Brain Chemistry And Your Mental Health Ep 697

A figure sitting alone on a bench under a stormy sky, conveying a sense of isolation. British Accent Practice-Improve listening skills with a native British speaker.

๐Ÿ“ Author: Hilary

๐Ÿ“… Published:

๐Ÿ’ฌ 3881 words โ–ช๏ธ โณ Reading Time 20 min

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Learn About Mental Health While You Improve Your English Language Fluency

Join our unique English lesson that merges psychology insights with English listening practice. Curious about the link between your brain chemistry and mental health, all while learning to speak #english fluently? Discover how your life story shapes you and unravel the mysteries of mental health in a language journey like no other. Don't miss out on this transformative experience that combines learning and self-discovery!

Why This Lesson?

  • Learn & Review: Understand complex psychological concepts while enhancing your English skills.
  • Phrases & Vocabulary: Expand your language arsenal with terms like 'neurotransmitters', 'serotonin', and 'ACEs'.
  • Grammar & Conversation: Practice real-life English usage with a focus on mental health topics.
  • Level Up Your Fluency: Suitable for intermediate+ levels, guiding you from understanding to fluent conversation.
  • Pronunciation & Fluency: Perfect your British accent and become a confident English speaker.
  • Tutorial Insight: Delve into the intriguing interplay of brain chemistry and mental health.

โœ”Lesson transcript:

A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.
โญ Albert Einstein

In this #englishlesson, you're diving into a unique blend of language learning and psychology. You'll not only enhance your English fluency but also gain insights into mental health concepts. Through exploring terms like 'Adverse Childhood Experiences' and 'neurotransmitters', you'll enrich your vocabulary while grasping complex ideas.

This approach, combining language with interesting content, is powerful for language acquisition.

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
โญ Carl Jung

Start Listening Now! Follow and subscribe to our podcast for more insightful lessons. Elevate your English fluency with Adept English today!

More About This Lesson

Join Adept English for a fascinating journey into the world of mental health and brain chemistry, all while enhancing your English skills. Our lesson, "Brain Chemistry and You," offers a unique blend of language learning and psychology. Itโ€™s designed to make complex topics like neurotransmitters and mental health approachable for English learners. You'll enhance your fluency, grasp complex ideas, and dive into British culture through our engaging podcast.

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.
โญ Marie Curie

In today's English lesson you can expect:

  1. Improves Listening Skills: Hones your ability to understand spoken British English.
  2. Expands Vocabulary: Learn specific psychology and health terms.
  3. Contextual Learning: Grasp English in the context of mental health and psychology.
  4. Pronunciation Practice: Exposure to British accent enhances pronunciation skills.
  5. Real-World Application: Links English learning with everyday mental health topics.
  6. Enhances Understanding: Explains complex concepts in simple English.
  7. Cultural Insight: Provides a glimpse into British perspectives on mental health.
  8. Spelling Clarification: Spells out critical terms for better comprehension.
  9. Engagement with Content: Interesting subject matter keeps you engaged.
  10. Repetition for Retention: Encourages listening multiple times for better memory.
  11. Idiomatic Language: Introduces idioms, enhancing understanding of English expressions.
  12. Encourages Critical Thinking: Discusses controversial topics, prompting critical analysis.
  13. Interactive Learning: Invites feedback and participation for a dynamic learning experience.

Benefits of our listen & learn approach to learning

Each of these steps bring you closer to fluency in English:

  • Simplifies Complex Topics: Makes learning about mental health and brain chemistry easy in English.
  • Cultural Immersion: Experience British English in its authentic form, with cultural nuances and idioms.
  • Repetitive Learning: Helps in retaining new vocabulary and concepts through repeated exposure.
  • Diverse Topics: Explores mental health in a relatable way, encouraging discussions on sensitive topics.
  • Accent Adaptation: Regular listening improves comprehension of various accents and pronunciation skills.
  • Scientific Understanding: Simplifies scientific concepts, making them accessible in English.
  • Personal Relevance: Connects brain chemistry to everyday life, making learning more engaging and practical.
  • Expressive Language Skills: Encourages reflecting on personal experiences, enhancing the ability to express in English.
One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.
โญ Sigmund Freud

๐ŸŒŸ Explore, Learn, and Grow: Don't miss this chance to boost your English skills while delving into the intriguing world of mental health. Follow and subscribe to our Adept English podcast for more captivating and educational English lessons! ๐ŸŒŸ

Frequently Asked Questions About "Brain Chemistry and You"

This British English lesson is like embarking on a fascinating journey through the mind's intricate pathways, enhancing your English fluency while exploring the vibrant landscape of mental health and brain chemistry.

  1. What are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and their impact on mental health? ACEs, or Adverse Childhood Experiences, refer to negative, harmful experiences in childhood that can deeply impact a person's mental health in adulthood. These experiences can range from traumatic events to more subtle negative experiences, and they often contribute to mental health challenges like depression and anxiety later in life.
  2. How does understanding brain chemistry help in learning English? Understanding brain chemistry, particularly neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, can enhance English learning. Learning about these concepts in English helps improve vocabulary and listening skills, especially with a British accent. It also makes the learning process more engaging and informative.
  3. What role do neurotransmitters play in our behaviour and personality? Neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine significantly influence our feelings, behaviours, and personalities. Serotonin affects our social motivation and aggression control, while dopamine influences our mood and reward-driven behaviour. These chemical messengers play a crucial role in shaping who we are.
  4. Are nutritional supplements effective in managing mental health issues? Nutritional supplements are emerging as a potential aid in managing mental health issues. While it's a new field of research, there's growing interest in how supplements like vitamin D can impact mental health, especially in relation to serotonin production and mood regulation.
  5. How can repeating the English lesson improve language skills? Repeating the English lesson allows the brain to better learn and remember new words and concepts. This repeated exposure reinforces learning, improves comprehension, and enhances the ability to understand and speak English fluently, especially when focusing on specific topics like mental health.

