There are several signs that can indicate that you may need to enlist the help of a counsellor to treat your anxiety disorder. Here are two such signs.
You actively avoid the places and the people that trigger your anxiety
If you start to feel extremely anxious when you're with a specific group of people or in a certain place, then your first instinct might be to start avoiding these people or that particular place. Whilst this is a perfectly understandable reaction to feeling anxious, it is likely to make your anxiety disorder worse and have a negative impact on your life.
For example, if attending lectures at your university has begun to trigger anxiety attacks and you decide to stop going to these lectures to prevent these attacks from occurring, your grades may start to suffer and you may even fail your course. Similarly, if socialising with others has started to make you feel anxious, you may decide to start isolating yourself. This could lead to you losing friends and missing out on lots of fun social events. In this situation, it is important to find a counsellor before your disorder starts to escalate to the point where your quality of life dramatically diminishes.
Your counsellor will be able to help you identify what you are really afraid of (such as, for example, social rejection, failure, etc.) and teach you the skills that you need face your fears. They won't insist that you immediately throw yourself into the situations that frighten you, but instead they will gently encourage you to expose yourself to your anxiety triggers in a gradual and progressive manner.
You're becoming depressed because of your anxiety
Many people with anxiety disorders find that they experience depression as a result of the impact that their anxiety has on their day-to-day lives. For example, if your anxiety has impacted your ability to make new friends, date people or take a specific career path, then you may find yourself feeling hopeless, sad and unfulfilled. This could then make you feel chronically depressed.
As such, if your anxiety has become so severe that you are now experiencing symptoms of depression (such as lethargy, feelings of hopelessness and loss of interest in activities that you once enjoyed) then you should book a session with a counsellor as soon as possible.
The counsellor will probably begin by addressing your anxiety (through things such as cognitive behavioural therapy and talk therapy) rather than your depression. The reason for this is that once you experience a reduction in anxiety, and are, as a result of this, able to start doing the things you enjoy again and feel more hopeful about your future, your depression symptoms may start to go away.