Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Schizophrenia

During my first draft of Malevolent Soul, the main POV character was schizophrenic. She saw and lived with people no one else could see, running a business and getting swept up in some crazy crime. I'm now working on an offshoot of that story, following the other POV character in the mafia. I love them both, but I think they are two different stories and I am separating them to give them the screentime each character deserves.

I recently discovered this story about Jani, the seven year old girl with a severe SEVERE case of childhood schizophrenia. Here are the videos to the Oprah interview, it's really something that needs to be seen instead of me, as a layperson, trying to explain it.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

I have schizophrenia in my family, but it is no where near this level. This disease is fascinating. And you can tell, Jani is SO intelligent, it's just (understandably) impossible to differentiate between her two different realities. She's doing a damn sight better than I could ever do, I have a hard enough time with one reality.

TONIGHT on TLC, the original "Born Schizophrenic: Jani's Story" airs at 8pm EST, followed by the premiere of "Born Schizophrenic: Jani's Next Chapter" at 9pm EST. And now for some links: Michael Schofield wrote a book about his daughter, to be published August 7. Here is his blog. The Jani Foundation's Twitter and Facebook.

And on the fiction/lighter side (not to take away from the seriousness of January's story, but this is, after all, a book blog) The Hollow City by Dan Wells is coming out July 3rd, and I'm super excited. Wells wrote a great sociopath in the John Cleaver books, so I know he's going to do a good job with a schizophrenic protagonist. He does a great job of balancing the fragility of mental illness with the unique strength and insight it can give its patients.

Michael Shipman is paranoid schizophrenic; he suffers from hallucinations, delusions, and complex fantasies of persecution and horror. That’s bad enough. But what can he do if some of the monsters he sees turn out to be real?


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