A clinical psychologist, Dr Maymunnah Kadiri, has appealed to fans of music star, Davido and other Nigerians to stop advicing him and his fiancée, Chioma regarding their son, Ifeanyi, who passed away days ago.
She said that as much as some might mean well for the couple, they give unsolicited advise which could worsen their current mental state.
The doctor also spoke on the different stages of grief that Davido and Chioma need to be aware of and how they can cope. Kadiri further said there are different ways the bereaved can heal.
“As a young couple, it is easy for people to give unsolicited advice to them. People should not tell them things like, they are still young and that they should not cry because they will still have more children. Also, Davido and Chioma should not be told that Ifeanyi is in a better place because God is in charge.
“People are supposed to use more comforting words that can help the couple. People should let them know that they are there for them and should make themselves available.
“Grieving is an inevitable part of our lives but there are ways that Davido and Chioma can cope. We have stages of grief. The first stage is that of denial and shock; the second stage is anger; the third is the bargaining stage; the fourth stage is sadness or depression; and the fifth stage is acceptance. It varies from one person to another. It can take hours, weeks, months, or years for some persons.
“However, the first thing is to acknowledge the pain. Denial and shock will make their healing process very long. They should accept that grief can trigger many emotions, sometimes unexpected ones, and the process is different for individuals. Even Davido and Chioma cannot grief in the same way. Chioma may grief longer than Davido because Ifeanyi was her only child. That is one sensitive part. If Chioma does not see Davido in the position that she is in, she may think that he does not care. The pathway to recovery is individualised.”
Kadiri added; “They have to seek a face-to-face support from people who care about them without saying anything and simply listen to them. Also, they must support themselves emotionally by taking care of themselves physically. They should try to eat, bath and sleep. There are certain people who neglect everything if they are grieving. But, if personal hygiene is neglected, it has a way of prolonging the healing process. They should be encouraged not to indulge in sleeping tablets, alcohol or other substances to take the pain away. Those things are not going to work as they will only offer temporary relief.
“They should also recognise the difference between grief and depression. It is okay to go into a depressed mood but it is not okay to go into clinical depression. Clinical depression is when the sadness has been ongoing for a minimum of two weeks, with attendant low energy level, and loss of interest. At this stage, they cannot sit in the house and be getting support from non professionals. That is when we recommend individual grief counselling, couples grief counselling, and family grief counseling so that they can talk about how they feel because emotions are contagious.”