journal of Medical Genetics (Neuropsychiatric Genetics), in press.

3. Tien, A.Y., Distribution of hallucinations in the population. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 1991. 26: p. 287-292.

4. van Os, J., et al., Strauss (1969) revisited: A psychosis continuum in the normal population?Schizophrenia Research, 2000. 45: p. 11-20.

5. van Os, J., et al., Prevalence of psychotic disorder and community level of psychotic symptoms: An urban-rural comparison. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2001. 58: p. 663-668.

6. Poulton, R., et al., Children’s self-reported psychotic symptoms and adult schizophreniform disorder: A 15-year longitudinal study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2000. 57: p. 1053-1058.

7. Berk, L.E., Why children talk to themselves. Scientific American, 1994: p. 61-65.

8. Vygotsky, L.S.V., Thought and language. 1962, Cambidge, Mass: MIT Press.

9. Alleman, A. and F. Laroi, Hallucinations: The science of idiosyncratic perceptions. 2008, Washington: American Psychological Association.

10. Bentall, R.P., Madness explained: Psychosis and human nature. 2003, London: Penguin.

11. Read, J., et al., Sexual and physical abuse during childhood and adulthood as predictors of hallucinations, delusions and thought disorder. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 2003. 76: p. 1-22.

12. Hammersley, P., et al., Childhood trauma and hallucinations in bipolar affective disorder: A preliminary investigation. British Journal of Psychiatry, 2003. 182: p. 543-547.

13. Shevlin, M., M. Dorahy, and G. Adamson, Childhood traumas and hallucinations: An analysis of the National Comorbidity Survey. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2007. 41: p. 222-228.

Signed by 155 people from 20 countries, listed in order of the time they were received.

Dr. Sandra Escher, – Board member of INTERVOICE, The Netherlands

Professor Marius Romme, psychiatrist, MD, PhD, President of INTERVOICE, The Netherlands

Dirk Corstens, Social psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Chair of INTERVOICE, The Netherlands

Paul Baker, coordinator of INTERVOICE, Spain

Jacqui Dillon, consultant trainer and voice hearer, chair of Hearing Voices Network England, board member of INTERVOICE, UK

Ron Coleman, consultant trainer and voice hearer, board member of INTERVOICE, UK

Hywel Davies, chair of Hearing Voices Network Cymru (Wales), honorary board member of INTERVOICE; UK

Amanda R. E. Aller Lowe, MS, LPC, LCPC, QMRP – Agency Partner, Communities In Schools & Area Representative, The Center for Cultural Interchange, Aurora, Illinois, INTERVOICE supporter, USA

Adrienne Giacon, Secretary and Hearing Voices Network Support group facilitator Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa, INTERVOICE member, New Zealand

Dr John Read, Associate Professor, Psychology Department, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Ann-Louise S. Silver, MD, founder and past president, International Society for the Psychological Treatments of Schizophrenia and Other Psychoses (www.isps-us.org), ISPS-US, USA

Matthew Morrissey, MA, MFT, Board Member, MindFreedom International, Northern California Coordiator, ISPS-US, San Franciso, USA

Irene van de Giessen, former voice hearer and foster-daughter of Willem van Staalen and Willem van Staalen, voice integrating foster-father of Irene, The Netherlands

Olga Runciman, consultant trainer and voice hearer (BSc psychiatric nurse and graduate student in psychology), INTERVOICE member, Denmark

Professor Wilma Boevink, Chair of Stichting Weerklank (Netherlands Hearing Voices Network), Professor of Recovery, Hanze University; Trimbos-Institute (the Dutch Institute of Mental Health and Addiction), Netherlands

Marian B. Goldstein, voicehearer, (fully recovered thanks to trauma-focussed therapy, the opportunity to make sense of the voices) INTERVOICE supporter, Denmark

Professor Dr J. van Os, Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, INTERVOICE supporter, Netherlands

Virginia Pulker, Mental health Occupational Therapist with young people with psychosis, recovery promoter, HVN Australia, Northern Ireland and England. INTERVOICE supporter, UK/Australia

Professor Richard Bentall, PhD, Chair Clinical Psychology, University of Bangor, INTERVOICE supporter, Wales, UK

Alessandra Santoni, professional working in a Mental Health Service of Milan, voice hearer and facilitator of a hearing voices group, INTERVOICE supporter,Italy

Geraldo Peixoto and Dulce Edie Pedro dos Santos, São Vicente – Est. São Paulo – INTERVOICE supporter, Brasil

Joanna & Andrzej Skulski, INTERVOICE supporters, Polska

Darby Penney, INTERVOICE supporter and President, The Community Consortium, Inc., Albany, NY, USA

Jacqueline Hayes, researcher at Manchester University about hearing voices in ‘non-patients’ and therapist, UK

Phil Virden, MA, MA, Executive Editor, Asylum Magazine, UK

Matthew Morris, Mental Health Locality Manager, East Suffolk Outreach Team, Suffolk Mental Health Partnerships NHS Trust, INTERVOICE supporter, UK

Ros Thomas, Young Peoples Worker, Gateway Community Heath, Wodonga Victoria, INTERVOICE supporter, Australia

Dr. Rufus May Dclin/ Consultant Clinical Psychologist, INTERVOICE supporter, UK

Dr. Simon Jones, INTERVOICE supporter, UK

Dr. Louis Tinnin, Psychiatrist, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA

Linda Gantt, PhD, Intensive Trauma Therapy, Inc., USA

Burton Norman Seitler, Ph.D., New Jersey Institute for training in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, Child and Adolescence Psychotherapy Studies

Ron Bassman, PhD., Founding member of International Network Towards Alternatives for Recovery (INTAR), Past president of The National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy, USA

Michael O’Loughlin, Adelphi University, NY, USA

Dorothy Scotten, Ph.D., LCSW, USA

Marilyn Charles, Ph.D., The Austen Riggs Center, USA

Bex Shaw, Psychotherapist, London, UK

Ira Steinman, MD, author of “TREATING the ‘UNTREATABLE’ : Healing in the Realms of Madness”, USA

Mike Lawson, Ex Vice Chair National MIND UK 1988-1992, INTERVOICE supporter, UK

Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D., B.C.S.A., International Center for Humane Psychiatry, USA

Ron Unger LCSW, Therapist, USA

Daniel B Fisher (Boston, MA): Person who recovered from what is called schizophrenia, Executive Director National Empowerment Center; National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/survivor Org., member of Interrelate an international coalition of national consumer/user groups, community psychiatrist, Cambridge, Mass., USA

Mary Madrigal, USA

Paul Hammersley, University of Manchester, INTERVOICE supporter, UK

Phil Benjamin, mental health nurse and voices consultant, Australia

Eleanor Longden, Bradford Early Intervention in Psychosis Service, England, UK

Karen Taylor RMN, director Working to Recovery, Scotland, UK

Bill George, MA, PGCE, Member of the Anoiksis Think Tank, Netherlands

Dr Andrew Moskowitz, Senior Lecturer in Mental Health, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

John Exell, BA(Hons), Dip Arch, voice-hearer, sculptor, artist, writer, poet, UK.

Tineke Nabben, a voice hearer who has learned to cope with her voices and student, learning to help other children and parents to cope with their voices. Germany

Marcello Macario, psychiatrist, Community Mental Health Centre of Carcare, Italy, INTERVOICE supporter, Italy

Ian Parker, Professor of Psychology, co-director of the Discourse Unit, Manchester Metropolitan University, England, UK

David Harper, PhD, Reader in Clinical Psychology, School of Psychology, University of East London, England, UK

Wakio Sato, representative of the Hearing Voices Network – Japan. President of the Japanese Association of Clinical Psychology. The representative of an NPO named “Linden” for community mental health in Konko town, Okayama prefecture, Japan

Suzette van IJssel, Ph.D., spiritual counsel and voice hearer, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Jeannette Woolthuis, psycho-social therapist working with children hearing voices, The Netherlands

Dr. Louise Trygstad, Professor Emerita, University of San Francisco School of Nursing, USA

Erik Olsen, Board member ENUSP European Network of Users (x)-users and Survivors of Psychiatry and Executive Committee in European Dsability Forum (EDF)

Astrid Zoetbrood, recovered from psychosis and voices, the Netherlands

Christine Brown, RMN, Hearing Voices Network Scotland, INTERVOICE supporter, UK

Rachel Waddingham, Manager of the London Hearing Voices Project (inc. Voice Collective: Young People’s Hearing Voices Project), trainer and voice-hearer, UK

Joel Waddingham, Husband and supporter of someone who hears voices, sees visions and has other unusual experiences, UK

Professor Robin Buccheri, RN, MHNP, DNSc, University of San Francisco, CA, USA

Jørn Eriksen, Board member of INTERVOICE, the Danish Hearing Voices Network and The International Mental Health Collaboration Network, Denmark

Douglas Holmes, voice hearer working in a Mental Health Service in Darlinghurst, Sydney, and facilitator of a hearing voices group, INTERVOICE supporter, Australia

Matthew Winter, Student Mental Health Nurse and INTERVOICE supporter

Anneli Westling, Relative of a voice hearer from Stockholm, Sweden

Lia Govers, recovered voice hearer, Italy

Molly Martyn, MA in Clinical Mental Health, Hearing Voices Network of Denver, USA

Tsuyoshi Matsuo, MD, INTERVOICE supporter, Japan

Janet M. Patterson RN, BSN, USA

Odette Nightsky, Sensitive Services International, Australia

Barbara Belton, M.S., M.S. trauma survivor who has recovered and former behavioral health professional, USA

Luigi Colaianni, PhD sociologist, researcher, Community Mental Health Centre, Milano, Italy

Teresa Keedwell, Voice Hearer Support Group, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Maria Haarmans, MA, Canadian Representative INTERVOICE, Canada

Ami Rohnitz, Voice hearer, Sweden

Sharon Jones, University of York, INTERVOICE Supporter, England, UK

Gail A. Hornstein, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Mount Holyoke College, USA

Siri Blesvik, INTERVOICE supporter, Norway

Lynn Seaton, mental health nurse, Scottish Hearing Voices Network and INTERVOICE supporter, UK

Rozi Pattison, Clinical Psychologist, CAMHS, Kapiti Health Centre, PARAPARAUMU, New Zealand

Suzanne Engelen, Experience Focussed Counselling Institute (efc) and member of INTERVOICE. She is an expert by experience and also works for Weerklank (Dutch Hearing Voices Network) and the TREE project, The Netherlands

Susie Crooks, Voice hearer, Mad & Proud, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Lloyd Ross, Ph.D., FACAPP., P.A., New Jersey, USA

Catherine Penney, RN, USA

Nancy Burke, PhD, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis, USA

Nels Kurt Langsten, M.D., USA

Michael S. Garfinkle, PhD, New York, USA

Andy Phee RMN, community mental health nurse, Kings Cross, London ,facilitated a hearing voices group for 10 years, member of the London Hearing Voices Project advisory group. England, UK

Helen Sheppard, AMHP, West Yorkshire, England, UK.

