Our expert says:
Well, Enzo, a "chemical imbalance" is an accurate but limited descritpion of the complex chemical problems within the brain that are part of psychiatric disorders. Its a shame that your bf and his dad are not being supportive to her, though after years one's patience can very understandably wear thin, dealing with the problems of a sick person. "Nervous breakdown" is a lawman's term for pretty-well any form of psychiatric illness, whether Depression or anything else. ALl of them can be treated, generally with medication and often with some special forms of talking therapy like CBT counselling ; and in many of the conditions, like Depression, the results of treatment can be really excellent. It doesn't sound as if your bf's mom has been receiving treatment --- if so, the best thing would be to persuade them to take her to see a good local psychiatrist for a full assessment, and then a discussion of his/her advice on the best available treatment to improve her condition. Its likely that they can indeed help
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