“Anxiety is very treatable and manageable,” says Bernard Biermann, M.D., Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. “Generalized anxiety is characterized by feelings of worry, nervousness and fear. Physical symptoms may also accompany these feelings. These physical symptoms include difficulty sleeping, stomachaches and headaches.”
Anxiety as an illness can come in several forms: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, or social anxiety disorder. It's also a common human emotion we all endure. Run-of-the-mill nervousness and severe anxiety, however, are not one and the same.
"Anxiety in itself is just a normal experience," says Shanthi Mogali, director of psychiatry at Mountainside Treatment Center in Connecticut. "What creates abnormal anxiety is when experiences of nervousness and worry start to take over your daily life—people can find [themselves] worrying about mundane things, things that normal people can kind of push out of their mind. [It] starts to consume their life."