Despite the fact that giving care to psychiatric patients have positive effects such as personal satisfaction, ability to cope with challenges and consolidation of family ties, it also causes stress and burden on the patient’s relatives.
Family members cannot ignore the disorder even while taking a single step, and their own needs occasionally become of secondary importance. Having more burden than one can withstand, self-ignorance and a sensation of inhibition may turn the patient’s relative into an “invisible patient”. On the other hand, the stress, pressure and burden felt by the patient’s relatives, and their performance in giving care are thought to have an inverse relation. In other words, the more burden and stress the patient’s relative faces, the less the quality of the care s/he gives to the patient will be.
According to a study conducted, the relatives of the patients with panic disorder feel less burden when compared to the relatives of the patients with dementia. Starting from this point, the fact that a psychiatric patients is chronic, higher rates of functional impairment and lower rate of recovery in the patient are related to the magnitude of the burden felt by the patient’s relatives.
The “patient” label, and the society being prejudiced about this type of disorders cause the patient’s relative to struggle; furthermore, a study claims that the patient’s relative, though not willing to do so, internalizes these prejudices and develops negative thoughts about himself/herself. Thus, they may develop behaviors like self-inhibition, withdrawal, etc. The losses the patient relatives face in their business and social lives are frequently observed in the clinic.
Considering the factors that are effective in the emergence of panic disorder, factors like a panic disorder history in the family, low socio-economic status and negative vital incidents become prominent. The same factors may also be negatively affecting the patient’s relatives. The patient’s uneasiness manifests itself on the relatives. The studies carried out to diminish the levels of apprehension of the family members indicate that the family receiving psychosocial support make contribution to the recovery process of the patient. As a part of the psychosocial support, the patient’s relatives are provided with information about the use of the available resources to cope with hardships, and on crisis management.