Friday, October 14, 2011
Childhood Schizophrenia or a Battle for the Mind?
A few months ago my roommate shared an incredibly interesting article with me. This article is about a 7-year-old girl names January. What makes January's story so intriguing is that this precious little girl has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Now, for those of you who are not aware, Schizophrenia does not typically show up until late adolescence/early adulthood which makes January's case extremely rare. January was diagnosed at age 5 when her parents were forced to hospitalize her not only for her own safety, but the safety of her younger brother as well. January loved her younger brother, but frequently and without warning would lash out in extremely violent outbursts toward him. These attacks became so intense that the parents actually kept the brother separate from January by living in two different apartments.
January has been hospitalized on multiple occasions has seen several psychiatrists and specialists, all of whom stated over and over how rare her condition was. Medication after medication has been tried, unsuccessfully. I was particularly interesting in a statement made by January's father regarding her symptoms. He stated: "We've come to understand what her baseline is -- she's always a little bit psychotic -- and she hallucinates about 95 percent of the time... She has so many hallucinations. When the medications work against one set, another set emerges to take its place. It's like fighting an insurgency."
This comment captured my attention and I began to think about Neil Anderson's book Bondage Breaker. In this book Anderson shares example after example of people who have fallen under the bondage or oppression of demonic influence. By no means do I want to pretend I am a psychiatrist and have all the answers, but the words from his book and the examples of people who have been oppressed and delivered continued to ring in my mind as I read the story of this precious child. The fact that medication only helps in sedating January, but never really "cures" her leads me to believe that perhaps January is not fighting against something organic or chemical, but instead is in a fight against something that is not of this world.
I think the thing that strikes me the most out of all of the story is the parent's reaction. In the blog that gives January's story from beginning to end and the article shared above, the parents share their feelings of hopelessness. They have since come to accept that this is their life, and they will just have to adapt, yet it breaks my heart to hear this. Parents just want the best for their children. Imagine having to sit by and watch as your child fights a continuous battle between reality and fantasy. Imagine as you watch her conquer these hallucinations one moment and lose to them the very next.
I don't know if they family has considered the possibility of a spiritual implication over a mental illness, but I do pray that somehow this family finds peace, and perhaps some how this child can find a sense of normalcy amidst the chaos.