The best description that I can come up with is that it's like a parasite that attaches itself to your mind and grows and grows and slowly infects every aspect of your life. It's like a slow, unceasing progression. It starts in your thoughts, then your behavior, then your personality, and soon, it messes up your relationships with other people.
My OCD convinced me that when I walked into a room, those people were talking about me, and I knew it. It forces me to revisit the same distressing ideas day after day with no reprieve. It isolated me and made me irritable. I lashed out at those I loved, oftentimes irreparably so. The spread of misinformation is harmful to us all, and we should seek to understand before we label.
My mental illnesses are diseases, just like my cancer, and need to be treated in a similar way. If I, myself, can't share my story then it indicates that I also have stigma so I discuss my mental health issues openly just like I do anything else. I have found that when I share my story, I have an impact.