Dr Gillian Proctor, Clincial Psychologist. Bradford, UK

Jane Forrest, sister of voice hearer, Sweden

Tami Williams, Ph.D., Licensed School Psychologist, Clinical Psychologist, Psychiatric Survivor, USA

Lone Jeppesen, Works as a social teacher in an institution with a lot of voice hearers and the diagnosis of schizophrenia, INTERVOICE supporter, Denmark

Judith Haire, author and voice hearer, Ramsgate, Kent, England, UK

Peter Lehmann, Peter Lehmann Publishing, Berlin, Germany / Eugene, OR / Shrewsbury, UK

Sigari Luckwell, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Bunbury Clinic, INTERVOICE supporter, Western Australia

Will Hall, voice hearer with schizophrenia diagnosis, founder of Portland hearing voices, host of madnessradio.net, USA

Richard Gray, specialist mental health support worker, random hearer/ seer of voices, visions and past lives. HVN NZ treasurer. New Zealand

Jacqueline Roy, Department of English, Manchester Metropolitan University, England, UK

Dr Mike Jackson, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board, North Wales

Frank Blankenship, Chair of Affiliate Support Committee, MindFreedom International, MindFreedom Florida Gainesville, Florida USA

Dorothy Dundas, psychatric survivor, MA, USA

Sigrun Tømmerås, mental health acitvist/ childhood abuse survivor, Norway

Karyn Baker BSW, MSW, RSW, Executive Director, Family Outreach and Response Program, Toronto, Canada

Monika Hoffmann psychologist and co-founders of the “NeSt”, the German Hearing Voices Network, Germany

Paul Beelen connected to the INTERVOICE network and voice hearer, The Netherlands

Rossa Forbes Holistic Schizophrenia, North America

Teresa Keedwell Voice Hearer Support Group, Palmerston North New Zealand

Yutaka Fujimoto Psychologist, Tokyo Metropolitan Govemment Mental Health and Welfare Cente, vice president of the Japanese Association of Clinical Psychology, member of the Hearing Voices Network Japan. Tokyo, Japan

Cheontell Barnes High support mental health worker and voices group co-facilitator Brighton UK

Yutaka Fujimoto Psychologist, Tokyo Metropolitan Govemment Mental Health and Welfare Cente, vice president of the Japanese Association of Clinical Psychology, member of the Hearing Voices Network Japan. Tokyo, Japan

Pino Pini, Psychiatrist, Mental Health Europe, INTERVOICE supporter, Italy

Ivona Amleh Psychiatrist, Bethlehem Psychiatric Hospital, Palestine

John Robinson, Integrative Therapist (and voice hearer) for the Hearing Voices Project, SE London

Yann Derobert Psychotherapist, France

Indigo Daya , Voices Vic Project Manager, Melbourne, Australia

Stephen McGowan , Early Intervention in Psychosis Lead. Yorkshire and the Humber Improvement Programme, UK

Adam James Editor and award winning journalist, psychminded.co.uk, UK

Tori Reeve, counsellor, member of HVN, Intervoice supporter, UK.

A. C. Sterk MA Psychologist and psychotherapist, director of the Ann Lee Centre community mental health project, and person with previous experience of psychosis. Manchester, UK.

Geoff Brennan Nurse Consultant Psychosocial Interventions for Acute Inpatient Care, Berkshire healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Co-editor Serious Mental Illness a manual for clinical practice”, UK

Lyn Mahboub voice hearer, trainer, consultant, mother, daughter, student, teacher and, also, one who has navigated the psychiatric service system, Australia

Kristin Hedden, Ph.D. VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Tacoma, Washington, USA 126

Agna Bartels MSc , psychologist and researcher in the University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands.

Rita Brooks, BS in Human Services Recovery Consultant, writer and producer of DVD called: The Reality of Recovery, Covington, Kentucky, USA

Angel Moore David Romprey Oregon Warmline, Oregon, USA

Chuck Hughes Corresponding Secretary Los Angeles County Clients Coalition, USA

Amy Sanderson, Bradford Early Intervention in Psychosis Team, UK

Pam Pinder parent of voice hearer, Plymouth, Devon, UK

Gerard van de Willige MSC psychologist and researcher, University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands

Mette Askov voice hearer with the diagnosis of schizoprenia and on the road to recovery, INTERVOICE supporter, Denmark

Claire Attwood , Voice hearer and mental health support worker, Isle of Wight. UK,

Alberto Diaz MSc Argentinian psychologist, PhD student in collective health at Universidade Estadual de Campinas, researching mental health, special interest schizophrenia, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil

Barney Holmes, running a Level 1 Affiliate – MindFreedom, Lancaster, UK

Cindy Highsmith Myron, psychiatric survivor, completely recovered from voice hearing and severe mental illness, mental health professional and life coach for persons with mental illness in a self-directed care program, INTERVOICE supporter, Florida, USA

Mad Hatters of Bath. We are a group of people who have experienced mental extremes, including hearing voices and seeing visions. Bath, England, UK

Karin Daniels, mother of a voice hearing daughter who suffered a lot, but who has now recovered. Maastricht, The Netherlands

Jim Probert, PhD Psychologist, Student Health Care Center, University of Florida, USA

Dr David Lee Clinical Psychologist, Dept of Psychological Therapies, Royal Bolton Hospital, Bolton, Supporter of INTERVOICE, UK

Professor Sue Cowan, Registered Mental Health Nurse and Chartered Health Psychologist, University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland, UK

Paul Harris psychotherapist and support worker based in the UK

Marina Beteva voices hearer for 8-9 years, on medication treatment, Moscow, Russia

Monica Cassani North Carolina, USA

Rikke Bitsch Denmark

Afaf Swaity Nursing Director of Bethlehem Psychiatric Hospital, Palestine

Mary Maddocks MindFreedom Ireland, Ireland

Tania Linden North Lincolnshire Early Intervention Service, UK

Rosemaree Ashford honours psychology student, recovery worker, Richmond Fellowship of WA, Australia

Gemma Hendry Trainee Clinical Psychologist with a specialist interest in Community Psychology and Voice hearing, UK

Erica van den Akker Social worker in Forensic Psychiatry, The Netherlands

Caroline von Taysen psychologist, Netzwerk Stimmenhören, Germany and Normal Difference, Mental Health Kariobangi in Kenya, Germany

Poppy Rollinson Mental Health Nurse, Brighton, UK

Vanessa Jackson Healing Circles, Inc. , USA

Dr. Julie Arthur Kirby Supporter of INTERVOICE and Senior Lecturer, UK

Peter Bullimore Expert by experience, Asylum Associates, UK

Paul Cheminais voice hearer, Bournemouth, UK 159

See: http://www.intervoiceonline.org/news-events/campaigns/open-letter-oprah/dear-opra

 

Jacqui Dillon

The Hearing Voices Movement: Jacqui Dillon writes about the rapidly expanding, worldwide Hearing Voices movement which contests the traditional psychiatric relationship of dominant-expert clinician and passive-recipient patient and views voice-hearing as a significant human experience.

The Hearing Voices Movement: In Response to a Father – ‘My Daughter, the Schizophrenic’ Comments RSS

99 thoughts on “The Hearing Voices Movement: In Response to a Father – ‘My Daughter, the Schizophrenic’

  1. Thanks for posting Jacqui.

    The Guardian article and story about the little girl pathologised by psychiatry and her father was harrowing to read and think about. I remember it being promoted before. Like a circus act in bygone days but more sinister and scary. Subjecting a child to these strong psychiatric drugs it’s a wonder she can function at all.

    It’s encouraging to hear of the Hearing Voices movement’s work, Chrys

    • Thanks Chrys.

      This story is horrifying and aside from Jani’s ‘treatment’ one wonders why her family and the professionals working with her think it is acceptable to invade her privacy in such a way. That in itself disturbs me, never mind what else she is being subjected to.

      To counter-balance such a disturbing story I felt it was crucial to highlight the work of the Hearing Voices Movement which offers such a humane and hopeful approach and a viable alternative for Jani and other children like her, who are suffering because of scary voices and visions. There is always hope.

      Jacqui

  2. While reading “Blue-Eyed Tree Frog”, thing in the left side of my head said “cognitive dissonance”.

    I’ve never heard of cognitive dissonance so I had to look it up to see if it exists. It does.

    I cannot claim “cognitive dissonance” as my own thought. It distinctly is NOT my own. How’s that for a real-time example of mental hearing?

    I don’t know if cognitive dissonance is “professionally” observed in Jani. I think it would benefit her greatly, and she would do remarkably well, to prescribe the treatment of: study linguistics. The greater her vocabulary becomes, the better she will be able to know and understand her own mind, and effectively communicate what she experiences to others.

    • Interesting how those words came to you – from the collective unconscious perhaps?! – but I wonder who is actually suffering from cognitive dissonance. Is it 8 year old Jani who seems to be able to articulate and communicate about her frightening experiences so clearly, or is it the adults around her? How do they fail to see and hear the meaning in her experiences, rendering them a symptom of schizophrenia instead? I wonder if it is they who need study further…

      • I love Jani. I’m fascinated by her. I wish I could meet her and talk with her.

        I believe in my heart that she really was born exactly as she is. I think her mind / psyche very much IS a real issue. I don’t know if I’d call her “schizophrenic” but I would call her Psychic (psychic, meaning – her psyche is distinct and remarkable and very active, obviously). Psyche is NOT a disease but that doesn’t mean it is always easy to live with. It can be outright brutal and even Hellish (such is life). There are various states of Psyche. An active one is *psychic*. It shouldn’t be so complicated.

        If she is renaming herself, it seems that “cognitive dissonance” could be an accurate description of what she’s doing. I read that she HATES her name “January” – which I think is really significant and needs to be understood. SOMETHING is motivating her to find a new name for herself. That’s a big deal.

        I don’t blame her family (or the rest of the world) for calling her schizophrenic. As of right now, people don’t know any different. Who could honestly deny the fact that she IS how she is? I can’t.

        To be real honest, I resent the fact that people are trying to spin the “abuse” angle, suggesting that abuse or neglect is what is causing her condition. That is BS. There very well may be some of those issues, but the girl IS born as she is. I think she DOES have something “genetic”. I think she IS a genuine psyche-active person. I don’t see her as “sick” but I do see her as somebody who needs a LOT of support to know and understand what she “has” and how and why she has it. I see her as 100% GENUINE: whatever it may be, she’s BORN that way.

        • I am not sure that people are trying to ‘spin’ anything, just reflecting on what comes up for them when reading and hearing about Jani and her treatment and providing factual information that has previously been in the public domain.

          I appreciate your wish to not blame but seek to try and understand. However I don’t believe in schizophrenia. I think it is a damaging concept and that so called symptoms are reactions, often to traumatic or overwhelming experiences. I also feel deeply troubled by what is really going on here although ultimately, all we can all do, is speculate, muse, discuss…

          • Let’s take a closer look:

            http://www.thefreedictionary.com/schizophrenia

            Do you see where it says

            “2. behaviour that appears to be motivated by contradictory or conflicting principles”

            ?

            Now let’s take that and pair it up with “cognitive dissonance”

            http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cognitive+dissonance

            A condition of conflict or anxiety resulting from inconsistency between one’s beliefs and one’s actions

            It seems to me (with my very basic, uneducated intelligence) that “behaviour that appears to be motivated by contradictory or conflicting principles” and “conflict or anxiety resulting from inconsistency between one’s beliefs and one’s actions” are PRACTICALLY THE SAME THING.

            For the record, I state and declare that I DID hear “cognitive dissonance” inside of my mind and did NOT previously know that term in ANY way, not even “unconsciously” or “subconsciously”. I simply have NEVER heard of “cognitive dissonance” ever before except FROM RIGHT INSIDE OF MY OWN HEAD, LIVE, AS I WAS READING. I was “brave” and “courageous” enough to actually type (publicly) exactly what I experienced (heard) inside of my “psycho”, “schizo” head.

