"You may have had one or many very upsetting, frightening, or traumatic things happen to you in your life, or that threatened or hurt something you love--even your community. When these kinds of things happen, you may not 'get over' them quickly. In fact, you may feel the effects of these traumas for many years, even for the rest of your life. Sometimes you don't even notice effects right after the trauma happens. Years later you may begin having thoughts, nightmares, and other disturbing symptoms. You may develop these symptoms and not even remember the traumatic thing or things that once happened to you. For many years, the traumatic things that happened to people were overlooked as a possible cause of frightening, distressing, and sometimes disabling emotional symptoms such as depression, anxiety, phobias, delusions, flashbacks, and being out of touch with reality. In recent years, many researchers and health care providers have become convinced of the connection between trauma and these symptoms. They are developing new treatment programs and revising old ones to better meet the needs of people who have had traumatic experiences. This booklet can help you to know if traumatic experiences in your life may be causing some or all of the difficult symptoms you are experiencing. It may give you some guidance in working to relieve these symptoms and share with you some simple and safe things you can do to help yourself heal from the effects of trauma."
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: http://www.samhsa.gov