Roughly 40 million Americans struggle with anxiety, but the stigma surrounding it prevents at least two-thirds of sufferers from getting help.
Anxiety also remains under wraps because many people don't know they have it. After all, the condition can present itself in so many ways: General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), phobias, panic disorder, and mood depressive disorder are just a few.
That's why artistically inclined folks with anxiety channel their emotions into their work. Revelist caught up with three artists across the country to find out what anxiety feels like to them, and how it shapes their art.
Steven Galekovic, 21, Oceanside, CA
Roughly 15 million Americans, including Galekovic, suffer from this "extreme fear of being scrutinized and judged by others," according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).
"Personally, anxiety ruined my self esteem," Galekovic told Revelist.
"I was a very quiet and shy kid, who had trouble to make any type of friendships. I felt that everyone was or had the potential to make fun of me. Personal issues with the way I look, talk, and walk really affected my confidence level with any type of activity where I needed to potentially talk and express myself."
Art has helped Galekovic heal.
"One thing I learned to cope with anxiety and my personal insecurities is to accept yourself and the issues that you deal with," he said. "Successfully getting through anxiety and depression is a working process, where you have to be willing to try to better yourself every day."
Lauren Mongillo, 26, Chicago, IL
Like many who struggle with anxiety, Mongillo told Revelist she usually envisions situations ending in the worst possible way.
"For me it's usually my thoughts zooming around, meeting up with my depression, ending with me having 15 worst-case scenarios for every situation," she said. "I worry before I even take action, and psyche myself out of opportunities."
Shreeya Singh, 17, Pembroke Pines, FL
("Biological Clock" by Shreeya Singh)
"For me, anxiety is specifically stress induced," Singh told Revelist. "Due to having multiple different passions, I find myself frequently stressed about not just having too little time, but misusing that time."
"Art is an outlet to express that anxiety, whether it be specifically through drawing out my object of anxiety, or expression the concept abstractly."
("It's All In Your Head" by Shreeya Singh)
What does anxiety feel like to you? Let us know in the comments.