            Hallucinations CAN’T BE CORRECT. About anything. And if they are, it isn’t a hallucination.

            Let the professionals look for “cognitive dissonance” in Jani. If they can confirm that, to support their schizophrenia diagnosis … hold on.

            Is anyone truly interested in actually helping the child? Is anyone truly interested in UNDERSTANDING HER?

            Let’s take it a step further:

            What is her INNER CONFLICT? Here’s a clue: she HATES her name. She is RENAMING herself.

            Why?.

            The inner-world is a REAL place. Lots and lots of activity (on the inside). One more time: psyche is NOT a disease.

          • In reply to mjk: “2. behaviour that appears to be motivated by contradictory or conflicting principles”. It “appears”. To any unengaged observer, like an mh professional for instance. It may also “appear” so to a parent whose need to himself appear as the perfect parent isn’t met by a child who reacts to the parent reflecting the parent’s imperfection. A psychiatric “symptom” is a reaction to life that is taken out of its context with life. Thus the cognitive dissonance doesn’t happen in the person who’s labeled with “mental illness” on the grounds of psychiatric “symptoms”, but in those who label.

  3. This story is all over You-Tube, too and it made me so sad I couldn’t watch the whole thing. I remember seeing this letter to Oprah a few years ago and thinking that this list of suggestions was great. So glad to see it re-posted here.

    It’s sad to think how many creatives, spiritualists, or entrepreneurs in our society are being snuffed out by this stuff. I’ve had to do some grief work around this off and on. What’s helped lately is a Bible verse from Jeremiah about “He will restore what the locusts have eaten.” [No offense meant to Non-christians] Much of what I’ve lost to psychiatry has now been restored in my life. Hopefully we can build a way to do this more often for our brothers and sisters and step-children like this in bondage.

  4. I’ve been following Jani’s case for a while and think her treatment with a mega drug cocktail and her exploitation by the media and her parents is unconscionable. The work with children who hear voices, on the other hand, is inspiring.

    Jacqui, Did they ever receive a response from Oprah? And have you considered sending this letter to the author of the book (Jani’s dad) via his publisher? I do believe he wants to help his child — who I see as creative and gifted as well as disturbed — perhaps, perhaps he would listen.

    • I agree that the exploitation of Jani is unconscionable. It is also heartbreaking that her creative attempts to survive, i.e. the voices and visions that she experiences, have been so comprehensively misunderstood.

      Fortunately, healing alternatives do exist and the fantastic work of the Voice Collective project in London is a brilliant example of this, an approach that I sincerely hope will become more widely available to children like Jani and their families.

      We never received a response from Oprah but as you suggest, it might be worth trying to send this letter directly to Jani’s father. Perhaps he would listen…

  5. Here is the family’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/janifoundation?ref=ts&fref=ts

    I resisted medicating my son for three years. Along with the voices, he had painful tactile hallucinations and frightening visual hallucinations. An array of therapists did not help. He is on meds now, which makes me very sad. However, he is no longer tormented by seeing demons cutting off people’s heads, for example. I’m hoping that the new therapist will be able to help him resolve this stuff. My guess is that Jani’s family is simply beside themselves, as am I. My heart goes out to them.

    • I am sorry to hear about the awful time you and your son have been having. I have met and worked with many families who have been beside themselves with worry about their kids. As a parent I can entirely empathise. That is why I posted the 10-point guide for parents, indicating what they can do if a child tells them that he or she hears voices: from our experiences, the less alarmed parents feel, the better the outcomes for their children.

      I hope that your son is able to get the support from his therapist to make sense of the tormenting experiences that he was having. Wishing you both all the best.

  6. Prior to her being subjected to the abuse of coercive-medical psychiatry, Jani was severely abused in her home.

    A few years back, Jani’s father was surprisingly forthright, in writing about this, online; yet, some time ago, he began scrubbing his tracks.

    For example, he removed the following two paragraphs from his own blog, http://www.januaryfirst.org (and then took that blog offline):

    “We tried everything. Positive reinforcement. Negative reinforcement. Hitting her back (I won’t tell you how many people told us that all she needed was a good beating). We took all her toys away. We gave her toys away. We tried starving her. We did EVERYTHING we could to try and break her. Nothing worked.

    “The violence became so bad that at times Susan and I both lost it and hit Jani as hard as we could. We hit in impotent rage.
    We got a referral to a psychiatrist. Two months later, Janni was hospitalized for the first of what has since been four times, but in truth will be many more times. Today, Jani is no longer a brat. Today, Jani is schizophrenic.”

    Source:

    http://bipolar-stanscroniclesandnarritive.blogspot.com/2009/07/los-angeles-times-reporter-defends.html?showComment=1314932254631

      • Jacqui,

        If the exact nature of Jani’s current ‘treatment’ can’t be discovered by reading her father’s new book (which I have never read, but which I know is now being featured in the Guardian), I believe we can, nonetheless, reasonably surmise, that Jani is a young person whose parents are – with the help of psychiatrists – drugging her behaviors continually; for, in the course of their seeking help for her, years ago, Jani’s parents came to developing a ‘mental health’ lobbying platform, vis–à–vis Jani’s mom (Susan) hosting her own weekly radio show called, “Bipolar Nation,” and by way of Jani’s dad (Michael) often co-hosting…

        Both parents are outspoken, in their opinions, on that show (as, of course, most radio show hosts will be); sadly (for their kids), not infrequently, they are inclined to broadcast their children’s ‘mental health’ issues on that show. (That said, now, hesitantly, I mention the link to their free podcasts):

        http://www.latalkradio.com/Bipolar.php

        In your comment, above, at January 22, 2013 at 7:50 am, to Chrys, you say:

        “This story is horrifying and aside from Jani’s ‘treatment’ one wonders why her family and the professionals working with her think it is acceptable to invade her privacy in such a way. That in itself disturbs me, never mind what else she is being subjected to.”

        I share your sense of horror. (Indeed, *never* do I cease to be troubled, by the latest example of parents publicizing their kids’ ‘mental health’ issues; personally, I struggle, wondering: is it OK even to discuss the most trivial matters pertaining to my child’s life, online? Hypothetically speaking: can I even mention what I may consider a disappointing report card, in good conscience? I think not. (But, of course, mentioning ones child’s doings, from a position of relative anonymity, might not be so bad. I’m uncomfortable with it, when people do it; but, the anonymous approach may be somewhat more acceptable.) Certainly, I’d not want to be one to attach *any* kid’s real name to a psych-label, online.

        To read my full response (which became too long, to post, as a comment), you can find it in my blog, by clicking on the following link:

        http://beyondlabeling.posterous.com/an-open-letter-to-jacqui-dillon-psych-psychia

        Respectfully,

        ~Jonah

  7. First of all, sorry I did not know about the possiblity to sign the paper. In my daily work I meet far too often children and young people coming to our place with psychiatric diagnosis and prescriptions of drugs. Fortunately I am often part of a change, I have the joy to work with people who believe in other things, people who believe in the importance of being present and participating in a relationship to try to find out how come it is like this. And there are answers, always! Not necessarily easily found, not necessarily comfortable, sometimes very painful issues to discover, sometimes with a lot of guilt and sleepless nights. So it is important to be there together with the child and his / her family (if possible). There are no other way. It can never ever be acceptable to define a child or a young person having a psychaitric illness without taking into account the context, life conditions, family, society, etc… And sad to say, but have also very many times met children and young people getting worse in a “professional” context with its manuals, methods, and different criterias. I have a dream about a different approach, about a knowledge which include many people, also the professional “helper”, a knowledge which has to do with trust, hope, taking a responsibilty and to find ways to collaborate.

    • I agree Carina that there are ALWAYS answers, even if they lead to some very painful, uncomfortable issues. No experience, nor person is utterly incomprehesible, if we are simply willing to be with people, relate to them and really hear what they have to say. Sadly many ‘treatments’ actually make matters so much worse which is a travesty. Fortunately, there are a growing number of us who are expressing our outrage at such misguided attempts to help and who also have the knowledge and experience to advocate ways of working collaboratively that really do help.

      Looking forward to collaborating with you and others in Sweden in April, to help spread the word about what works!

      • Yes it will be great to see you, and to listen to you of course!
        This morning on my way to work I met a mother and her four years old daughter on their way to day care (or how to call it in English). In the beginning of last autumn a colleauge Hanna and I met the girl and her parents who at that time were in a chock since a psychologist after meeting the girl ONE time had told them that the girl has a very severe autism and has to start medicating and go through psychological tests. They were also told that the girl will never be able to live “a normal” life. Well, to make a long story very short, we have seen the parents during some months and listened to their story over the last ten years and how different things have happenened in their life, and not to say that everything is totally ok by now, but they again trust their own feelings and experiences towards the daughter and have decide not to go back to child psychiatry. Welcome to Gothenburg!!!

        • This is an all too common experience, in many parts of the world it seems Carina. It just makes me more determined to continue to raise awareness of the harm caused by those who are supposed to help, and of the many excellent alternatives that are developing across the world. This web site is a fantastic way of spreading awareness of both of these crucial issues. Pleased to ‘meet’ you here – very much look forward to meeting you in Gothenburg in the Spring!

  8. Jacqui,

    This family has received a great deal of publicity in recent years, and it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the parents have encouraged the child’s dysfunctionality for their own gain. As long as all the criteria for these so-called illnesses are behavioral, this kind of thing is almost inevitable. Most commonly, this takes the form of parents coaching the child with a view to obtaining disability income. But more exotic versions can and do occur.

    Philip Hickey, PhD
    http://behaviorismandmentalhealth.com/

    • Parents coaching children in order to obtain disability income isn’t something I know much about but I can imagine it happens. As to whether so-called illnesses are behavioral is open to debate. It seems to me that troubling behaviours are the manifestation and consequence of overwhelming emotions, reactions to the environment, impact of significant relationships etc. Simply switching the frame from illness to behaviour isn’t the answer for me. A focus on it may be part of what helps makes sense of the whole person and their experience…

  9. I so appreciate this, Jacqui.

    I have been suicidally depressed many times, but I have never heard voices. I have talked with voice-hearers in the hospital very matter-of-factly, but I never thought about this approach until I heard of HVN, just a few weeks ago.

    Your post is enlightening. I am a peer specialist, and I am so grateful for the information I get at MIA. I am in your debt.

    Pam

  10. I wrote about Jani as an exams project and did a lot of research as her father has used her to promote his blog and later the book based on his blog – and to beg for money. It is one of the most tragic public exploitations of a child I have ever been a witness to. He has been investigated for sexual abuse of jani but never convicted. He has himself written about the violence he and Janis’s mother exposed Jani to before he found out that that was not a smart thing to do on the net. He becomes infuriated if he is criticized on his blog and no form of critique is tolerated so no dialog is ever entered into unless it is basically praising especially him. There are clips when Jani is just weeks old and he is talking about her hallucinating! I concluded after reading, watching video clips and listening to their radio program that we have here a case of what could go under the heading of Munchausen by proxy syndrome. The interview with Oprah btw shows clearly (my opinion) that Oprah is out of her depth and that she believes Jani is ill and addresses her as such.

    However what is also dreadful is we have a psychiatric system prepared to drug Jani to the gills and ignore the family life which in Jani’s case is plastered all over the internet, though now-a-days it is carefully planned and orchestrated. There are clips where it is so obvious Jani is trying to please mom and dad (and the camera) by waving a plastic knife around so that the staff can say she needs to be admitted as violent(!)

