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January First: A Child's descent into madness and her father's struggle to save her
January First: A Child's descent into madness and her father's struggle to save her
Price: £3.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Munchausen's by Proxy psychiatric version, 7 July 2014
This book is not about schizophrenia. It's about a seriously deluded father who struggles to get a "mental illness" label for his little daughter's atrocious behaviour, and dopes her up with psychiatric medications rather than taking any responsibility for his and his wife's hopelessly inadequate parenting (lack of emotion-teaching during babyhood, and a lack of disciplinary boundaries during later development).

The child is displaying obvious autistic behaviour, but Michael Schofield is unwilling to accept an autism diagnosis, being too commonplace for his liking, and battles to get her the schizophrenia diagnosis he seeks, being more conducive to his own need for fame and martyrhood. If he can't be father to a Nobel Prize winner, then he can at least be father of "the world's youngest schizophrenic" and set himself up as her "saviour". His blogs are all over the internet (with no respect for the child's privacy), along with youtube videos and facebook accounts, and he regularly exhibits her on TV shows.

His wife, Susan Schofield, is the most unmotherly of mothers but totally obsessed with mental illness and medication, seeing supposed "mental illness" in almost everyone she meets, hosting a manic radio show on the subject, plus a facebook page where she campaigns for psychiatric treatment for terrorists.

They have a second child, Bodhi, who is also a victim of neglectful parenting, and whilst he has been correctly diagnosed with autism, she is hoping to get it changed to "schizophrenia" in line with his sister. Both children are on seriously dangerous antipsychotic drugs, Jani having been on neuroleptics since the age of five, and young Bodhi since babyhood. Jani's dosage is so high that she is noticeably brain-damaged by them and has borderline hypothyroidism.

The author is now on antipsychotics himself, so perhaps the book should be renamed 'Michael First: A Father's Descent into Madness'. He does at one stage consider jumping into a canyon. Meanwhile young Jani still plays with her imaginary friends, which both parents like to call "hallucinations". A diagnosis of Munchausens by Proxy might be more appropriate.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 15, 2014 2:13 AM GMT

Jeremy Bamber: Evil, Almost Beyond Belief?
Jeremy Bamber: Evil, Almost Beyond Belief?
Price: £2.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good factual account of a dreadful miscarriage of justice, 23 Dec. 2013
Straightforward factual account of the evidence relating to the White House Farm tragedy, including the contradictory police evidence, false statements, and cover-ups.

The only drawback is that it was written in 2008 and doesn't include new information which has since come to light demonstrating Jeremy Bamber's innocence. The book would benefit from an addendum, showing the previously undisclosed police log which confirms that father Nevill Bamber did indeed make a phone call saying that his daughter was going berserk with a gun. Otherwise a good book exposing a dreadful miscarriage of justice.

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