Home / Anxiety & Depression / Change your Brain Chemistry- Alternatives to Medication- Neuroplasticity- Depression Skills #8

Change your Brain Chemistry- Alternatives to Medication- Neuroplasticity- Depression Skills #8

Recent research in the field of neuroplasticity has demonstrated that you can change your brain chemistry by changing how you think.
Neuroplasticity basically means that your brain is shapeable and moldable, that you can actually change it’s structure, how it functions and your brain chemistry by engaging in Therapy like CBT- (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).

People often assume that because mental illness like depression and anxiety show up in the body, that they are caused by a biological factor, but in many cases that is the effect rather than the cause of mental illness. And medication isn’t the only treatment option for these biological differences, changing how you act and how you think actually physically changes the brain. Don’t make any changes to your medication without discussing it with your primary treatment provider.
In this video excerpt from my course I explain the basics of neuroplasticity and how we can use that to better understand and treat depression and anxiety.

You can change your brain! Check out my online course “Change your Brain: 10 alternatives to medication to change Brain Chemistry” it’s packed with ways you can improve your mental health through simple changes that take minutes a day: Sign up for my Newsletter: www.therapynutshell.com
My Intensive Mental Health Courses are now on Teachable! Use the code NUTSHELL for 25% off!

Change your Brain: Mental Health and Neuroplasticity Course: https://therapyinanutshell.teachable.com/p/change-your-brain

Coping Skills and Self-Care for Mental Health Course: https://therapyinanutshell.teachable.com/p/coping-skills-and-self-care-for-mental-health

FREE! Grounding Skills Course: https://therapyinanutshell.teachable.com/p/grounding-skills-for-anxiety-stress-and-ptsd

How to Help Course: Practical Skills to help Loved ones with Mental Illness: https://therapyinanutshell.teachable.com/p/practical-psychotherapy-skills

Check Out My Favorite Books for Mental Health:

Music licensed from www.Bensound.com or Artlist.io
Images from Freepik.com (premium license), Pixabay, or Wikimedia commons

Therapy in a Nutshell, and the information provided by Emma McAdam, is solely intended for informational and entertainment purposes and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis, or treatment regarding medical or mental health conditions. Although Emma McAdam is a licensed marriage and family therapist, the views expressed on this site or any related content should not be taken for medical or psychiatric advice. Always consult your physician before making any decisions related to your physical or mental health.

If you are in crisis please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or your local emergency services.

Some references:
Modifiable factors that alter the size of the hippocampus with ageing. Nat Rev Neurol. 2012 Mar 13;8(4):189–202. doi: 10.1038/nrneurol.2012.27. Fotuhi M1, Do D, Jack C.
Moustafa, A. A. (2013).


Increased hippocampal volume and gene expression following cognitive behavioral therapy in PTSD. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 747. http://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00747

Weinhold, B. (2006).

Epigenetics: The Science of Change. Environmental Health Perspectives, 114(3), A160–A167.

Echolocation: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525181420.htm


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  1. Excellent. Got to take that course.

  2. Can you confirm how much the course is?

  3. This is an amazing video and gives me so much hope. Thank you so much.

  4. you mean our experiences are merely a group of neurotransmitters, all of you are dividing human experiences are merely neurochemicals, neurobiological, neuroplasticity. and you divide our essence of existence as conscious, subconscious, and nonconscious, scientists are dividing human existence to many categories and try to treat them. why we have suffered?
    why we do not accept suffering in our life the same as happiness? happiness emerged from a purpose and suffering aroused from purposelessness. we have often been victims of mental disorders because we are not self-aware. if we try to understand a person better than myself, I will fail in my life. all of our relations are temporary even it is our close relationships, but my relationship with myself is permanent.there is no mental illness without a cause. we cannot change our brain, we can accept our experiences only to eradicate our negative moods.

  5. Hopeless- yes. Stuck – yes. Change- no. Been in therapy for years few different therapist. Benefits only lasted while I was in therapy. I know lots of people in the same position I've read a couple of books on Plasticity though dont think it actually changes anything in terms of treatment for depression. Have yet to be convinced. This video sounds almost exactly like CBT.

  6. I’m so grateful for your passion towards mental health. Your videos are very informative and helpful, I’ll be buying a course soon to continue to learn more!

  7. Wow, that's so interesting about the size and activity of the amygdala with depression, indicating a stronger fight or flight response. I wonder how that ties to people with Autism, who may have an underdeveloped amygdala, yet may have a very quick and strong fight or flight response.

  8. I told my doctor I was depressed and they quickly told me about these pills I can take, because I have been feeling more then 1year….But you know what I didn’t need these pills but controlling or behaviour that was leading me to feeling like this…….,,

  9. All of this makes perfect sense and provides hope. My one nagging thought …if we are constantly changing the way we think, won’t this lead to suppressed thoughts and or feelings that need to be brought into the light of day and dealt with somehow?

  10. Hey what are your thoughts about the treatment "Neurofeedback"? It is said to treat mental disorders such as A.D.D, anxiety depression etc, by using the principle of neuroplasticity

  11. thank you very much mam for this wonderful video

  12. I'm very interested in your therapy

  13. I'd suggest reading and writing as much as possible. Challenge yourself in reading material. Tackle the unfamiliar and don't give up.

  14. This course doesn't apply to a benzo brain. Only time can upregulate high affinity Gaba-a receptors that were damaged by benzodiazepines. Gabaergic system is a whole different ball game to repair.😪😖

  15. Loved this video. Your course sounds really useful. Thanks for sharing this.

  16. I developed anxiety when I was in university which affected me when I had to do public presentations, even though I used to do it very good when I was younger. I had a panic attack during a presentation which triggered my anxiety and everytime I avoided presentations it became worse since my thinking was to believe I wasn't going to be successful.

    I researched about this topic and learned how to program my brain in order to train my emotions and my thinking which eventually made public presentations something wouldn't trigger my anxiety but rather a challenge in order to feel happy, my key thinking path was to focus on the reward and happiness I would feel after achieving my presentation rather than the task itself. Also realizing that it's OK to fail and that I will have many opportunities to improve which eliminated my worries about how people would perceive my performance.

    I don't know if anyone else has experienced the same but it's definitely possible to train out brains and balance our thinking, I even quit smoking and started exercising which had made huge impact on my happiness level.

    Mental health issues can be difficult to acknowledge but it's better to treat them accordingly without chemicals, our human brain is extremely powerful and capable of things we cannot yet understand fully.

    Very good video

  17. Well, I found another site for helping my depression and anxiety and it end being a hack and spam, so.

  18. She is the best communicator I have come across. Will take this course

  19. Hi i have thinittus in my right in side ear in i felling anxiety in depression in i can't sleep

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