    Thanks Jacqui for bringing the plight of this poor child to our attention again, and who knows maybe one day she will read and hear that another truth also exists…

    • So, the reality is that the father is the person with the problem here and not Jani. I wonder what family threapy would uncover if this family were forced to go through it? I also suspect sexual abuse on the part of the father.

    • It is funny but when I was writing the post I imagined what it might mean if Jani were to read it in the future…

      Thanks for sharing that Olga. The more I hear about Jani and her family, and the collusion of the professionals that are working with them, the more unsettled I feel.

      Another thing that disturbs me is the way in which the media present such stories so uncritically. Reading some of the comments on other sites about the original article, it is clear that apparently intelligent people accept this story at face value and just think – oh, how sad. These stories are so harmful because they propagate false ideas about the causes of extreme distress AND shape how many people think about the such experiences, increasing ignorance, stigma and patronising attitudes. Developing good links with the media to try and better inform journalists is essential. On the to do list!

  11. Thank you jacqui and all the other commentators. My wife and I read this over the weekend, and in discussing it my comments were that it was clear he was looking for a label for his daughter and seems happy to have found one, that I as an infant would probably want to kill my brother if he was ‘normal’, treated differently and diverting so much attention away from my unusualness, and that we have no idea what went on behind the scenes of that family. Well it turns out we do have some idea and one never sees smoke without fire. I think the whole thing is utterly disturbing and more so that a left leaning, liberal newspaper like the Guardian should, uncritically, publish, such an article.

    • I agree with everything that you say.

      I am disappointed that the Guardian – ‘my newspaper’ – would publish something like this. As you say, no critique whatsoever. As I’ve just said in response to Olga, I think working with and educating the media is crucial. I am fed up with reading stories about ‘mental illness’ in such biological, reductionist terms, in nearly every media representation of madness and distress I see, read or hear.

  12. Let’s take a look at this video. Is everybody going to suggest that Marie is also the product of abuse, and abuse explains HER mental activity? I don’t think so.

    http://youtu.be/TTo0TNzqk94

    Personally, I do not think or believe that Jani’s family is exploiting her for ill purposes. I think they’ve introduced their daughter to the world because they genuinely and truly would like the support, help and assistance – ultimately, to benefit JANI. Again, I DON’T BLAME THEM for “believing” in schizophrenia and mental illness. I just don’t blame them.

    Is anyone going to blame Marie’s family for HER diagnosis of schizophrenia, and suggest that Marie’s family is wrong?

    I won’t get hooked into the CRIMINALIZATION (criminal eyes, suspicion) against Jani’s family. It is so unnecessary and it’s OWN obstruction to actually understanding this girl and taking good care of her.

    • Personally I would never dream of accusing Marie of being a product of abuse based on this 2½ minute video clip. Neither would I dream of doing that with Jani, if all I had access to was a 2½ minute video clip. However in Jani’s case there is a vast amount of information out there primarily because her father has seen fit to exploit his daughter certainly for money but also for self-promotion. I have followed Jani over the years. I have seen how her father Michael initially appeared to have been internet naive writing as he did candidly about how he beat his wife, how they both beat Jani, about Jani being witness to his, as he himself describes, violent rages and beating his wife Jani’s mother in front of Jani. He has been investigated for the sexual abuse of Jani, but not convicted. He had to re-edit his book btw, which is the basis of this blog by Jacqui, on the grounds the book was not enough about Jani and too much about him.

      His need for fame and attention through the exploitation of his daughter is palpable and it is stunning to me that such an obvious case of self-confessed child abuse has been ignored by authorities set in place to protect children. Sadly those of us who have experienced the devastating consequences a label of schizophrenia brings, know that legalized human rights abuses by the psychiatric system in the name of treatment is condoned. However here it also appears that abuse perpetrated by the family is also condoned because and I quote

      “It is awful that they have hit Jani, and they would be the first to admit that […] I am certain this is not the case of a normal child who has been abused. This child has a horrible illness that has destroyed her and her parents”

      This was in answer to a reader who questioned why the LA Times who wrote an article on Jani ignored the issue of self-confessed abuse. Their answer clearly highlights the assumption that it is ok for Jani to be abused because they(!) her parents are having a tough time with her. Tragically for Jani being labeled schizophrenic means she has no-one to protect her, a common theme for those labeled ‘schizophrenic’ except in her case she is just a little girl…

      • I’ve taken an interest in Jani for the past couple of years, too.

        I believe, in my heart, that she truly IS born exactly as she is. I call that *genuine* (genuine indicates that there is a GENETIC component – ‘gen’ being SOURCE). It’s a word thing.

        In this video, Jani’s father says how Jani can FEEL in her brain, in her head (at about 4:00). http://youtu.be/B9v4FsKXmj8

        I HAVE THE SAME THING. I have REAL physical sensation in my brain when I experience Mental Hearing. I can tell if I’m hearing from the left hemisphere or the right hemisphere. I can also feel EXACTLY where in my brain I experience Mental Hearing (and sometimes my ability to pin point it is so precise that I’m frustrated by it). It’s amazing.

        I don’t think or believe for a split second that Jani is being guided to say something that isn’t real or isn’t true for her. If her father says that SHE said she can FEEL it in her brain and in her head, that is because SHE CAN.

        I don’t care if either of her parents have ever yelled at her or hit her (I’m not saying it’s okay – I’m saying that is NOT the cause of what Jani experiences).

        I don’t think or believe Jani’s family is exploiting her solely and entirely for their own ill purposes. I am aware that I’ll remain a minority opinion on that.

        What if people focus on exactly what Jani and other kids just like her <— (that's a tip) are ACTUALLY EXPERIENCING. They're not ALL "exploited" by their families and I'd suggest that not ALL of these kids are abused or traumatized, so can anyone explain that?

        She has the schizophrenia diagnosis because she has the features of that condition. Those features are REAL. What if Jani inherited from her father?

        I've said it before: if there is a 'schizophrenia' gene, it WILL be found in January Schofield (if anyone looks). And THAT makes me understand full well why her family set up the "Jani FOUNDATION".

        http://www.thefreedictionary.com/foundation

        To me, it is "clear as a bell".

        Maybe it is time (and necessity) to network ALL of these diagnosed "schizophrenic" kids and come to terms with just what exactly is happening for them.

        They're not ALL exploited by their families.

        They're not ALL victims of trauma and abuse (are they?)

        I myself am a MENTAL HEARER. I've written THOUSANDS of pages, documenting EVERY thought and image inside of my head. I have just the *slightest clue* of what it means to be PSYCHE-ACTIVE (visual AND auditory). There's a real inner-world and inner-reality. Our Minds CAN and DO Hear (and See). Jani's certainly does.

        Schizophrenia is a term that begs a new word (evolution of language).

        Sorry people – it ISN'T all abuse & trauma. And PSYCHE is NOT a disease. OmG.

  13. I am quite disturbed by many of the comments to this post. The father in question is being vilified, labelled, drawn, quartered and hanged based on what people think they know about someone else’s life. People write about Jani as if they really know what is going on, never having met her or the family except what we see in the media. I’ve followed this story from time to time, and the sad thing is that the parents have put their faith in the medical model, rather than expanding their focus to healing all members of the family. Both of Jani’s parents come from troubled backgrounds. They need help, not condemnation. Even if a family’s history isn’t so dramatic as the Schofield’s, being a parent is one of the hardest jobs one will ever take on, well-intentioned people do things they would never in their lifetime pre-children think they are capable of, and of course, we are ashamed of many of the mistakes we have made and the hurts we inflict. The only way to avoid psychologically scarring your child is to avoid having children. Aren’t we (MIA fans) doing to others what we categorically oppose others doing to us? We’ve all become armchair psychiatrists, while at the same time being very critical of the trauma inflicted on us by psychiatry. Jumping to conclusions about other people’s lives and motivations won’t win us any converts from many people who really need the help. The message of healing is lost.

    • Rossa, for once I have to disagree. Nobody vilifies Michael Schofield. Nobody has to since he’s doing an excellent job at it all by himself. I agree that both parents are in desperate need of help, no less than their kids are. But they’ve been offered help, many times, also from the Intervoice community. So far, they’ve turned every offer down immediately, except for the actually least helpful offer of them all coming from bio-psychiatry. We all make mistakes, yes. We need to make mistakes, or we wouldn’t learn a thing, ever. But when the reaction of others to our own actions as unmistakably show us that our actions were a mistake as Jani’s reaction to her parents shows them that their actions were (and are) a mistake, we have an obligation to face this, and take responsibility for our mistakes. Especially when others depend on us like children depend on their parents. It’s not perfection that makes us grown-up people fit to be parents. It’s taking responsibility for our imperfection that does. I don’t see much taking responsibility for anything looking at Jani’s parents. All I see is that they stop at nothing to avoid responsibility. That’s what kids do, who haven’t yet learned to take responsibility: “It wasn’t me throwing that stone that smashed the window! It were the fairies!” or, in this case, it was “mental illness”!… And kids having kids is the safest recipe for catastrophe.

      • Somebody needs to hold these people responsible, or they will remain kids forever, and the catastrophe will take its — catastrophic — course. It’s not about blaming, or vilifying, or anything along those lines. And it’s not even about the Schofields alone. It’s about humanity on the whole.

      • Marian,
        It’s obvious from what we see, hear, and read that the family is very mixed up. It’s a media circus promulgated by the parents. Yes, the father has refused well-intentioned, but not always graceful offers of help coming from the on-line community. By his own admission, his past experience of alternative healing makes him distrust this kind of help. More’s the pity. He and other parents will be continually resistant to the kind of message that the recovery movement puts out if we continue to demonize/label the very same people who could transform their own lives and that of their families, given a more caring approach. Sadly, mainstream psychiatry hasn’t bothered to articulate that the family environment is a large part of the problem, and show us ways to be part of the solution. Therapy is centered on the person with the label. That being said, the Jani story is a object lesson in how not to handle a “mental illness.”

        • Rossa, I agree that it’s counterproductive to demonize, vilify, blame, and, yes, a lot of the reactions I’ve seen to Jani’s parents have been demonizing, vilifying and blaming them. But I don’t see that happening here on MiA. All I see is facts being quoted that are undeniable, and which most of Michael Schofield himself has admitted to openly. Not being allowed to talk about these facts is asking people to engage in the same denial that Jani’s parents are engaging in (and denial, in fact, is something that I do see in a few comments here). And denial is just as counterproductive as demonizing, vilifying and blaming.

          • Hi, Marian,
            I always respect your thoughts, and will try to read back through the comments viewing them in a different light. I am not denying the facts, I am questioning the value of the the “opinions” and the “evidence.” “Sexual abuse but not convicted”? Speculation, but convicted by the court of opinion, it appears. Somewhere in this thread of comments someone mentioned Munchhausens’s syndrome by proxy. Speculative opinion. Really, the parents invited this frenzy by going so blatantly public, but I for one, would not want people publicly speculating about me and my family because they think they know us. It’s a trap people can fall into with “mental illness that they would probably not fall into if the problems were physical in nature. We been following each other’s blog and trading thoughts for several years now, so you know that I occasionally go on about witch hunts. Try telling someone that your mental health diagnosis is NOT due to abuse, and amost nobody in our particular wing of the recovery movement respects your position. Many of us will try to convince that person that there MUST be trauma. I think I’m getting off-track so I’ll close.
            Best,
            Rossa

          • Rossa, it’s not your comments I’m referring to, mentioning that I see some denial around the comment section here. I have to run now, but I think it’s an interesting discussion. You make some important points, and will get back to them later.

