Kubler-Ross, a Swiss psychologist, explains the five stages of a dying patient as well as those who care for him or her progress through. The model has been popularly known as the DABDA method which includes dying, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance (Currer, 2017). The model is fundamental for care providers who deal with dying patients in understanding the nature of care and support the client’s need. In the first stage, the patient will act in denial. In most cases, these patients will begin to plan for future events such as vacations. These phenomena are often referred to as alternative reality. In some situations, the patients may think the proclamation was due to a wrong prognosis and everything is just alright.
The denial stage is often followed by the anger stage. In this stage, the patient is no longer able to deny their imminent death. This is often frustrating and leads to arousing of anger since they feel helpless. Sometimes this kind of anger and frustrations may be directed towards close friends, family and care providers. The third stage is the bargaining stage. In this stage the patient bargains with a higher power asking for divine intervention for prolonged life. In most scenarios, they often give promises of what they would do if God intervenes. The bargaining stage is often followed by depression. At this point, the patient goes into a stage of despair and defeat. Symptoms associated with defeat are often expressed by sadness, fatigue, self-harm, self-pity, and social avoidance. The last stage in the dying process involves the calming and stability of emotions. They, in turn, begin to reflect on memories and planning for the future including updating the will (Boerner et al., 2017). An understanding of these stages of grief allows the care providers and psychologists to offer support and guidance to the dying patient, family and friends.
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