Oprah tomorrow (Tues.) - Childhood schizophrenia

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Mattsmom277, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I just saw a preview for tomorrows Oprah. She has the story of a family with a child with schizophrenia. I believe the little girl is 7 years old. They have other children (2 I think) and it said they are maintaining 2 homes for the safety of their other children. It looks heartwrenching, and I'm hoping this story is handled with education for others. I thought many members here might get something from watching this episode.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thank you for sharing this! I hope it's handled sensitively and as an education piece as well. Sometimes these talk shows only want to sensationalize stuff for ratings.
  3. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I agree about the sensationalize thing. I hope it is handled right. I'm beginning to watch right now. I hope with mental health awareness week, this is informative and not exploitive.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, dear, how awful. I don't have time to watch it, but I'm sure I'll hear about it.
  5. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Ours doesn't come on until later today i guess, I am DVR'ing it.
    Should be interesting. We will be at our therapist while it airs!
  6. change

    change New Member

    Yeah...I was watching yesterday and saw the previews. Sounds like a good show but sad.
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I've boycotted Oprah ever since her interview with Tom Cruise, when he blathered on about medications for ADHD and she agreed that these medications were bad. She doesn't even have kids, let alone a difficult child...WTH does she know? Same with Cruise...OK, off the soapbox...

    I may watch it, because I think it would help educate the general public a little. I hope it doesn't get turned around into parent bashing.
  8. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I found it well balanced. I was surprised actually.
    My heart goes out to the entire family. :(
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I hate Tom Cruise, but I did watch Oprah today. It was the first time in years and years.

    It was such a frightening show. If that poor child is on strong medication, and is still that out of it, one has to wonder if she can be helped significantly. I sure felt horrible for the entire family, especially the little girl who has to live in fear. It's so sad that there is so little help.
  10. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I agree -- that poor kid. I wish there were more medical science could do to help her. I haven't watched Oprah in years either, but I thought she handled the subject of this little girl's severe mental illness and its impact on her family with compassion and understanding.
  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I missed it, but will try to see if I can watch it online. For the exact same reasons as KTMom91, I have not watched the show since that very same episode. Some celebrities become so big they start to believe their own b.s. I just don't relate well to people who are that out of touch with the real world.
  12. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You know, I am known to be an optimist. But I have to say that I was extrememly touched by this young girl and the possibility of spending most of her life in a hospital or facility. She is apparently on the last line of medications (adult doses I think they said). Her future seems so out of focus....she is only 7.

  13. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Sharon, there may be new medications in the pipeline that may help Jani. At least we can always hope.
  14. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I too have some issues with- Oprah...don't get me started. However, I think many of her shows help people and some of her recent shows seem really good.

    And I did think this was a good topic AND I did get a call on my recorder about it...telling me to watch!

    Overall, I thought it was a good show...informative and it was interesting the way sympathy was shown for both the girl and the parents.

    One small thing I was conflicted about was how the parents sometimes gave into the girls demands kinda easily...like when she was testy with- Oprah, no effort was made to try to make a gentle correction. Additionally, no tentative plans have been made for the parents to live in one house again, and I do not recall the parents mentioning attending marriage counseling (although one would have to find a REALLY smart marriage counselor to do it!)

    BUT...my heart DOES go out to the parents who are obviously doing the best they can and are struggling most days to keep their heads above water.

    It kinda reminds me in a certain way of our own situation...just running on empty...going beyond the beyonds...and few people giving you really good advice 'cause they just don't know what to say or do.

    I am glad that they have a hospital near by to take their daughter to when necessary and that their story was heard...I suspect this alone makes them feel a tiny bit better.
  15. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Oprah asked the parents if they had thought about living together again, and they said it would have to be a time when they felt Jani was no longer aggressive toward her younger brother and when he could defend himself. They didn't feel they were at that point yet.

