Proceedings: 2003 2004 2005 2006 Next Conference
Beyondblue: The National Depression Initiative, Australia
Living with Panic Disorder: The Carer's Experience
This qualitative research explores the experience of living with
an anxiety disorder from the carer's perspective. In doing so it aimed to
understand the experience of living with and caring for a person with
obsessive compulsive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety
disorder and panic disorder. It aimed to identify the factors contributing
to the burden of care for the primary carer and family members, and to
highlight opportunities to improve the lives of people living with a friend
or family member with an anxiety disorder. Focus groups and in-depth
interviews were conducted across rural and metropolitan Australia in 2003 (n= 24).
Panic disorder has a profound impact upon the carer and family members, from the early signs of development of the disorder and the detection process through to the more debilitating stages of the disorder. Throughout the stages of the disorder, the experience of caring for a person with panic disorder impacts upon relationships, finances and upon the psychological, emotional and physical well-being of carers. This experience is further exacerbated by the barriers associated with accessing effective treatment services. Carers are left in need of support and understanding to help them with their role. The needs of carers and family members appear largely unrecognized or ignored by health professionals, services and the wider community. This must change in order that carers' needs are met and their burden alleviated.