When Cinnamon Stancil is asked simply, how do you do it? How do you deal with a schizophrenic child who sometimes tells you she hates you and wants to kill you?
"I live day by day," says Cinnamon. "I will never give up on her. I separate Becca from her illness and my love for her is unconditional."
Side Effects From Medications?
Perhaps the most frequent questions the families answer are about the myriad medications their children have consumed over the years, all aimed at easing the devastating effect of the hallucinations. As parents, are they concerned that the medications, often only tested in adults, could be damaging to their children?
"Absolutely," says Jennifer Wohlenberg. "We are always cautious about the medications they take, and [the girls] are tested regularly to check for side effects on their liver, their blood counts, their glucose and cholesterol levels. Of course, we don't want to make their lives worse from taking these medications, but research also shows that protecting their young brains from manic episodes can help decrease the severity of their disorders in adulthood."
"I am not going to torture Jani by subjecting her to untried methods in lieu of medications," says Michael Schofield. "Yes, the medications have side effects, but they make it less likely that she will run into traffic or jump off a roof because her hallucinations tell her so...whatever other options are pursued, medication must be the cornerstone of any treatment for psychosis because it is the best option we have."