    I believe the mom said she was in individual counseling, and both parents said they were taking antidepressants to cope with the stress of the situation. It seems to me it would be very difficult for the parents to participate in marriage counseling when they are each responsible for a child. The dad does work, and Jani is certainly not a child you can use an ordinary babysitter for. I personally can't see putting any additional demands on this already very stretched-thin family.
  16. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I am waiting to watch it. I need to be in a good state of mind, considering the diagnosis of Schizo-affective disorder was mentioned just 2 days ago.
    I am still not convinced, but it is still scary to hear.
    I was waiting to read what you guys thought about the show also.
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I watched a short clip on AOL.
    Amazing that the girl is on a last line of adult medications. She seemed very ADHD to me. And I agree with-Nomad, that the parents did not even attempt to steer her toward Oprah ... never really seemed to outline any expectations. No one redirected her. Now, I don't know what they've done behind the scenes, but on camera they could have tried something, and either left it on camera or edited it out.
    Interesting to read the reader comments on AOL. Most were sympathetic, but then you get those who say that the girl needs to be controlled, or that she needs to be prayed over. Sigh.
    I only know adults who are schizophrenic so I can't really judge by the girl's behavior how "typical" she is, if there is such a thing.
  18. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    There was a NAMI special on the other day and on the panel was a woman with, I believe a doctorate of some kind, who suffers from schizophrenia. She was wonderfully insightful, intelligent, articulate and helpful.

    Of course, each person who suffers with an illness, suffers individually. And we do know that early onset illness often times means more difficulties and a worse prognosis.

    However, possibly adding to the severe and heartbreaking dilemma's caused by the complexities of disease, could be some learned behaviors.

    So, although, no doubt, it would be extraordinarily difficult to attempt to teach this child how to act appropriately in social situations (when they are resisting) and what the parents could do would probably be limited, I do wonder if further efforts could be made to direct or redirect the child (as appropriate). I'm not saying that it would be the same as with a healthy child, but I think when you are exhausted, one often makes the decision to give up out of necessity and it would be a shame if that is the way it is permanently.

    It is very likely that the parents might need some assistance...at least on occasion. No doubt that right now they are simply in survival mode.

    It wasn't clear to me if the parents have looked into the possibility of receiving any funding because they have a special needs child, with this degree of disability.

    I know our situation wasn't this bad, but even when our daughter had brain surgery and was very ill (on top of her other diagnosis's), the only help I got was with reference to the school system and that was only for a year.

    At our church, we have a family with- a severally autistic child, and the entire church has chipped in services off and on, including the purchase of a special guide dog that cost thousands of dollars.

    husband and I ended up going to marriage counseling at some point, more as a preventative tool AND to get ourselves out of constant survival mode. It just is NOT a healthy place to live in. We needed someone to sort of give us a gentle push and gently force us to make some difficult decisions. We still had more responsibilities because we had a difficult child and freely accepted them, but understood that we had to responsibly and safely give ourselves a break when and where we could.

    I DO wish Oprah had provided some sort of outlet/vehicle to raise funds for this family....some sort of logical way to channel monies for (an example) two nurses to come to the house once a month ( ...just brainstorming) to watch the kids so the parents could go out. Perhaps someone will watch the show and call in and offer to help in some way.

    I noticed that on a show about the Fla. murders, she (Oprah) did something like that...not very specific...but she did encourage donations to the surviving family.

    Ultimately, these poor parents will have to figure out a way to make their complicated lives better. They are doing the best they can and are doing a remarkable job, but I do suspect that down the road, their current system will not hold them and I do hope that others will step in and provide assistance in one way or another.
    Lasted edited by : Oct 8, 2009
  19. compassion

    compassion Member

    Nomad, I like this:husband and I ended up going to marriage counseling at some point, more as a preventative tool AND to get ourselves out of constant survival mode. It just is NOT a healthy place to live in. We needed someone to sort of give us a gentle push and gently force us to make some difficult decisions. We still had more responsibilities because we had a difficult child and freely accepted them, but understood that we had to responsibly and safely give ourselves a break when and where we could.

    We are doing this/have since the day difficult child got out of he first hospitlzation August '08. We have a team of a therapist, psycologist,behavior anlust besides her psychiatrist. Toorrwo, swe will have "tratment team" meeting with husband and I , psycologist and behavior analyst. Al-anon also helps. The family therapist has helped alot on us taking care of our marriage and ourselves. Things are alot more peaceful and quiet. Grateful for the support. Compassion