Anonymous advice from other people

I read through all the comments on Oprah’s website on the Jani Schofield interview that took place on Tuesday, Oct. 6. I was glad to see the large number of people who looked at the problems of this seven year old girl diagnosed with schizophrenia in a holistic way. When a child this young has hallucinations and is violent, I think the people who talk about Indigo children, faith/spirit based strategies, and yes, even exorcism, are on to something. I say this because writers and poets have known for centuries that the period of infancy and childhood is a gradual process of drawing away from God/the universal mind. Some children, however, spend a longer, more intense time on this journey, and help is needed to coax them back to accepting a more material reality.

What Oprah’s commenters did not remark on is that a person with a diagnosis is usually seen as the problem. I believe that the problem should be seen in the larger context of family. This is my plug for more people to use family psychotherapy in addition to other holistic interventions.

It is interesting that the Schofields have named their children January and Bodhi (meaning either “enlightenment or awakening”) yet seem unwilling to embrace alternative healing ideas as something “extra” for their daughter. Michael Schofield is on record as saying alternative healing is fine if used in conjunction with medications. He’s not there yet in practice as it appears no alternative therapies are being tried. When I say alternative, I am referring to practices and therapies that are off the radar screen of most people (this is schizophrenia, after all), such as looking at the problem shamanistically, spiritually and energetically. As we all know, there is no quick fix. Healing works best if you try a number of different approaches and are consistent. If someone is lucky enough to shout “eureka, I’m cured” after one type of intervention, then they should consider themselves indeed fortunate. For the rest of us, it’s a slog.

In the spirit of providing ideas of what just might work for you, from time to time I will post an updated list of what other people are doing to help themselves or their relative. Here are some ideas that I have picked up in my travels. Please feel free to send me ideas of what worked/is working for you.

DENIAL

I told my child, as calmly and as seriously as I possibly could, while remaining terrified that it would not work, that as the parent, I made the rules and that they were describing the symptoms of a very serious illness that one, they were too young to have, and two, that I do not allow. I tried to make it that simple – “I don’t allow it” because it was either going to work or it wasn’t. Thankfully, it worked.
See also: Milton H. Erickson

LOOKING FOR GOOD NEWS

I couldn’t help but Google¬© his symptoms. He could have been diagnosed, instead I found a snippet somewhere that said that many boys outgrow “fits” or tantrums by the age of 7 or 8.

I also clung-to stories by other moms especially one who’s grown son is now an MD, who did the “classic” lining-up of toys that nowadays will achieve a diagnosis.

THE WISDOM OF OTHER CULTURES

I am about to suggest may not make any sense to you but it won’t hurt to try either. If you can change her name it might help. In my culture we really believe that all names have an effect on one’s personality.

BEING OPEN MINDED

When my child was 2 yrs old until 4 yrs old she had her “imaginary friends” all the time everyday and I thought it was ok but sometimes it was annoying and I spoke to my friend about it who spoke to me about ghosts and indigo children. I didn’t want to believe it but she was so right about it. I had an excorism done to my child and prayed a lot and used sage incense and this all worked. Since then she has had no further experiences. Look at this at a spiritual level and try other alternatives.

BEING OUTDOORS

I discovered running as a primary tool to use in recovery from mental illness.