Look at the formula I designed as this post’s title, and please agree or rebuke me. You know how the media pictures the idea that when you are alone in a festive time, you feel even more lonely than ever, and being single means an extra layer of loneliness is added on top for you. So I captured a print-screen of this Hong Kong psychological magazine I was reading earlier this week (see below and sorry I only have the Chinese version): it talks about a man’s case where he developed depression due to the fact that he was dumped by his ex-girlfriend on the day of Christmas Eve, and the festive atmosphere of Christmas made him feel even worse; he used to spend his Christmas with her.
看看我為這篇文章標題設計的公式，你會同意或是反對呢？ 你知道的，媒體往往會描述當你獨自一個過節日的時候，你會感到比任何時候都要孤獨，而單身意味著加了一層額外的孤獨感。 所以我像在本週早些時候看到的一本香港心理學雜誌的文章cap了圖（見下面cap圖，對不起，我只有中文版）：它談到一個男人的病例，他的抑鬱症誘因是他之前被前女友在聖誕前夕的那天甩了，而聖誕節的節日氣氛使他感覺更糟; 他可習慣了和她一起度過聖誕節呀。
Next, I want to pose a question: if you were him, would you find it shameful if you have to admit that being dumped causes you to turn into a mentally ill person?
Christmas time would be the background information we have. Let’s break down what I ask in parts. First thing first, is it shameful to feel depressive if a person is alone in a festive season, like Christmas? This one is easy to answer, doesn’t it? When everywhere is filled with an atmosphere in which people spend time together, whether as lovers, family gatherings or friends hanging out together, it is very reasonable to feel more lonely than usual. So although being single may feel more lonely, single people aren’t lonely if they are spending their Christmas time with friends or family members.
聖誕節將是我們的背景資訊。 讓我分解我問的問題。 首先，第一件事是，如果一個人獨自一個過節，如聖誕節，感到抑鬱是不是好慚愧呢？ 這一個部份很容易回答，不是嗎？ 當到處充滿了人們聚在一起的氣氛，無論是戀人們約會去，家庭聚會或是朋友們一起外出，感覺比平常更孤獨是非常合理的。 所以雖然單身可能會感到更孤獨，如果單身人士與朋友或家庭成員度過聖誕節的時間，他們不用感到孤獨的。
Next, so is it shameful to have developed depression triggered by the painful abandonment by a ex-lover. This reminds me of something that I was taught as a kid. I remember when I was little, the adults in my family told me that young people shouldn’t date till we enter university, because us teens would either be too indulged in the sweetness of a relationship, or unable to move on in time when a breakup comes.
接下來，我想問因為被舊情人拋棄的痛苦經歷而引發了抑鬱症又是不是好慚愧呢？ 這讓我想起我小時候的教導。 我記得當我還小的時候，我家裡的大人告訴我，除非進入大學，年輕人不應該談戀愛約會，因為我們青少年會太沉迷於這一種甜蜜關係，或者分手時無法及時抽身。
It dose not matter if the outcome of the relationship tastes like honey or forces you to shed tears, it is about whether one can handle it well and to ensure that life goes on smoothly. Umm, let’s say, you get upset by getting dumped just few days before your exam so you screw your exams up. However, it dose not truly make sense, dose it? At university you could have to go through the same thing and screw up your exams, or at work you could screw up too and your boss would make you redundant. It is about how much your ex-lover means to you as to make this kind of impact to your everyday life.
無論關係的結果是甜點的蜂蜜，或是迫使你流眼淚，說到底，這是關於一個人可不可以處理好失戀這回事，確保自己繼續生活順利。 嗯，例如說，你因為在考試前幾天被甩而感到不安，所以你的考試「炒粉」了。 然而，這是真相的全部嗎？ 在大學，你可能需要經歷同樣的事情，你的考試表現被影響了，或你都上班了但影響了工作，你老闆會「炒魷」。 你前情人對你的意義是甚麼，你的日常生活所產生的影響就自然會是甚麼。
It is indeed melancholic but romantic that someone loves his ex so much to the extent that he gets depression as a result right? I appreciate that someone has treated a relationship seriously even he or she gets dumped eventually, just like we are encouraged to always try our best in many things in life, but don’t get me wrong, I would never encourage anyone to get depression as a consequence of a painful breakup.
