Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 275-6):
No doubt because of this overlap, the situation regarding the status of ‘facts’ is also blurred. In principle, if a second figure comes into the picture representing the source or origin of the mental condition, it appears as ‘fact’ with a ‘mental’ clause but as ‘cause’ with a ‘relational’ one; for example:
(mental) it distresses me/I regret + that you failedBut ‘relational attributive’ clauses with Attributes of this kind, agnate to the Process of a ‘mental’ clause, are regularly construed with ‘fact’ clauses:
It distresses him that women ask him, to this day, to remove his dark glasses so that they can witness the marvel of his magical peepers.
(relational) I’m very distressed + because you failed
Well, I’m still afraid of him ’cause he’s bitten me.(relational) I’m very distressed/it’s a great pity + that you failedThe Attribute has become, in effect, a metaphorical expression of the Process of a ‘mental’ clause, and can be accompanied by a clause that is projected.
I am extremely distressed that these unfounded allegations should then have been leaked to newspapers.