'January First' is her father's poignant, moving account of the Schofield family's struggle to cope with the mental illness that was tearing apart their beloved daughter.
I cried a lot whilst reading the book, however in the closing chapter which was written in July 2011, Michael says how Jani is now on medication that is helping a great deal, she is not so violent, and she has many more moments of happiness.
|Jani - just a sweet little girl.|
Jani barely slept as a baby and would look around at things that weren't there. She was an extremely imaginative child but by the age of five she was becoming violent, biting, scratching and hitting her parents like she was fighting for her life. Soon after Bodhi was born, Jani tried to attack and kill him. She also started hitting the family dog, Honey. Her imaginary friends were in fact hallucinations - telling her to hurt herself and her family. Jani was always a very clever child with a high IQ, she hated going by her real name 'January' and frequently changed it. She was very good with numbers and her imaginary friends often had names that were numbers, such as 400 the cat. After masses of medication was tried and different diagnoses were suggested, Jani was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Jani's father Michael had a mentally ill mother, and another relative who suffered with schizoprenia who ended up committing suicide. Susan, Jani's mother, had a relative who also had schizophrenia. As a child Michael had ADHD and as an adult suffered with chronic depression and reguarly took Lexapro, an anti-depressant.
Jani's parents have set up a website, The Jani Foundation, which highlights mental illness in children and offers support for those suffering and their family.