Back to the man I was talking about then. Is he guilty of shame to be brought down to the extent of entering into a depressive condition? I would have said yes before. I have always believed that anyone, so even a non-mentally ill person who cries for a breakup is a person who disappoints himself, lacking high aims in his own life, and I looked down on myself so so much each time when I each time cried for any reasons. I hate to admit this but like my my family jokes and says that I am very capable of crying since the day I was born, I have too many unhappy moments because I associated crying with self-devaluation. Only recently, I start to think slightly differently: am I still disappointing myself if I would get myself together each time after crying and keep on achieving those aims of mine?
回到那個我在談論的男人。 他因為失戀而陷入抑鬱狀態的程度是不是好慚愧呢？ 我以前會說是的。 我一直相信任何人，即使是一個非精神病患者，因為分手而哭泣是一個教自己失望的人，一個在自己的生活中沒了大志的人，所以，每次當我看著自己因為不同的原因哭起來，我都看不起自己。 我不願意承認這一點，但像我的家人老是笑話說，我打從出生的那一天就好會哭了，我就有太多的不快樂時候，因為我把哭泣與自我貶值連繫了。 只是最近我才開始有點不同：，如果我每次都在哭泣後讓自己在去繼續實現我的目標，我是不是還是教自己失望呢？
I suppose it’s a psychiatrist who had to help this man to get over his breakup, and I imagine a bit like curing a PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). I know nothing about psychiatry, but common sense can point out that the breakup is just one of many triggering factors, and even it seems to belittle a man(or a woman) when we hear him getting depression for such a reason, rather than for something ‘big’ like losing a job or death or someone. I would have to reiterate that it is not someone chooses to be triggered by a specific factor. For each depression patient, a certain factor happens to appear in his life to lead him to suffer from depression. It’s easier to understand if we think about how we accept that quite often the cause of someone suffering from cancer is also unknown. I think I understand why jobs like marriage counsellors besides psychiatrists and therapists exist in the psychological field.
我想是透過一個精神病醫生的治療，那個男人就走出失戀的陰霾吧，我想像成像治愈PTSD（創傷後遺症）一樣。 我對精神病學一無所知，但是常理可以指出，失戀只是許多觸發抑鬱症的因素之一，雖說當我們聽到一個男人（或一個女人）因為這樣的原因而感到抑鬱時，似乎他們被貶低了，因為可能我們會想，應當是一些比較「高價值」的原因，像失去工作，有人死亡才會讓人患上抑鬱症吧。 我必須重申，不是人可選擇某個特定因素去觸發自己變成患者。 對於每個抑鬱症患者，一定的因素恰好出現在他的生活中，導致他患有抑鬱症。 如果我們想想我們如何經常接受癌症患者患癌的原因未能解釋，這就會更容易理解抑鬱症病人。 我想我明白為什麼除了精神病醫生和治療師，婚姻輔導員這樣的工作存在於心理領域。
You will realise after all, I am writing to talk about myself. I am talking about how much I used to look down on myself because I easily bursted into tears, I felt so depressive when my ex-lover left me, and I would feel shameful because I strongly believed that by crying a lot due to many others reasons together with the breakup, I am nothing but a coward. I am working on how to stop calling myself a coward, a piece of rubbish, things like that.
你會意識到，最後，我在談論我自己。 我在說我有多麼看不起自己，因為我很容易哭，還有前情人離開我時我感到多麼抑鬱，我感到好慚愧，因為我堅信，由於失戀或許多其他原因而哭，我就是一個懦弱的人。 我正在努力如何停止給自己與懦弱，一塊垃圾這些東西掛上等號。
So now I have written up this post on the Christmas Eve, and I just wanna say, single or not, lonely or not, my formula is a complete bullsh*t because you can certainly find your joy in your own means. I am trying to create joy for myself. I tell you now what I am going to do on the 25th: I am volunteering again, maybe do a bit of ‘people watching’ in a café to read afterwards(my exams are coming up…) and by the end of the day, just go home for a simple dinner.
Merry X’mas. 聖誕快樂。
P.S. A tiny piece of interesting information, read below and please don’t mix up mistletoe and holly ever again. 有個有趣的小資訊，看看下文，其實不是聖誕花在英文有兩種說法的啦，但中文，「聖誕花」就是「聖誕花」吧！