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24 Mar 2003

My daughter needs help
My daughter lives in JHB. When she was a child she was in a car accident that left her with brain damage to the back of her head (not diagnosed until she was 30). She gets very depressed & anxious, drinks too much & has "fugues" where she completely loses her temper, screams & cries & is abusive & physically disruptive (breaks things). These last sometimes all night & only stop when she has either drunk herself to sleep or has taken too many over the counter sleeping pills in an attempt to kill herself. She usually cannot remember anything of the episode the next day. She was on a prescribed drug called Convulex but as she cannot hold down a job, has no medical aid & cannot afford them. She has a long history of this behaviour (20 years) and it occurs approx every 4 weeks (yes - hormones must be playing a role).

She really needs some help but we don't know where to go that is not private. Where in SA and Joburg can one get decent mental health care? Does the government run clinics, are there any GOOD psychiatric hospitals that care for ordinary, intelligent people who can't do private health care? She needs somewhere where they will do proper tests to find out what is wrong with her & treat her with kidness and the correct medication. Please help me.
Answer 371 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Worried Mom,
It sounds possible, from what you say, that she might have a form of epilepsy ( for which Convulex is a treatment ) which would be well controlled with proper medication ; best chosen after proper tests have been conducted.
In Joburg, one's best bet would be to try to have her seen firstly by the Dept of Neurology ( which has a special interest in epilepsy ) at Wits Medical School, and perhaps later at the Dept of Psychiatry a Wits, too, depending on the opinion of the Neurologist. Such assessment and treatment might be free, or at least on a scale related to income, like most Govt clinics. The act that it is a Medical School can be to your advantage, as the presence of medical students and specialists in training, usually means that they're more thorough than in some private practices !
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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