KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 – Last year, 66 per cent of the calls made to suicide helpline Befrienders Kuala Lumpur came from women.
According to The Star, 60 per cent of these women were single.
But an expert told The Star that this may not mean women are more prone to depression than men.
“By nature, women are more likely to share and talk about issues troubling them,” said Sunway Medical Centre consultant psychiatrist Dr Tee Bee Chin.
“On the other hand, men – based on upbringing and conditioning – are told not to cry and to stay strong in facing problems or to protect their family.
“So as a result, they tend to try and solve their problems on their own,” she said.
Dr Tee also said that both genders have different coping mechanisms.
“Men often tend to be angry, aggressive or resort to risk-taking behaviours such as overworking, abusing substances, gambling, or changing their sexual behaviour to cope with stress, whereas women find crying and venting a relief,” she said, adding that more men actually end up committing suicide.
Dr Tee suggested that having conversations with sufferers can help alleviate the problem and allows them to think that someone cares about them.
“It is good to engage in open communications among family members, and try not to pathologise depression, because in doing so, you are telling the sufferer that they are mentally weak or incompetent,” she added.