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Customer Review

on July 7, 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.
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Product Details

4.4 out of 5 stars