A psychologist has advised the family of Archbishop Duncan-Williams to resolve underlying issues between the respected man of God and his son, Daniel, whose scalding comments against his father on Tuesday has been blamed on a relapse into bipolar disorder.
Dr Aku Hayfron said although the bipolar disorder can be attributed to some of the disparaging comments Daniel Duncan-Williams made against his father, to her, the nature of the comments represent long-standing and suppressed feelings.
“The (Duncan-Williams) family may not have dealt with their issues very well before leaving one another and that may be the reason why he (Daniel) is always feeling negative towards his father. However, that is not a reason for him to do that,” Dr Hayfron told GhanaWeb on Wednesday, June 10, 2020.
According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder (formerly called manic-depressive illness or manic depression) is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.
The Lecturer at the Central University speaking to GhanaWeb, said in many instances, bipolar victims may not have understood themselves properly and their place in a family, adding this can trigger severe bitter outlook towards life.
Daniel Duncan-Williams, who lives in the United States, on Tuesday set Twitter and other social media sites ablaze when he went on a tirade against his father amidst live videos of obscene nature. Many of the videos have since been deleted from several social media platforms.
However, on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, who is the General Overseer of the popular Action Chapel International, pleaded with Ghanaians to remember his son in their prayers for a cure.
A statement released in Accra by the spokesperson for the family, Bishop Ebenezer Obodai, stated that Daniel has been battling with the acute bipolar disease for the past six years.
The statement explained that Daniel’s failure to continue his prescribed medication causes him to relapse hence some of his public outbursts which have become topical within the social media space.
Commenting on the issue, Dr Hayfron, who is also a member of the Ghana Psychological Council and Ghana Psychological Association, advised the family to do whatever it takes to ensure that he takes his medication regularly to avoid these relapses.
“And then also they will have to put him in contact with a psychiatrist or a psychologist who will be able to help them keep up with his medication and also help him know what triggers the relapse,” she told The BBC Ghana.
Reacting to some of the insulting Twitter comments that came in the wake of Daniel’s post, Dr Hayfron said: “People who are insulting him (Daniel Duncan-Willams) are ignorant.”
“It is ignorant that they do so because if somebody has a disorder, you don’t insult the person because he or she has a disorder. It means that the person is not responsible for whatever it is that is going on. Therefore, it will be difficult to say that he has a point in saying what he is saying,” she added.
Commenting on rumours that Daniel Duncan-Williams blamed his father for losing a lady he calls “the love of his life,” Dr Hayfron explained that loss of love could have been a potential trigger of the relapse.
“That (losing this lady he loves) could be a possible trigger. But then again you want to be able to know that apart from that trigger what else could have triggered the relapse.
“We need to be able to realistically deal with some of these things in the sense that at a certain stage, you can’t hold him back. You can’t tell him ‘you can’t do this and you can’t do that’ because by then you will be suppressing his rights. However, you need to be able to control him from other angles,” she admonished.
She has also advised the media to be circumspect in reporting issues involving a person suffering from a mental condition. She said it is especially bad for the media to put out the obscene videos published by Daniel Duncan-Williams.
Daniel has since been picked up by US security officials for a mental evaluation.