January First : A Child’s Descent into Madness and Her Father’s Struggle to Save Her
by Michael Schofield
Editor: HARDIE GRANT BOOKS
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Difficult in memory of the father’s seven-year-old daughter, the First of January is Michael’s desperate story about his mission to discover what is wrong with his extremely intelligent daughterFrom then on, she was a newborn, January kept her parents on their toes: like a baby, she slept only 20 minutes at a time, in a year she spoke in full sentences, in two, she asked about negative numbers, and by three had literally hundreds of imaginary friendsBut when his brother Bodhi arrives his behavior becomes more and more violent, his endless delusions and hallucinations interspersed with paroxysms of rage that forces his parents to live in separate apartments of a room communicating with walkie-talkies to keep his brother, a safeAs his father did turn the child, psychologists, doctors and locked the hospital rooms, he provided an honest account of parenthood, as well as an indictment against the lack of care for children with serious mental illnessJanuary 1st, shows the boundless devotion of a father who refuses to give up his little daughter, even though his behaviour is becoming more and more alien.A final diagnosis is reached of one of the most severe cases of the child’s schizophrenia that doctors have ever seen: January is hallucinating 95 percent of the time he is awake and powerful psychiatric drugs that would be the level of most adults barely faze
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