    • Rossa,

      Hopefully, what I’m going to say here can be viewed in the context of this post, on Jani and in light of your preceding comments (above and below). What I’m going to say pertains to my general feelings, about parents who keep their kids on psych-meds. In the past, you’ve commented positively upon a comment or two, of mine, here, on this site. I’ve *never* responded – because I’m uncomfortable with your story.

      Considering myself fairly well aware of your story (as I read you here in MIA and occasionally read your blogging on your website), I’ve drawn the conclusion, that you *infantalize* your son; you are failing to cut the umbilical cord. In my view, you are doing that, by way of keeping him involved with psychiatry and on psych-meds. (I do not know if you have legal conservatorship over him but am aware, that he relies on you, for a great deal of support, and you have full sway over the sort of ‘treatment’ he receives.) At times, you seem to cast off your son’s “schizophrenia” label, as meaningless; yet, you do *not* completely renounce the label itself.

      Meanwhile, your son’s on-again, off-again, on-again reliance on psych-meds is kept at a relative minimum (is my understanding); you are careful to avoid doctors who would blatantly ‘overmedicate’; but, that ‘minimalist’ approach, to my way of thinking, is not good enough. (Again, this is just my opinion, based on my sporadic readings, of your blog.) Your son has been off meds and doing OK; and, then, you’ve blogged about his repeated failure to show up on time, to his therapist; you’ve remarked on his seemingly low self-esteem; and, thus, you’ve agreed with his therapist, that your son is supposedly ‘pre-psychotic’ and must be put back on meds!? In my view, you are making a big mistake, that way; indeed, you’re living in the past, with a foolish fear of having your son ‘break down’ again – and are encouraging your son to see the wrong therapist. (Yes, I am being quite opinionated.) He shows up late, repeatedly; for appointments with his therapist; perhaps, that therapy should be terminated. Perhaps, he’s repeatedly late because he doesn’t want to be there: he is not engaged, in that relationship; he is not wanting it for himself; *you* want it for him.

      Notably, it is a *female* therapist whom he is somewhat disrespecting; your son is a young man; he is rebelling (mildly) against another mother figure (his therapist); he brings a young woman home for dinner, and, then, he suffers low self-esteem. I think to myself: How much more ‘normal’ could he possibly be? Any young man, in his position (being labeled “schizophrenic,” etc.) would suffer that way. Why isn’t he receiving therapy from a man??? He needs a man’s guidance. He needs to be counseled by a man who well knows that his ‘diagnosis’ is pure B.S.; you son is being over-Mothered – by you, by his therapist – and only by way of being hooked on meds, on Psychiatry.

      These are my opinions. But, note: this is not my being an armchair psychiatrist; an armchair psychiatrist employs labels and recommends meds. Indeed, you are *right* for critiquing whoever referred to Jani Schofield’s parents as suffering from “Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy”; it’s not helpful to throw around psych-labels. The labels are political weapons – nothing more, nothing less. (Once, online, in the past I referred to a certain promoter of the “bipolar” label, who’s been inclined to go for all kinds of “medical care”, as suffering from “Munchausen’s syndrome”; I did that because I hated the way she defended medical-coercive psychiatry. I wish I had not done it – because doing so only diminished the clarity of my message, as one who rejects psych-labeling.) You are also right to seriously question the notion, that Michael Schofield may have sexually abused Jani. He was, in fact, investigated – and cleared; and, from all I can tell (from ‘analyzing’ his accounts of that episode, in his life), he really is *innocent* on that score. Michael has made some *huge* mistakes, in caring for his kids – but not of that kind, I believe. (Of course, that’s just my opinion, after studying his life online.) Lately, Michael has reported that he’s in therapy and on meds; in that way, he feels he’s brought his anger and frustration fully under control. Having long ago been someone who was forced onto meds, I, myself, would not choose to be on psych-meds, under any circumstances; but, as an adult, he should have every right to make such a choice for himself. Though I do not condone his medicalization of his kids issues, nor do I condone his publicity-seeking behavior, which involves the promotion of Jani, as “schizophrenic”; but, in my opinion, Michael is, in fact, a man who cares deeply about his own kids. Unfortunately, he is both enamored of and terribly misguided by, the medical model of so-called “mental illness”; yet, he is no monster and should not be portrayed as one. You are right to being concerned about the possible development of ‘witch-hunt’ mentalities that would try to portray him as somehow ‘unworthy’ of the right to go on caring for his kids, in the best ways that he can muster. (That said, I do pray he’ll reach out to the ‘voice hearing’ community, which has offered to lend him the wisdom of many ‘voice-hearers’ who do well without meds and many parents who’ve raised ‘voice-hearing’ kids without ever resorting to reliance, upon psychopharmacology. Also, were I him, I’d look for help amongst those who’ve raised kids identified as “autistic” – who’ve realized the immense benefits that may come from radically changing their kids’ diet. Along those lines: Jani’s parents should stop feeding their kids donuts, in my humble opinion.)

      Respectfully,

      ~Jonah

      :)

      • Hi, Jonah,
        Well, it’s at least nice to know my blogs are being read! I wrote out a longer response to your points, but then realized that you were trying to draw me into defending myself in your no win game (pretext) of being “opinionated.” Not going to fall for it. Your points are valid for an outsider looking in. I have thought about the same things, and reached my own conclusions. It’s always a risk when a mother blogs to the world about her grown child. She will alway come across as infantalizing.
        But, I do appreciate your comments.
        Best,
        Rossa

        • I must admit to being intrigued by you and your son’s history. I’ve not read your blog but probably will after this. What I’m interested in is whether your son has ever written about his experiences and how he views what happened to him? Has he written on your blog? Has he ever expressed any interest in telling his story to a wider group? It would be interesting to see what both of you have to say about what has happened to him.

          • Stephen,
            I’ve noticed that most of the people who write about their experiences in the mental health system tend to be older. There are very few young men like my son (in their twenties) who are vocal. They are generally still coming to grips with what is happening to them and often want to just get on with life as best they can. My son has occasionally written posts for my blog. I asked him on several occasions to describe (for example) the out-of-body experiences that he had when undergoing sound therapy. He wrote at least five posts, and he has written others. I hope he will decide one day to write about his experiences from his point of view. So far he has avoided blogging.
            Thanks for asking, and best regards.

        • Rossa, I just revisited that blog post of yours (dated October 4, 2012) – the one I was referring to, in my comment, above. I last read it when you’d posted it, a few months ago. Upon reviewing, I’m reminded: your son’s ‘therapist’ is also his prescribing psychiatrist; and, I’m reminded, you describe yourself as conferring with her, by email, asking her what’s going on in your son’s therapy. You explain, “So I e-mailed Dr. Stern asking her what she saw that I didn’t. And in return I got a list of behaviors…” You request reports from Dr. Stern, and she reports your son’s behaviors to you (and convinces you, that your son should be back on meds). Is it any wonder that your son was showing up late for such ‘therapy’ as that??? Can one possibly imagine a more *depressing* sort of ‘therapy’ situation for any young man??? I seriously wonder? (Here I’m trying, somewhat desperately, to imagine a more depressing ‘therapy,’ and I can’t. I can imagine No Worse Way of being treated by ‘my’ “therapist”.) It would *astound* me if your son was *not* prone to being depressed, by that set-up. (I think now: Short of a young man being on some sort of *court-ordered* psychiatric “out-patient” regimen, there could be No Worse Way of being treated, by a “therapist”. And, then again, I wonder: Would it really be better than court-ordered ‘treatment,’ to have my mom watching over me, that way? As I consider this entire dynamic (mom-conferring-with-adult-son’s-psychiatrist/therapist, to get him put on meds), I can only shake my head, in deep pity for your son, whom you sometimes describe as being in “recovery” from “schizophrenia”; indeed, your blog is called “Holistic Schizophrenia,” yet I can’t help but wonder, what is ‘holistic’ “schizophrenia”? Shall there be no real separation between your son and yourself – so your son can grow into a man who makes choices, regarding meds, of his own accord???

          “The first step is to break Chris’s unhappiness before it gets out of control, and if this has to be a chemical cosh, it will just have to be. I’ve tried all kinds of non-drug alternatives that have increased his resilience. He’s just not 100% resilient, yet. I will ignore all the doom and gloom information about antipsychotic drugs and their side effects, because it’s in my best interests now to stay calm. Antipsychotics have their place, and they may be the only tool at one’s disposal during a crisis that can stabilize the situation quickly.”

          http://holisticschizophrenia.blogspot.com/2012/10/just-when-everything-seemed-to-be-going.html

          Before, I used the term, “infantilizing” to describe my sense of your relationship, to your son. After being reminded, of the details, of that blog post, that he’s got two women conferring together, deciding that he must be put back on psych-meds – one being his mom and the other his ‘therapist’ (who is also prescribing psychiatrist), I’m going one step further, describing your relationship to him as a *castrating*; I hope you can realize, I say that not to condemn you, but to give you a sense of my feeling, as I momentarily imagine myself in your son’s shoes; I say this out of compassion, for both of you (whether you can now understand me or not): you needn’t go on castrating your son; you could urge him into a truly therapeutic, helping relationship, where, necessarily, you’d promise to remain forever uninvolved. Meanwhile (unless or until some future time, at which he frees himself of this current dynamic), of course, your son shall experience low self-esteem and depression; for, he is being castrated. In fact, considering this ultimate *lack* of *privacy* between him and his so-called “therapist,” I feel that characterizing your son’s meetings with her, as “therapy” is a bit of stretch.

          Respectfully,

          ~J.

          P.S. — I hope that readers can see the connection here to Jani’s story… This has everything to do with questions, of, ‘How can a young person develop sound health and psychological well-being (‘mental health’) if/when his/her privacy is being violated by his or her parent(s), who are bent on feeding him/her neuroleptics? How does a young man or woman grow up, to be wise and resilient, when s/he’s being watched over *constantly* by her or his mom or dad – even into adulthood? Can a child who’s being defined by a psychiatric “diagnosis” that’s equated with “serious mental illness” (or, worse yet, “severe mental illness”) even expect real privacy, ever??? What is the meaning of “informed choice” (e.g., who’s choosing?). To me, it seems, obvious: parents who believe in Psychiatry necessarily wind up thinking it’s their *own* choice, that their kids be drugged, and they think it’s OK to invade and disrespect the privacy of their kids, no matter how old their kids are; somewhere, in the course of getting their kids involved with medical-coercive psychiatry (or keeping them involved with it), parents lose their own moral bearings.

          The problem is, they haven’t proper professional help. They haven’t helpers who can root out the source of the identified “patient’s” original troubles. Parents put their lives in the hands of drug-pushers instead of leading their kids to those who can help them learn how to make wise choices and gain self-control. The parents do not believe in *real* therapy (which includes privacy). Psychiatrists, being drug-pushers – and believing in life-long “mental illnesses” – can *not* possibly make good therapists; all they can do is look for supposedly ‘prodromal’ “symptoms” that would ‘justify’ ordering the next round of meds.

