Am I Crazy, or What?

Wake up in a cold sweat. It’s ok. I’m awake. That wasn’t real. That nightmare I had over and over wasn’t real. But it felt so real.

The baby screams. I yell back. Why did I do that? It’s just my precious baby. Why did I have such an intense reaction?

My husband touches me. I freeze, stuck in this moment. My only thought is “not again”. But then I realize it isn’t happening again, but internally I can’t recover.

Have you ever found yourself reacting in a way that doesn’t make sense, frozen in fear when everyone else would say that you are in a “safe” situation or feeling more disconnected than connected with your current reality?

Maybe a bigger question is: Have you ever experienced anything horrific, overwhelming, or traumatic? This would be something that forever changed your life, whether others could tell or not. Often times when someone has experienced something traumatic at any point in their life, there are long lasting effects that impact everyday living.

“I’m crazy” is a common phrase I hear from people as they describe what brings them to counseling. As a counselor that sees many people who have experienced trauma, it is a relieving moment for both myself and the people I am counseling, when we can connect their responses to trauma in their past to their current everyday struggles.   

Common effects of trauma include, but are not limited to: sleep problems, nightmares, flashbacks, sexual issues, relational struggles, anxiety, spacing out, inability to control emotions, physiological issues such as stomachaches or headaches, or anger problems.

The effects of trauma can look so different for each individual person. For one person, it may be a lapse in their memory so that they do not remember the overwhelming event at all. Another person may be choosing poor coping strategies because that is how they have coped for so many years. Somatic symptoms, meaning physical symptoms that cause emotional distress, cause people and their doctors much distress when diagnosis is unattainable. An inability to choose healthy relationships or feel safe in a relationship may be due to a previous trauma.

Did something above feel oddly familiar? Are you finding yourself wondering if a frustrating aspect of your life could potentially be an effect of trauma?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, please contact us at Northshore Family Counseling by calling 985-661-0560 or by emailing myself or one of our wonderful counselors, whose contact information can be found at We would love to walk with you through the challenges you are having in your everyday life, that may have more explanation than you ever imagined.

I would be doing a disservice to you if I did not share that there is hope for those who are survivors of trauma. Through various techniques, our counselors can help you desensitize or eliminate the symptoms you are currently experiencing. Let us be a part of the hope for your better future.

Ellen Michel