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Depression Seven: Betrayal of Trust

A betrayal of trust such as a spouse having an affair, a loved one lying or keeping important secrets, revealing something you told in confidence, turning their back on you, or aligning with a perceived enemy can cause depression. Although the betrayal is often cruel and irresponsible there is a lesson in it for you.  The lesson may be to choose those you love more carefully or to set boundaries or to communicate more clearly. The most healing lesson if learned is to reflect on what the betrayal triggered in you, your perception of your own worth or value, and to upgrade that perception. For example, Joanie’s husband had an affair that she discovered by noticing strange calls on his cell phone. When confronted Joanie’s husband admitted to the affair. The marriage ended soon after. Joanie went into a deep depression. When she entered therapy she was able to discover that her depression was linked to an experience when she was a child when her father often abandoned the family to work and other distractions. Joanie grew up believing she wasn’t worthy of her father’s time. She carried that belief her entire life without realizing it. When she discovered her husband’s affair those old feelings of being unworthy were triggered and Joanie fell into her depression. By remembering her childhood abandonment and processed it in therapy she was able to realize that her worthiness was not defined by her father or her husband’s behaviors. This realization made all the difference and Joanie began to build her life again but this time in a more empowered manner.

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