          • P.P.S. — Rossa, in that blog post, of yours, you say, “I really don’t know what recovery is all about. Everybody has a theory. I can’t make recovery happen for Chris. I can guide, I can step back, I can supply him with information, but at some point I give up.” In my humble opinion, people who go through repeated “hospitalizations” for supposed ‘psychosis’ need – first of all – to recover from the *iatrogenic delusion* that they ever needed those meds that were pumped into them, during those times; and, to get through what they are going through, presently, they may need to pass through a *seeming* ‘psychosis’ without meds; in my view, that’s the road real recovery. Naturally, they need a good strategy for going through whatever they need to go through. From all you describe, of your son’s life and yours, I believe your son needs your help, only in terms of getting him the right help; for, he needs a *non-medical* support system in place, which would allow him to go through whatever he needs to go through, without resorting to neuroleptics… In that process, he shall gain much needed self-awareness. Such is my humble opinion. ~J.

          • Jonah,
            I agree with most of what you say. Is that a surprise? My blog is directed at parents, not ex-patients who are well-represented in the recovery movement. Parents are not well-represented, but, like it or not, we are hugely influential, but most of us lack knowledge of how to help a person recover. The psychiatric system is infantalizing. That is clear from the quote you pulled out of context (not knowing the whole story). I don’t gloss over the complexities of what happens to people and my value-added in the blogosphere is to highlight the alternative healing that my son and I have undertaken. In the absence of Soterias and Open Dialogue programs, which we wish were available to all who need them, it is sometimes irresponsible to refuse the meds. But, is it healing to use inflammatory language to jump all over parents and women in particular, as the source of all systemic ills? Why aren’t you using your experience to work towards uniting people in order to move forward? Don’t forget NAMI got started because parents (and mothers in particular) did not want to continue to be blamed for their child’s “mental illness.” If we in the recovery movement can’t be more knowledgeable and understanding of the difficulties of overcoming the diagnosis from the point of view of parents, then we risk going back to the bad old days.

        • There’s mention of a couple of things which need attention, which I’m inserting here, although they may have been brought up non-linear, as in after you read this; which rather points out their attempt at being predictive.

          1) The Soteria project is NOT something that one can limit to whether there’s a Soteria House available, it’s a whole philosophy that works, and being that it works, it’s what works, and being that it is what works, it works. “Institutions” are perhaps of a different nature, not they they all are. However, investing in what doesn’t work in order to maintain that you’ve done something (although this is investing in a belief in “Institutions”); this means you’ve done what doesn’t work, not that you get points for having done something, and that the reason you did it was based on some desperate need.

          The second point is that when someone because of great empathy tries to point out that it’s not working (and points out how vulnerable they make themselves stating they are being “opinionated” or rather dare to going beyond political correctness): to relegate such a true attempt at promoting freedom of speech into an attempt at playing games to make someone defensive; this in reality points out that someone has something to hide. It also points out who is playing games. And very dangerous games with very dangerous controlled substances erroneously called pharmaceuticals.

        • I also really find it inappropriate (or perhaps I should say descriptive) for someone to post here maintaining that their implementing a “treatment” for someone (who clearly has no say in it himself) is a “sad” decision for them, while the person receiving this loss of freedom isn’t posting here, and we are even told is reluctant to post about his experiences in the blogging of that person implementing all of this…

          • It is pretty clear that parents who write about their lived experiences with their grown children are not treated with the same respect as others who have lived experience. Which brings us back to the reason for posting my original comment. In the recovery movement (the Schofields appear not to want to take part), there are many voices, as Seth Farber recently so eloquently explained in his recent blog post. Be very careful about refusing to constructively engage an influential part of this movement because of projecting one’s own perhaps troubled relationship with a parent. Why are parents influential? Because we are many in number and we are expected to undertake the care of the person in distress and not able to function. We are the people who also need help and encouragement, but if negated by the people who many of us wish to be our allies, the recovery movement has lost a powerful voice. Why not, as Ted Chabasinki argues, join together in directing the anger towards the laws and institutions of oppression rather than picking petty fights with each other? That’s a lot of wasted talent.

          • What’s crystal clear by now is that someone simply pointing out what’s going on: the abuse of taking away personal freedom to implement treatment that isn’t helping but relieves the abuser of the feeling that they aren’t doing anything; that these people pointing this abuse out are being disrespected.

            As you say, they are labelled as not being encouraging. They aren’t helping the “recovery” movement. They are ignoring numbers. And then even subject to psychological diagnosis of projecting their alleged problem with their own parents when they dare to see the taking away of freedoms as abuse.

            As for this site allegedly needing to be a place for frustrated parents seeking support who can’t, won’t or refuse to stop themselves from implementing the very methods they are saying people should protest against (and then state that those who say you don’t need to implement what you say there needs to be protest against, you’re supposedly being un-supportive and not directing your anger in the right place).

            I think you need to follow yourself what you’re saying. And I find it inappropriate for me to further comment on it, since it would encourage the same behaviour of replacing the responsibility of looking at what a person themselves does with a pattern of expecting others to do it, so it can be negated; as if people actually taking a perspective are doing “nothing.”

            It also become further inappropriate when the person being discussed who is forced on this “treatment” isn’t even taking part in the discussion and thus might as well be an ideological construct rather than a live individual who NEEDS the freedom to express what he has to say in a place that he or she feels comfortable.

          • Rossa, I’ve been quietly contemplating what has, thus far, been said between us; and, from my reading, of certain points you‘ve made, I feel you’ve somewhat (unwittingly) mischaracterized me, my intentions and my expressions. It seems, that Nijinski, sensing this, came to my defense. (At least, that’s how I interpret some of his remarks.) I appreciate his good intent, as such; he certainly makes some valid points; but, all things considered, his views are his, mine are mine, and this conversation, from my end, doesn’t feel quite complete. I’m uneasy with it – as though I need say more, to you – *not* to defend my positions – but just to be clear, regarding my overall intent. And, yet, surely, already, I’ve used up more than my own fair share of space on this page, in my exchanges with you; so, I plan to address you, in an open letter, on my blog. Indeed, I’ll post one there, with your name on it, sometime, in the course of the coming week. (When I tweet the link to it, I’ll attach the name of your Twitter account, thus, you’ll be alerted.) Please, in the mean time, don’t worry – really: I have every intention of being kind, in my expressions; in fact, I’ll *not* dwell on our differences and disagreements so much as expand upon our points of accord.

            My thanks to Jacqui for initiating this conversation and to all who have thus far contributed to the discussion, on this page and on the connected 2nd page of comments (I encourage readers to click on that “2” button, below). There are, obviously, so *many* layers of complexity, in these intersecting, impassioned views and varied interpretations, of what the Schofields are or are not doing, as parents; attempting to make sense of it all can be a deeply heartrending challenge (which may seemingly lead nowhere, at the end of the day); nonetheless, hopefully, we have all gained something positive from reading through these comments and participating in the discussion.

            May Jani (and her brother – and other young people bearing more or less similar “diagnoses”) somehow – at *least* indirectly – become the ultimate beneficiaries of the intensity of our attention, our speculations, and our genuine concerns…

          • I wasn’t trying to defend anyone or anything, really. Truth doesn’t need defense. Nothing can oppose love. Just trying to point out false logic.

            With all the best intentions of someone feeling they need to do something; because they feel there is a problem and it needs attention. This doesn’t negate that you are making things worse, just because you’ve done “something.” And those pointing this out who have perspective; they aren’t being disrespectful.

            On the contrary; it’s disrespectful to anyone who has stopped responding enough to see what’s going on.

            In fact, the whole DSM is a politicized way of trying to avoid the attempts nature has of pointing out there’s a problem. Someone who has need for personal expression, and who when given that space could change the world (although this would point out that society maybe has a few problems that need attention); this is replaced with so and so is “schizophrenic,” or “bipolar,” or “new and improved label that correlates with new and improved drug and our holy profits coming up…..”

            And everyone is doing “something” in order to make sure it all gets worse….

  14. That’s a fallacy of moral equivalency, Rossa. Comparing having an opinion that offends others to coercing, illegally incarcerating, poisoning, abusing, mutilating and even killing people will stand neither distant nor close scrutiny.

    Just for clarification, I don’t have any problem with psychiatrists and other people believing I am “mentally ill”. I am a libertarian. I have no problem with people diagnosing me in and of itself. My beef is with the discriminatory laws and policies, as well as barbaric practices exercised upon the basis of psychiatric diagnoses; with the practical and strategic import of psychiatric diagnosis, and its use in numerous situational contexts to deprive people of their rights and liberties.

    As for saying we’ve all become armchair psychiatrists, simply taking an interest in motives that impel people to a certain course of action does not, in my opinion, warrant the appellation “armchair psychiatrist”.

  15. Here we have a man who admits to violently beating his wife, violently beating his little girl. He admist this. Having violent outbursts, and violently beating someone else, especially someone you supposedly love, is a problem. Why should Jani have to continue putting up with this just because this man is her father and parents make mistakes? Doesn’t sound reasonable to me at all.

  16. Excellent article Jacqui

    The shame of it is, in spite of the many efforts to connect with Oprah W. on the back of the open letter we sent her following the programme in 2009 about Jani, we got no response.

    We know they knew about our letter, it was even hand delivered to their office, but the influential O.W show didn’t want to know about the alternative story of hope and resolution we offered.

    For me one of the saddest things is the compliance of services and clinicians.

    Jani is still locked into the system, the diagnosis of SZ remains, the meds are still being given to her ….

    Time to relaunch this campaign?

    Maybe updating the open letter and send it to The Guardian would be one step we could take … If anyone would like to add their name in support of the letter please do …

  17. I was made to take thorazine. All it did was knock me out like a horse tranquilizer. I learned coping techniques and the very self-will that taught me to be stubborn, is what got me through my disorder. Being told you are sick is hard to come to terms with. For one, often what I call paranoia is thinking rooted in patterns that do make sense, once dissected and looked at from an objective standpoint.

    i’m not sure my stance on medication for schizophrenia anymore. I know people off meds and on them who are stable and intelligent. Often, the lesser a dose of anti-psychotics the better your prognosis. For one, I avoided SSRI’s and thorazine. Geodon and Seroquel caused hallucinations and epilepsy like symptoms. Abilify was the only one that worked. It just works for paranoia…I guess.

    But I don’t think it’s fair for the comments to assume the parent’s aren’t knowledeable or have tried alternatives. Having a family member with untreated mental illness, you soon learn that alternatives typically backfire. Retreats, vacations, ideals, goals, etc. they can help temporarily but without therapy and treating underlying chemical imbalances you never get to the root of the issue.

    Because brain imbalances do exist, just because they exist in the organ of the brain makes them no different than other organic diseases, they are just harder to treat.

    • THere is NO evidence anywhere in the world for a chemical imbalance. If one existed they would be able to measure it by now.

      In order to develop antibiotics one had to first know what bacteria was. They then had to put bacteria into a test tube and then find other substances to kill it.

      One cannot put feeling sad, hearing voices, or the like into a test tube. We cannot even take brain scans to prove such things exist. There is NO biological test, and hence NO biological treatment can exist. One cannot treat an underlying chemical imbalance if one does not exist. And one sure as hell cannot come up with a treatment for something if the something they are wanting to treat does not exist.

      The experiences of these conditions are very real. Some people choose to take medication and that is there right. What is not right is claiming they treat a fictional disease when they don’t and even worse is forcing the treatment onto someone. Jani is very clear in not wanting them. At an absolute minimum something else should be tried. I don’t know that anyone is classifying taking a holiday as a treatment, that setting some goals is a treatment. There are very real things, mainly talking therapies that have been proven to work. And there is EVIDENCE that they have not been tried. The family has rejected everything other than medication and they searched it out. It should also be added that NO medications are approved for use in anyone under the age of 13. Hence she is being forced onto experimental drug contails. There is no evidence that anyone should be on multiple drugs, let alone a young child. She is on doses higher than those given to many adults. How is a young child expected to function on those doses??

