• TalkMatters
    Psychological Counselling & Coaching

Engage with your emotions

Did you experience strong negative emotions in the past week? Negative emotions, if not processed properly, could be disturbing. Nonetheless, they may not be the culprit of issues we are facing, nor a main hurdle of our wellness ! Emotions are just signals and how to understand them is the key job to be done.  These signals reveal the nature of our basic needs and guide us to see if such needs are being fulfilled. By exploring and reflecting courageously, we empower ourselves to make sense from our past experience.  What are the insights brought by Mei Changsu of Nirvana in Fire (a Chinese drama series) and Neo of Matrix?

All of us could be living in a Matrix look-alike, going through the same trajectory as Neo, being betrayed, beaten up and manipulated N times. All of a sudden things could turn bright and become optimistic again. Neo deviates from the program set by the Mastermind. He has the capability to love,  analyze and make choices. It is exactly these qualities that put him under a bigger burden than the rest of his race. "I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my life", the lack of control and loss of autonomy is believed to be a common source of human frustrations.

Morpheus of Matrix said, "What is 'real'? How do you define 'real'? If you're talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, taste and see then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain." To put it simply, emotions are messages! We feel "happy" because we have a positive experience with someone or something we enjoy; we feel "angry" as something we cherish is exposed to violation and we don't want it to be lost. When feeling angry, our pupils dilate, heart beats faster and fists are clenched to get prepared for a fight.  Then, what is the thing that we hold dear for such a defense? How comes the situation hurts and brings us anger .... efforts not being appreciated, love not being reciprocated, or fairness and justice not being seen?

What are the different messages different emotions are trying to make? "Despair" and "disappointment" may reflect deep-rooted responsibility and commitment; "sorrow" and "guilt" are products of love and care, and there is always hope being embedded.  Our emotions are inseparable from our cognition and value system. Every day, we traverse between acts of accomplishment, defense, possession and loss.  In actuality, we are just choosing to practice the values ​​and sense of self that we deeply believe should be chosen and practiced.  Interestingly, this represents not only the greatest virtue of humanity, but also our biggest limitation!

I am watching Nirvana in Fire recently.  Mei Changsu, cast by Hu Ge, once said, "As long as you have desires and emotions, you can never be free." When his friend was worried about the future, he comforted him, "Why bother when things haven't reached that point yet?" In a nutshell, how to perceive our "emotions" is the job to be done.  These signals are revelations of our basic needs and whether such needs are being met.   

When you experience negative emotions next time, take a deep breath and try not to control them. When emotions start to go and if you feel ready, decode the message that is delivered.  Maybe it's the affirmation from our parents, gestures of love from our partner, recognition from a boss... let the insights empower you to interpret and communicate them more effectively!

photo credit: hello-i-m-nik-iMwgWUbXxms-unsplash

Depression caused by an extramarital affair

https://www.cosmopolitan.com.hk/cosmobody/escape-from-unhealthy-relationship

[真人真事]小三的鬱結:從刺激的地下情到七年之癢!討厭不能放閃、抗拒繼續寄生!
那一年是2014年,23歲的Mia做了別人的小三。他的男人是個來自國内的富二代,在交易廣場上班,也算是溫文爾雅。他的老婆也是國内人,聽説是全職主婦。Mia 他倆怎樣認識已不重要,重要的是他們相遇邂逅、志趣相投,超愛看電影,一開始便打得火熱。那一年他們一口氣看了一大堆電影,由荷里活Hugh Jackman的《X-men》,Angelina Jolie 的《Maleficent 》(黑魔后)、Oscar 得獎片Birdman 到 Bollywood 的 《PT外星人》,以至日本片《深夜食堂》等。兩人對 《Birdman》裏的Emma Stone 更是印象難忘。
 
 
他們沒有覺得相逢恨晚,反而是地下情那種偷偷摸摸的感覺,怕火但又想玩、又如叫人失重但又無比刺激的過山車般,這種guilty pleasure叫他們難以抗拒。他們約會當天,Mia 會安排下午4時出街見客,完了就直接會合男友看5點半,之后就到附近的海邊吹吹風散散步。他們拍拖的menu 上從來沒有餐廳的名單,只有貫穿港九的海濱位置圖。男友起初不熟香港,漸漸地不到半年已經精通海岸地理。餓了,他們就買些魚蛋燒賣在海濱的長椅子上坐著吃,吃完,男人便要回家交人了。
七年之癢 愛情不能見光更痛苦
這一年是2021年,是她的七年之癢,她已經很抗拒寄生的感覺;加上患病的媽媽不停地催她拍拖結婚,她感到痛苦沮喪,作爲一個獨女她開始自責對不起父母的栽培及期望。最近她索性隔離自己,除了上班外,閒時的朋友聚會她也會找個藉口推搪,但越是一人便越在負面的想法內無限loop,不能見光的愛情為她帶來苦惱。
她沒有胃口,沒精打采,做什麼也提不起勁,對online shopping也完全不感興趣,連與男人的約會都少了。周末不用上班的日子她就一直睡。一個月以來,她明顯地清減了。
因爲疫情關係,男人的老婆一直催逼他陪伴回國探親。臨走前跟Mia去看了Emma Stone的《Cruella》。又是女人的power,Estella 的愛恨分明如同當頭棒喝,叫Mia痛定思痛,鼓起勇氣面對自己。
Mia 證實是患了輕度抑鬱,第三者的角色令她困擾及自責,來到這刻,這段曖昧亦算是不道德的關係,少了pleasure 多了負累。她被動地在漩渦中轉圈,慢慢發覺失了焦點、忘了自我及自信。作爲女兒,連媽媽的一個微小願望也未能滿足,她感到歉意及内疚。
在面談過程中,輔導員不跟她談道德對錯,也不嘗試解決問題。在最初的節數中,不批判地分擔了她的鬱結及低落,開導並陪伴她經歷情緒困谷。當她的心稍稍定了,兩人便開始深入傾談、探索這段關係的意義,思考感情路上的期望及其他可能性。患有抑鬱的人感覺生命沒有意義,就如身處波濤洶湧的大海又看不到岸,被無助、恐懼、絕望包圍,幫她認定一個anchor至為重要。
抑鬱可以由不同的情況或事件引發,疫情、學業、家庭關係、社會狀態等都會帶來無力、無助或無望的感覺,假如抑鬱未能獲得妥善處理,後果可以非常嚴重。根據mindhk的網站資料, 53% 的全港中學生報稱曾有抑鬱的症狀。
RELATIONSHIP MIND 七年之癢 情緒 真人真事 抑鬱