Sitting down to watch news nowadays can be really traumatizing. Our media channels have become death announcement platforms where the bad news outweigh the good. The rate at which people are committing suicide is alarming. Many have sunk into depression without even knowing that they are actually depressed.
Cases of people killing their lovers, friends and family are on the rise as well.
All these happenings, suicide, depression and killings, are the end results of a process that might have begun several months before the actual action happened. These are not things that you wake up one morning and decide, it involves a lot of thinking and contemplation.
Modern life is tough and with it comes a lot of pressure. The current economic time does not make it any easy. Both men and women are suffering. Some do it in silence while some opt to share. We have an ailing society which needs help and for that reason there are a lot of conversations involving mental health.
Despite the increasing number of mental health cases and depression. Kenyan women somehow seem to manage better than their male counterparts. Some research associate that to the different genetic composition which is different for each gender. Our upbringing also contribute to the way we respond to various life issues.
Typically in an African setting, a man is not allowed to show his weaknesses. African men including our own Kenyan men are taught to be strong no matter the situation. For this reason, when men are faced with tough situations or when they are stressed, they tend to adopt the flight or fight method. They seek activities that will divert them from stress which leaves them with a residue because they actually don’t end up solving the root cause of the problem.
On the other hand, women have been brought out to be expressive. They therefore adopt the Tend and Befriend method when it comes to dealing with stress. They participate in nurturing activities that tend to protect themselves and their offsprings in reducing distress. They befriend by creating social networks that aid them in the stress process.
You will find a lot of women in Church groups, chamas, fitness groups, various support groups and so on. In these groups, they share and encourage each other. In a way these groups act as stress outlets without even then noticing. They find solutions to problems from their networks making it easier for them to cope with stress. Men on the other hand rarely involve themselves in social groups. They bottle it all up and keep dying inside. They have no one to share with. You are likely to find them in a bar drinking in an effort to whisk away stress. Sometimes they end up in depression or develop a suicidal mind.
Women cry it out. Crying can relieve stress. When a man cries, he is termed as weak. Due to the fear of being seen as weak, they bottle up their feelings. Women are at liberty to cry and when they do, they get a shoulder to lean on. In the long run women become more mentally stable than men.
Stress response may vary from individual to individual based on various things. The traits discussed are general and may vary from individual to individual regardless of gender.