    • You are misinformed. There are no chemical imbalances in the brain until people take the toxic drugs and then the imbalances show up! Even the APA has very quietly admitted that this is just a theory and is not proven at all. However, they stated this in a whisper! Of course, the drug companies want everyone in the world to believe this bunch of horse manure and many psychiatrists as well. But it’s all just manure, plain and simple. The problem is that the drugs are killing people and no one seems to care.

      • Well some of us do care and our numbers are growing! I and many others share your outrage about the ways in which drug company propaganda has become truth – i.e. this notion that there are real chemical imbalances in our brains which can be corrected by taking pills – a great marketing tool that many people accept as science. Fortunately, many of us are now wise to these ploys and are making sure that as many other people as possible, know it too!

  18. Well done Jacqui, this is an excellent post. The discussion is interesting and clearly produces a strong emotional response – from myself included. However, there has been an anti-psychiatry movement for many years and still we are no further forward. If anything the problem is getting worse. In my opinion we need to focus the emotional energy on creating the change. The Intervoice work is one way which this can be done. Kelly

    • Thanks Kelly – glad you enjoyed my post! It has provoked a strong reaction and many passionate responses…I would say that we have moved beyond anti-psychiatry to post-psychiatry – Phil Thomas has written an interesting post on this previously on MiA, as well as many others writings. One of the huge strengths of Intervoice and the Hearing Voices Movement is that we have critiqued psychiatry but that is not our main objective. As I said in my last post, we have moved beyond critiquing the status quo and created our own fantastic solutions instead. I think that change needs to be happening at all levels…

  19. A brilliant article Jacqui and very true.

    I have watched and read this case with horror for many years and my views will never change.

    Jani’s parents were initally referred to local mental health services who wanted to try therapy, they refused it and deliberately searched out a clinic that would diagnose schizophrenia and medicate her as much as necessary!!!

    I know of numerous trauma therapists that have been concerned about this case from the beginning. Jani has always been well in hospital, has refused to see her parents and has only ever been voilent to them!!! That raises red flags. One of her primary delusions/hallucinations is seeing spiders and snakes, where there are none. This is incredibly common in children who have been orally raped at a young age. They cannot verbalise what was or is being done to them with words as they cannot explain it. This does not mean the parents were involved. It could well have been someone else caring for the child. It may not be the case at all.

    It could well be that the father started beating the child when she started acting out due to abuse from someone else. It could be him, it could well not be. No one will ever know. But since when is hitting or starving a child a form of treatment for anything at all, it isn’t.

    What is very very true is that nothing except medication has been tried. No one is willing to consider that the child might be able to be something else. The child herself has been interviewed on multiple occasions and has always said the medications do nothing to stop the things she sees and she does not want to take them. She was saying that at the age of 6.

    Drugging a child to the point of sedation does not and never will treat any underlying condition. What it does do is cause irreversable side effects and ensure that no other healing can take place. Since nothing else is being considered or even contemplated that will never happen.

    The parents are hell bent on proving the child has a genetic biological brain disease and will not under any circumstances consider anything else. Given how much failure has been seen by that belief, one would think it would be time to consider something else. I have known parents who took this route, but when it became obvious it wasn’t working they become open to something else. In this case the parents have instead used it to argue just how strong a genetic biological brain disease she has.

    Even if by the millionth of a chance something genetic could be found, that alone is not going to fix Jani. There is NO condition in the world in which medication alone is going to fix it. Why should this fictional disease be any different. Even if they could prove schizoprhenia existed, why should it be the only disease or condition in the world currable by simply taking a pill. Our need as a soceity to believe that a pill can fix every ill is beyond me. EVERYTHING requires massive lifestlye changes. EVERYTHING requires something else. And in this case the evidence is very clear that what is being done is incredibly damaging and of no theraputic benefit.

    • “One of her primary delusions/hallucinations is seeing spiders and snakes, where there are none.”

      When I was a child of less than 10 years old, I heard bees buzzing and snakes ratting (when there “were NO bees” and there “were NO snakes”).

      Bees, like the birds and the bees?
      Snakes, like the snake in the garden?

      The garden of eden story has two people hearing the voice of god. That’s schizophrenia, is it not? NO!!! IT ISN’T!!!

      PSYCHE IS *NOT* A DISEASE!!!

      BLUE EYED TREE FROG is a psychic spirit in the flesh (human form).

      She exists IN THE PUBLIC EYE / MIND for a reason (and the reason is NOT “abuse”).

      She is GENUINE. Psyche is NOT a disease.

      http://youtu.be/2OwgJYYCeSM
      Mental Nightmare

      Sent away to have my
      head checked
      No more playing
      in the sand
      Frogs are leaping off
      my brain stem
      They don’t seem
      to understand

      Roadside blurs against
      a big bus
      Face is slouched against
      the glass
      I am headed for
      a cleansing
      In a room without a bath

      Didn’t it seem
      kind of silly
      The way the doctors
      carried on so uptight

      It’s not bad being
      so distant
      I can live inside the gap
      Frogs are hopping off
      my brain stem
      So excited to be sane

      Didn’t it seem
      kind of silly
      The way the doctors
      carried on so
      Now that I’ve become
      a monster to them
      Have to keep their fear
      turned on all night long

      I’ve gone away to have
      my head checked
      I guess I need to have
      it looked at

      Yo, Jani … meet the RED EYED TREE FROG. There’s someone else on the planet who has a mind like Jani. I’m willing to bet a zillion dollars that Jani has NEVER heard Mental Nightmare (meaning, nobody can say she was INFLUENCED to name herself in the way that she did because of this song, just like the RED EYED TREE FROG references for this song were NOT inspired by Jani).

      Seems there’s something symbolic about TREE FROGS.

      Oh, Jesus Christ – lend your miracles, will you please?

      • When I was a child I told people I saw snakes and spiders. What I was really describing was a penis. I was raised in a pedophile ring. And no these are not memories that have been planted in my head. The people involved have been charged on the basis of them videoing everything they did to me. Are you still saying that I had scizophrenia???

        But the issue here is not whether or not Jani was abused, it is what is currently being done to her. Or are you saying it is good that she in a COCTAIL of antipsychotics, NONE of which are FDA approved? If these COCTIALS are so essential for the treatment of her disease, as you call it, then why are you yourself not on these in your eye’s essential and lifesaving drugs.

        TRUTH: NUMEROUS different treatments have been suggested to the parents, even by the current providers. Even offered in conjunction with her current drug coctail. They have REFUSED ALL OF THEM. If what they are doing is so good and so effective then WHY is Jani not getting better. WHY are the other kids not getting better??

        FACT: The Hearing Voices movement have had huge successes in treating similar children, WITHOUT labelling it as abuse. WHY are YOU so opposed to anything other than drugging these kids to the point of sedation, especially when you yourself refuse to take the drugs even though according to you, you have the exact same condition.

        HOW are these drugs GOOD for developing bodies, since they manage to kill adults. How many more children have to DIE from these drug coctails before anyone will consider anything else. Other things have been offered to these parents, most of it in conjunction with the current drug coctails and they refused saying it was proven that she had a brain diseas and that these drugs were treating the chemical imbalance. That is not asking for help. Help has been offered, and they have rejected it. Fact is nothing they are doing is helping the poor child, and it will not be long before she dies of this drug coctail, and according to you, that is because people are not doing enough to look for the scizophrenia gene!! They have been looking for DECADES. If there was a gene it would have been found by now. Even if there is some physical thing that alone is not going to help. There is NO disease or condition in which medication alone can help something. Even type 1 – genetic based diabetes requires careful dietry monitoring as insulin is in food and other things in food will impact on how the insulin is used by the body, etc. The idea that you just do a blood test and shove in an injection of insulin is so so so wrong and does not work. It is what causes it to get so out of control and for the person to get sicker. NO ONE will ever be able to prove that schizophrenia is just like diabetes, although you clearly believe that it is. Even so do you seriously believe that it would become the first disease in the world to be treated by a pill alone??

        The simple fact is that regardless of what is causing Jani to be as she is, the current drug coctail is not treating her, and it is doing a great deal of harm to her. EVERYONE would agree with that. I have yet to know of any psychiatrist who does not claim that these drugs have multiple and life threatening side effects. They are not meant for young children. The parents have been offered many other treatments, and have refused each and every one of them. We do have many many things that could help her. IF as you say these drugs are so essentail for her to keep her well, then why are you not on them????

        • ” Or are you saying it is good that she in a COCTAIL of antipsychotics, NONE of which are FDA approved?”

          Belinda, PLEASE stop projecting your thoughts as mine. I have said absolutely *nothing* about psych drugs. My focus is, and has been, on PSYCHE itself.

          MY psyche is both visual AND “audio” ACTIVE. Always has been, always will be. I see MENTALLY and I hear MENTALLY. That is what psyche DOES. Again, psyche is NOT a disease.

          And I absolutely DO think and believe that there very much IS something biological / genetic about those of us whose minds and psyche are active in very particular ways.

          To me, Jani IS genuine. I don’t think schizophrenia is the most accurate term for her NATURAL BORN condition. I think schizophrenia is a term that needs to evolve.

          I also think that the vast majority of people know and understand little to nothing about PSYCHE. Most people seem to think that psyche itself is a disease. IT ISN’T.

    • There are many disturbing and worrying aspects about what is/has happened to Jani and her so-called treatment. As I have said previously, all we can do is speculate about her family and their difficulties. What is indisputable is that no child, whatever their experiences, should be on these levels of medication. Full stop.

  20. I’m getting to this post very late but I thought I should mention — although I bet or at least hope someone did before me — that those alternatives would have done no good for Jani, at least not unless she was taken away from her degenerate parents. Her father even once admitted somewhere that he had shaken her as a baby. People like them use psychiatry to protect themselves. They abuse their children and then when it starts showing in the child’s behavior they take them to the psychiatrist, and if they have more than one kid, well then thank the stars that mental illness is considered genetic. Thank you, Nami, for creating a generation in society where child abusers could not only get away with their crimes but get sympathy as parents as well.

    • Brilliantly said. Nothing could be done while the child was with the parents. In fact all the evidence already shows that anyway. The ONLY time Jani has been calm is when she is hospitalised, and her parents are not there. When they visit all the problems start again, but people still claim she has a biological brain disease.

      You could not have been more clear about what NAMI has done. Legalised child abuse, not long after society finally recognised the damage that it did. 100 years ago parents owned children and could do as they wish to them, in many cases even killing them. Over time we have finally admitted the damage that is done, by ALL types of abuse, then along comes psychaitry and legalises it all again, by labelling all such children with brain diseases and drugging them to sedation.

  21. Slightly off topic, but was just reading a transcript of the medicated child and…

    “NARRATOR: He believes he can prevent bipolar disorder by identifying and medicating children at risk before they develop full-blown symptoms.

    Dr. KIKI CHANG: The theory is that if you get in early, before the first full mood episode, before too much has kindled in the brain, then perhaps we can delay the onset to full mania. And if that’s the case, perhaps finding the right medication early on can protect a brain so that these children never do progress to full bipolar disorder.

    NARRATOR: At this year’s annual convention of child psychiatrists, he presented the results of three new studies on antipsychotics.

    Dr. KIKI CHANG: This is a very exciting area-

    NARRATOR: Dr. Chang says the early results are encouraging.

