Meaning beyond diagnosis
Clearly there is no point in experiencing extended periods of psychosis if that leads to neglect and distress. That is a condition that should be avoided with approriate intervention. It is the case, however that those times are when a meaning beyond diagnosis will occur. I personally have experienced the self neglect of hunger, homelessness, being an outcast, and being dirty. I have never found a way of experiencing a meaning beyond diagnosis and living an acceptable lifestyle. When I have experienced psychosis it has led to a different awareness of reality, but at the price of years of hopeless vagrancy.
Those wasted 20 years in and out of institutions were times when I experienced different explanations of the world that other people would not share. Not everyone exactly, though. In reading the narratives of other service users and survivors, I find I have common experiences with several of them. Several others that I can name had psychotic episodes around the Soviet Union and the Cold War. This I have in common with them. Some people went through the care system, in and out of hospitals and places in the community. I can recognise the places they describe, though the actual buildings and where they were, were at different location to where I was. Some describe the barrage, the bombardment, of messages and communications, that occur during periods of untreated psychotic illness. Each day is full of things to react to from start to finish and there is no time to alleviate the neglect of schizophrenia. So out of severe and enduring mental illness, there is the link to others who have experiences in common. Is this a meaning beyond diagnosis? Yes it is in a way, but in my experience it is certainly not worth going through years of neglect and increasing symptoms in order to share common delusions and lack of care with other sufferers. There is absolutely nothing wrong with leading a normal life, free of mental illness and with a work and family life. There is nothing wrong with having an early and effective intervention to deal with symptoms before they become severe, and to have a long and meaningful life.