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.
Using names or acronyms of mental illnesses to hyperbolize innocuous idiosyncrasies and experiences has become pervasive in our cultural dialogue. It is important we end this trend, because making these flippant references trivializes how devastating the illnesses can be and perpetuates myths and misunderstandings.