chemical imbalance



The sense "mental illness" is due to the fact that some mental illnesses are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain.


chemical imbalance ‎(plural chemical imbalances)

  1. Used other than as an idiom: see chemical,‎ imbalance.
  2. (euphemistic) Mental illness.
    • 2009, Warden, Rob and Drizin, Steven, True Stories of False Confessions, ISBN 0810126036, page 28:
      Anyone who knew him well would suspect he had a chemical imbalance. He had been unhappy recently. And there was a history of suicide in the family; his mother had tried to kill herself.

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