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

Please! Don’t stop taking your medication without speaking with a doctor! Medication is one really great treatment option. In this video I present another treatment option for depression- Therapy, but medication is a really effective treatment option. When it comes to mental illness, we all need some support and we need skills and therapy and for some people medication needs to be part of that treatment for a short while or a long while or even your entire life. This video and my other videos are not medical advice, please always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your medication. When I say “Alternative” I don’t mean replacement, therapy and medication aren’t mutually exclusive, you can do both!

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.

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Therapy in a Nutshell, LLC 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. About Me I’m Emma McAdam, I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, in therapy I use a combination of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Systems Theory, Positive Psychology, and a Bio-Psycho-Social approach to treating mental illness and other challenges we all face in life. The ideas from my videos are frequently adapted from multiple sources, many of them come from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, especially the work of Steven Hayes, Jason Luoma, and Russ Harris. The sections on stress and the mind body connection derive from the work of Stephen Porges (the Polyvagal theory), Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing) Francine Shapiro (EMDR) and Bessel Van Der Kolk.

If you are in crisis please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at: ( or 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or your local emergency services.) Copyright Therapy in a Nutshell, LLC Music licensed from or Images from (premium license), Pixabay, or Wikimedia commons

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. ( (…) (…)

Weinhold, B. (2006). Epigenetics: The Science of Change. Environmental Health Perspectives, 114(3), A160–A167. Echolocation: (…) (…) (…)