We are sometimes swept away by a mood of sadness that seems to have no cause.
We wake up dispirited and listless.
We lack energy and direction.
Everything loses its taste and the smallest challenges feel unfeasibly heavy.
We struggle to see the point of almost anything.
这种状态 用医学术语说 叫做深度抑郁
We are- as the doctors tell us – in a state of severe depression.
One of the strangest but most provocative insights about depression
is to be found in works of psychoanalysis
that tell us that depression may not at heart be about sadness
It is a kind of anger that has been unable to find expression that has turned in on itself,
and made us sad about everything and everyone when we are in truth deep down,
Angry only about certain specific things and specific people.
If only we could understand our disappointment and rage more intimately
we could – the theory holds – eventually regain our spirits.
It isn’t existence perceived that has let us down
It is a few particular events and actors whose precise identity we have lost sight of.
The theory at once begs questions——
How is it possible that we be both profoundly angry
and yet unaware of the causes or direction of our annoyance?
However, this lack of self-knowledge is in terms of our overall mental functioning, not entirely surprising or anomalous.
We are endemically bad at keeping close tabs on the origin and nature of many of our feelings.
We can laugh deeply and yet struggle to explain exactly why something has set us off.
我们会觉得某地很美 某人魅力无穷 又或是偶然会有一部电影触动我们的乡愁
We can find a landscape beautiful, a person charming or a film nostalgia-inducing
without having any secure hold on the detailed mechanics of our responses.
Understanding has established ahabit of trailing far beyond feeling.
It isn’t just around sadness and despair that we can be strangers to ourselves.
But there is another, more pointed reason why we can lose touch with our anger:
because we have been taught, probably since earliest childhood,
that it isn’t very nice to be angry.
Anger violates our image of ourselves as kindly and sympathetic people.
It can be too painful and guilt-inducing
to acknowledge that we may feel furious and vengeful,
not least towards people whom we otherwise still love
and who might have made many sacrifices on our behalves.
What we are angry about may also sound absurd.
Perhaps we’ve been hurt by the sort of thing that could be unhelpfully dismissed as ‘small’
and which we learn not to pay attention to
because we imagine ourselves as strong and above being slighted by petty injuries
injuries which wound us substantially just the same.
Lastly, we might be bad at getting angry
because we haven’t seen examples of successful expressions of anger around us.
我们也许会把愤怒与“暴戾” “狂躁” “毁灭” “危险”这样的词联系在一起
We might associate the word with “volcanic” ” crazed” “destruction”, and “dangerous”
as it is counter-productive.
Or else we might have lived for too long surrounded by people who never dared to raise their voices
and bitterly swallowed every hurt instead.
We have not learnt the art of a controlled and cathartic conversation.
想排遣抑郁 就要意识到另一个选项并不是“快乐” 而是“哀悼”
The way out of this sort of depression is to realise that its alternative isn’t “cheerfulness”, but “mourning”.
Mourning is a useful word
for it indicates a focused kind of grief over an identifiable kind of loss.
As ‘mourners’, we turn boundless, unnameable sadness
into much more specific hurt:
a hurt about the parent who wasn’t there for us,
about the sibling who mocked us,
the lover who betrayed us,
the friend who lied.
It isn’t necessarily always an idea to go out and confront these people
(some of them may already be dead anyway);
but mulling over what has happened and becoming conscious of the full scale
of our disavowed rage and burden
can decisively change our mood all the same.
Even as specific relationships and episodes become more complicated in our minds,
life as a whole starts to appear more manageable and hopeful.
We’re never quite done with the businessof knowing our own minds.