    NARRATOR: But critics point out that researchers who advocate the use of psychiatric medications, like Chang and Biederman, receive enormous support from drug companies. And they believe that these industry-funded studies unduly influence doctors’ decisions.

    Dr. KIKI CHANG: Very exciting as well, our disclosures. And as you can see here, I have various relationships with these companies.”

    What I have never understood and never will, is how is this not enough to bring criminal charges? Is hurting and sometimes even killing children when receiving money to run studies that do not hold up to genuine scientific principles and practicing medicine based on those studies WHILE receiving large amounts of money from companies who profit from that treatment NOT A CRIME? Or are lawyers just not aware of it?

  22. Dear Jacqui, thank you so much for speaking out and sharing alternatives that could have/could yet help Jani’s family. From what I can gather from their Foundation’s FB site, they are not in a place now to consider these options. Hopefully, one day soon, and perhaps with some very good trauma therapy as this situation has no doubt been traumatic for everyone in the family. From the sound of it, deeply traumatic.

    Would it be possible to repost these 10 tips on our http://www.MotherBearcan.org website and FB page. We are very supporting of the Hearing Voices movement and would very much l like to share these insights with our families.

    I am a bit saddened reading what feels like personal attacks in the comments. There is such potential for “survivors” and those with lived experience to help parents, family members and friends empower their loved ones and heal the whole relational dynamic. But we can’t do it by shaming and attacking. Nothing good comes from that place. Just more broken-heartedness.

    Jacqui, I do appreciate the compassionate way you spoke your truth as a voice hearer and also as a parent. Thank you for building a bridge for us all to join you…

    • It’s easy to pull the “personal attack” card; and get people who have a valid reason for their irritation even more upset. And politicize the whole idea “personal attack.” But I think the worst thing is that it encourages people to feel that some statement is a personal attack, when in reality it was just someone stating something on a blog; and needn’t be the excuse for someone to decide to feel hurt by. Or to encourage anyone to feel hurt by it. And people start discriminating against any number of people who supposedly don’t behave properly; and behavior is rewarded in context of surface rather than content. This is EXACTLY what the drug companies use with all of their commercials with soft edges, happy people who have found the magic pill, soft voices that sound truly concerned. And everyone who follows such a lead is excused for really thinking they did what they should have done; and can regard true evidence because “those commercial were nice rather than personal attacks…..”

      It is possible to not invest in feeling attacked; or that your feelings come from someone or something else than deciding to be stressed out or not, and offended and decide people are supposed to behave differently. You but pressure on human behavior to such a degree you create exactly what you’re trying to heal with therapy. And all of the nice rounded corners, sweet smells, paintings that could substitute for hallmark cards and the rest won’t stop it.

      • I am finding it fascinating to see how this discussion has unfolded. Lots of powerful, intense and uncomfortable feelings have been aroused which has led to a powerful debate…

        I originally posted my blog because I was so disturbed by what I read. Since then, a lot more details have emerged about Jani and her family. What has also become clear, are these powerful and alternative, sometimes contrary, perspectives between psychiatric survivors and family members. As I have already said, I think these issues warrant their own post…

        • When I read the recent article you shared in telegraph, I find that so disturbing and full of misleading assumptions, and devoid of true report, that I have to discipline myself not to feel attacked by the article.
          And I think it’s really important because the kind of stress that such articles can lead to can lead to emotional stress, if you allow yourself to feel attacked.
          In spiritualism everyone learns to hear voices; but whether the voices come from a place that can help heal or whether they are misleading depends on whether you trust that there’s something beyond the kind of duality that requires conflict. Although I completely don’t believe that psychiatric drugs are treating any real diseases, that they are marketed in deceptive (and illegal) ways, that they are part of an economic bubble, that they cater to people that are lead to believe they are happy or prefer to disable their mind (same as other controlled substances and addictions); although I have all those disagreements about psychiatric drugs, I find that people who are active in the anti-psychiatry movement can also cause stress that’s not healthy emotionally.
          “Schizophrenia” or “psychosis,” is something spiritual; when you’re allowed to go to a place that’s creative, that’s beyond duality, where you’re not required to see evil somewhere and fight against it; this is where you grow; and what would otherwise be seen as a disease is a means to find enlightenment. Same with hearing voices.

          I really believe love is creative and transcends boundaries we believe in, the boundaries we would otherwise put there to excuse feeling attacked and look towards conflict rather than what would heal.

          I’ll not stop to patiently let people know that the drugs won’t work; but I won’t use it as an excuse to turn it into a holy war, when there are people that really need to find peace instead. And those people are the ones that can change the world.

        • I don’t think that anyone is waging a “personal attack” when trying to point out by whatever means they have left that taking the freedom away from someone to refuse treatment, when it involves drugs that have been proven to cause brain damage, that such “treatment” is abuse. It’s also causing personal injury.

          Further more, to start making out that pointing this out is in the same line as spousal abuse or road rage is again EXACTLY the kind of stuff the drug companies come up with. Anyone “diagnosed” not taking their medications or disagreeing with their treatment is seen as being hostile and a danger to others, and should be forced to have treatment, despite the fact that it’s exactly the “medications” that correlate with causing violence.

    • Thank you for that Jennifer. Please feel free to share those 10 tips on your web site as well as a link to the Voice Collective web site which has lots of excellent resources including a fabulous short film made my some young voice hearers.

      I have been amazed by the discussion that has been provoked by my original post. I think these issues deserve their own post so I will revisit them at a later date. I like the idea of ‘building a bridge’…

      • You’re responsible for your emotions, not someone else. It really doesn’t work any other way would you want to get in touch with them. So, when you perceive this hostility you mention, which causes you sadness, you need to look inside yourself for it, and the stress it causes. This would be”trauma” therapy. To see that you have it within yourself to get stressed out or not. And that’s also empowering.

        Someone simply pointing out that drugs that cause brain damage are drugs that cause brain damage and taking away personal freedoms is taking away personal freedoms isn’t hostile. What’s hostile is perhaps discriminating against someone who won’t allow a cloak of “good intentions” to buffer their responses to brain damage and taking away of personal freedoms being called “treatment.”

        This conversation also was over with already. Which I’m now concluded with.

      • “Nothing good comes from shaming and attacking…” It’s easy for someone on the more powerful side of a power differential to say that…. I wonder if you would say the same if someone raped your child…. that “shaming and attacking” is just never appropriate. I wonder if someone was abusing you, chronically, with impunity, if you would still talk of “sharing wisdom” with that person. I highly doubt it. You would be angry and suspicious and rightfully so. Many of us who have been mistreated not only by our families but by the system/society at large have righteous anger and mistrust, and to call that “boorish,” “bullying,” liken it to road rage etc., is highly inappropriate and “bullying” of you, so why don’t you take your own advice….

        • Seriously, Susannah? It seems you’re saying that being an abuser of others is A-OK, IF one has first been abused. Way to keep the cycle of inhumanity going! Guess what. I’ve been abused too, so there’s my “entitlement.”

          So, you seem to be endorsing the verbal abuse on this thread directed at Rossa by the oh-so-sanctimonious Jonah and “Nijinksy.” It seems to me that Rossa is struggling to find the best possible way she can to support her son and facilitate lasting health and wholeness for him. How do we support a parent whose grown son struggles with recurring psychosis? Oh, I know! Let’s attack her and accuse her of humiliating and “infantilizing” her son. Let’s dismiss her seemingly sincere desire to help without harming by likening her help to the most horrific kind of sexual abuse imaginable. Never mind that she is exploring every possible alternative therapy there is. Yes, let’s demonize and vilify her. That’ll fix her! While we’re at it, let’s vilify all parents whose children struggle with mental/emotional challenges. It’s always the parents’ fault, right? They all live to oppress, abuse, and control their children, don’t they.

          Geez, no wonder there are so few parents involved in the Mad in America community.

          But, hey, thanks for pointing out my own “highly inappropriate bullying” behavior. I humbly bow before your moral superiority.

          Cheers!

          • To me the fact that a lot of hurt people react with a certain amount of anger and suspicion to the hurt seems to be a lousy excuse for not wanting to listen to what these people have to say. Especially when those who don’t want to listen are parents, i.e. people who more often than not tend to think of themselves as truly mature and wise people, who certainly can’t be held responsible if their offspring bears witness to their immaturity and foolishness.

            What are we going to do as a society? Are we going to have an open and honest exchange about the hurt people feel, and make healing from it possible for them? Or are we going to stick to business as usual, and ask hurt people to shut up and keep their anger and suspicion to themselves — if necessary assisted by a little “medication” — because any mention of it might scare those off who don’t like to hear about responsibility? Are we going to keep up the denial, and leave people stuck with their hurt indefinitely?

            Except for that I don’t see the bullying and vilifying of parents in the comments here, only an interesting exchange of strong opinions, even if there was bullying and vilifying going on, how come it’s always those labeled “insane”, i.e. immature and foolish, who are blamed of bullying and vilifying — those whose actions got them labeled — and asked to, maturely and wisely (?), shut up, while it is regarded a perfectly legitimate thing for the allegedly “sane”, i.e. mature and wise, to bully and vilify the labeled (even more) if they don’t? That’s a bit upside down, isn’t it? Where’s the sanity, the maturity and wisdom in all those parents who choose not to get involved in the MiA community, because their feelings might get hurt, that would allow them to listen and accept their responsibility?

    • When a person is supposed to ignore scientific evidence that a person is harming another or be accused of shaming, bullying, and ridiculously compared to road rage, this gets to be abusive, to put it mildly.

      The whole issue here is that Rossa feels free to contact her son’s psychiatrist to decide when he’s supposed to go back on mind altering brain damaging medications. And although not “medicating” someone who has been diagnosed as being “schizophrenic,” correlates with healing or recovery while “medicating” just about never correlates with either; we are told that there’s supposed to be an alternative (which there is, it’s simply leaving a person alone), and it’s other people’s responsibility to create a movement to promote such an alternative (which does exist, it’s a philosophy that works, not an institution).
      And now, I’m sorry if this appears ridiculous and it might shame someone, but that’s not my fault: it’s the simple facts. Cloaking a behavior with “good intentions” doesn’t change them. Taking away a person’s personal freedoms, causing brain damage is exactly that whether it’s called treatment or torture. And no on is being “irresponsible” when they do NOT resort to such “treatments.”

      The ONE correlation with abuse such as road rage, or spousal abuse that can be directly linked is the damage forced psychiatric drugging does to people. And it’s those that have not backed off in pointing out that this is abuse that are accused of “bullying,” “Shaming and Attacking,” and the rest of such remarks.

      • Hey there, Twinkle Toes,

        Is there a way that Rossa’s son and family might benefit more directly from your vastly superior insight into their personal situation? Maybe you could direct his/their “therapy” through private messages?

        And, if you truly feel “abused” by my comments, then I aplogize. Being “abusive” is certainly not my intent. To reference your earlier comment, you’re responsible for your own emotions, after all, and if you choose to interpret my comments as “abusive, to put it mildly” that’s your problem/issue, not mine.

  23. The psychiatric drugs used for “Schizophrenia” do not correlate with a reduction in psychosis, in fact they correlate with more relapses. They also dull creativity and self initiative; as well as taking 25 years off of a person’s life, along with a hoard of other side effects. Rather than treating any proven chemical imbalance they have been proven to cause chemical imbalance which wasn’t there before. Forcing these “medications” on someone would be considered personal injury, if scientific evidence and law were followed to the letter.
    These are scientific facts not personal attacks.

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