When I began to speak openly about my mental health issues, people would often tell me about stigma–that it’s something to be afraid of, that I should watch out for it, that it could compromise my career, etc. But the things people would say sounded very similar to things I used to tell myself to justify the compulsive behaviors that defined my OCD. Avoiding talking about mental health because of fear or anxiety would be no different than avoiding any other experience because of fear and anxiety. It’s not healthy.
I wrote an article on stigma for a new NGO called Young Ones, and in the article I describe mental health stigma as a squirrel hiding behind a fake monster mask. You can read the article here: http://youngones.ca/?page_id=175