Posted by: Enzo | 2006/04/10

Chemical imbalances?

My boyfriend's mom had over 3 nervous breakdowns. Each doctor they go to says it's a chemical imbalance in her brain.
My boyfriend and his father aren't very gentle and exceptionally sensivtive to the situation, as they had to live with it for so long.
Since I've been dating him, I have talked to her and tried to be very sensitive and loving - that's when there looks like it's improving.
Is chemical imbalances and depression caused by nervous breakdowns? And how can it be treated? Does therapy help or medicine?

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Our expert says:
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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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Posted by: Enzo | 2006/04/10

She has been receiving medication, but it doesn't work that well. As they cannot find the exact formula to out balance the brain. My bf kinda explained that there is only 5 medicines availible to help her and she's already been through 3 that doesn't work..
The other day she actually got better just by drinking a normal "kalmeerpil".. Doesn't that show that it's not actually a chemical thing, but a phsycological thing.

ps. Excuse the english spelling - I'm actually afrikaans.

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