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Malaysian Girl Shares How Stress and Isolation Took Her Brother’s Life


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Image provided to WOB

All images were provided to WORLD OF BUZZ.

2020 has not been easy on us. The harsh reality is – the pandemic has taken a lot of lives, not only through the virus, but also through depression.

Natalie shares her heartbreaking experience of losing her 28-year-old brother after he succumbed to depression.

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“My brother had been stressed out from work in the weeks before his passing. He was a senior analyst for a global company, for context. While the nature of the job is indeed demanding, we are convinced that there was more behind this that triggered his depression.”

Natalie tells WORLD OF BUZZ that it’s hard to say what exactly is the one factor that triggered it, as her brother was quite a reserved person. However, based on his personality, the family suspected that it may be due to the isolation from socialising and physical interactions.

“The isolation led him to feel more stressed out and pressured at work than he typically would have been, especially since he set very high expectations for himself. This could be why he expressed feelings of incompetency to my dad after not being able to meet his KPI at work, although his KPI has not changed since the start, based on what we were told by his supervisor.”

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Natalie reveals to us that the family did not realise that Brian was suffering from depression.

“He never voiced out to us about depression, only that he had been stressed from work in the last few weeks before his passing. However, he had been in the same job and position for about a year and had no problems with work. It was only recently that he began to show signs of immense stress.

“We tried our best to encourage him, support him, asked him to speak to his supervisor and/or to visit the doctor if the stress is really affecting his health. He did speak to his supervisor, who lowered his KPI, but he never sought professional help with his stress and mental health (at least not to my knowledge) so that could have been a red flag.”


He never showed signs or expressed suicidal thoughts at any point

Many who experience depression often do not show telltale signs of it. While Brian did not express anything drastic, Natalie shares that she was able to pick up on subtle signs.

“My brother did not have his usual appetite to eat, was down and moody most of the time, talked about aches in his neck and back and asked for massages (to which we always obliged, even changing his chair and pillows to help alleviate the aches).

“We actually expected things to get better after he tendered his resignation the week before he passed. Unfortunately, that was not the case.”

Brian’s passing without a doubt left the family heartbroken. Since the incident, Natalie made it a point to speak out about his death – as she does not wish others experiencing what she or her brother had gone through.

“I believe it’s a story that needs to be told – not for the sake of my brother, but for the sake of any amongst you or your circle who may be struggling hard.

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“As someone who has experienced the heartbreaking loss of a brother to suicide very recently, it has become one of my priorities to spread the word on mental health issues.

“To anyone who may be suffering, I don’t presume to know how you feel but I believe that you are loved and cared for deeply by those around you, even if you don’t feel that way right now.

Please don’t be ashamed or afraid to reach out to someone you trust and a professional to express your vulnerability.

“It is not your fault for feeling how you feel. Just like how a fever affects the body, mental disorders affect the mind – and both require attention and possibly medication.

“To everyone else, please be sensitive towards those around you. Listen before you speak, empathise before you advise. You don’t need to always know the words to say, just lend a victim your ears and educate yourself on the resources available out there so you can point them to a professional. Please take care of yourself as well because I know first-hand that it can be exhausting, but this is the time that we all need to vigilantly watch out for each other for the sake of humanity.”

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Alarming increase of Malaysians feeling depressed

Since people are forced to stay indoors, depression in Malaysia has skyrocketed. In April, Befrienders told WORLD OF BUZZ that the calls increased by a whopping 38%. As of October, over 500,000 people experienced symptoms of depression.

Signs to look out for to seek for help/mental support:

  • Losing functionality in day-to-day life
  • Lethargy, loss of focus/concentration
  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  • Change in mood, behaviour (Eg: getting aggressive, angry, extremely quiet)
  • Change in appetite – increased or decreased
  • Change in sleeping behaviour – whether it’s difficult to sleep or it’s sleeping too much
  • Isolating, withdrawing from others
  • Expressing feelings verbally, through texting or on social media

If you or your friend/family member is exhibiting any of these signs, don’t be ashamed to reach out for help. If you’re reluctant to talk to someone you know, call Befrienders who offers confidential emotional support to anyone in need of a listening ear, 24 hours a day. So it’s never too late to reach out and talk to someone.

Telephone Number: 03 – 7627 2929

Please stay safe and remember that we are all in this together. 


Also read: Calls To Befrienders About MCO Increased To 38%, Here Are The Signs You Need To Look Out For

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