My mother had some variation of schizophrenia and she was the most imaginative & spiritual lady! I remember so many times as a child having amazing discussions about angels and other worlds. My mother was particularly fond of the concept of Narnia. She told me I could step into my closet and be anywhere I wanted with magical creatures and beings. She also believed that angels surrounded her and I as protectors. It is quite fascinating in hindsight to remember how 'self-actualized' she was part of the time until the darkness took over.
At her best she was doting, she would teach me to bake and sew creative costumes and go to dance shows, teach me about faith and to sing... life with my mother was a roller coaster of adventures and nightmares. She seemed to really descend into darkness once she had medical support with a psychiatrist. This really plummeted her from being childlike and fun to serious and depressed even violent. Once she became labelled as defective by mental health practitioners, she lost her 'magic' and life really changed for the worse. I really feel strongly that all people regardless of their mental differences are meant to be the way they are and should not be labelled. Once labelled, we are limited to that idea of us.
If you haven't already watched this Ted Talk by Eleanor Longden, it is incredibly important and helpful in teaching people the importance of not labelling patients as ill or as anything. Articulating their struggle without making their struggle their identity is crucial and will have a lifelong impact on their resiliency. Stigmas and self-stigma’s in schizophrenic patients was fond to result in a loss of hope, lower quality of life & self-esteem and poor treatment outcomes (Aakre, 2015). Carl Rogers description of a fully functioning person is one that is living with a sense of freedom and able to adapt to any given situation with creativity (Schultz, 2016).
I believe it is possible to achieve this self-actualisation even with mental health challenges.
Aakre, J. M., Klingaman, E. A., & Docherty, N. M. (2015). The relationship between stigma sentiments and self-identity of individuals with schizophrenia. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 38(2), 125–131. https://doi-org.libraryservices.yorkvilleu.ca/10.1037/prj0000119