Most Unusual Words:

  • Psychotherapist: A person who treats mental and emotional disorders using psychological techniques.
  • Adverse: Negative or harmful; not favourable.
  • Trauma: A deeply distressing or disturbing experience.
  • Neurotransmitter: A chemical substance in the brain that helps transmit signals in the nervous system.
  • Serotonin: A neurotransmitter that affects mood, emotion, and sleep.
  • Dopamine: A neurotransmitter that influences mood, pleasure, and motivation.
  • Hormones: Chemical substances produced in the body that control and regulate the activity of certain cells or organs.
  • Nutrition: The process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth.
  • Supplement: Something added to complete a thing, make up for a deficiency, or extend or strengthen the whole.
  • Deficiency: A lack or shortage of something, especially something necessary or desirable.

Most Frequently Used Words:


Listen To The Audio Lesson Now

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Transcript: Brain Chemistry And YOU-Mental Health

Brain Chemistry and You: Understanding Your Mental Health in English

Hi there. Today's podcast is called 'Brain Chemistry and You: Understanding Your Mental Health in English'. So, let's talk about something psychological today. We know that you like these podcasts. And by the end of it, I'll share some information about this, which might interest you, which might be useful.

Hello, Iโ€™m Hilary, and youโ€™re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

Don't forget - 100s of other podcast to download on our website!

And if you like this podcast, don't forget that there are many more podcasts on our website at You can download them in groups of 50, 100, 150 podcasts. Just imagine what that will do for your English language learning.

Have you ever wondered how your life story and your brain chemistry shapes who you are? Welcome to this English lesson, where we will dive into the fascinating world of psychology and mental health, all while polishing your English listening skills with a British accent.

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Adverse Childhood Experiences Shape Adult Mental Health

As a psychotherapist with over 20 years experience, I've met lots of people who face challenges like depression and anxiety. Our context, our life experience, plays a crucial role in shaping our mental health. And this idea isn't just abstract theory.

It's a reality for many people who have known what are called Adverse Childhood Experiences in their lives, or ACEs for short.

These experiences, whether they're stark or subtle, can make deep impressions in our minds. And ACEs often show up as mental health challenges in adulthood.

So this phrase in English, Adverse Childhood Experiences? Adverse, A D V E R S E means 'negative, harmful, unfavourable'. And research backs up the idea that the more ACEs we have in childhood the more likely we'll have mental health difficulties as an adult. This is a central idea in psychotherapy, but it's good that other scientific research now is backing this up.


A single flower growing in a crack in a sidewalk, symbolizing hope amidst adversity. Real-Life Context-Understand real-life psychological concepts in English.

ยฉ๏ธ Adept English 2023

Mental health is determined by present and past 'context'

So when I say context, that's C O N T E X T, here I mean the person's circumstances, what their life is like. And that means what their current life is like. And that may be where many of the problems lie.

But if there's nothing particularly problematic in their current life, we might look at a person's past and how their childhood experiences have shaped them, and may still be influencing now. Particularly where there's trauma in the past, that can disrupt a person's present day life, even if that trauma happened a long time ago.

Past trauma impacts present mental health for some

'Trauma', T R A U M A, means something horrible that happened to you, a horrible experience, that was shocking. So much so that life doesn't seem the same afterwards. That's a 'trauma'.

And sometimes it's our ways of managing these difficult experiences, our mechanisms, 'coping mechanisms', that become the problem. They may have been the best ways we had at the time, but that doesn't mean that they're the best way of managing ourselves now.

Use of medication for mental health? Under question!

So contrary to what many believe, particularly in the US, but also in the UK too, I don't think that mental health issues like anxiety and depression are rooted in physical diseases of the brain or that they need medication like antidepressants to sort them out.

While these medicines may have their place, it's much more important to understand our life stories rather than to rely on pharmaceutical medication. Medications like antidepressants may be 'an elastoplast' for some people, a temporary solution, perhaps.

But long term, it's better to find a different solution to mental health difficulties.

Antidepressants not tested for long-term use

Antidepressants haven't been tested for long-term use anyway, so we don't really understand the long-term effects, except by what people tell us. I think there are also unintended effects, and for some, coming off this type of medication is very difficult. You only need to look at forums like to see that people have all kinds of problems with these medicines for mental health. And these aren't often discussed or known about by doctors. Anyway, most people don't want to take medication as a solution to their mental health problems.

So I don't go with what you might call 'the mainstream medical model' of mental health, where unhappiness, distress is automatically treated as though it were a physical disease of the brain.

But brain chemistry does affect your mental health!

But, and you might find this surprising, what I do think is beyond any doubt is that your brain chemistry can and does affect your mental health.

It's well known and accepted in the field of neuroscience, that chemicals in the brain like serotonin, that's S E R O T O N I N, and dopamine, that's D O P A M I N E - they affect our feelings and behaviour. I would go further and say that these neurotransmitters, affect who we are, our personalities.

Although the science of this is somewhat at the beginning, some scientists believe that some people naturally have more serotonin than others. And other people naturally have more dopamine than some.

And there are other brain chemicals that play their part in who we are.

Hormones, for instance. That's H O R M O N E S. Like testosterone or oestrogen. They're hormones.

Some may find this contentious, but I think that male and female hormones influence our personalities, how we feel, what motivates us, how we behave.

And this happens probably it's thought, by affecting the levels of our neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters control and influence all kinds of things!

So that's the word for these chemicals, these substances in the brain, our 'neurotransmitters'. That's N E U R O T R A N S M I T T E R, 'neurotransmitter'. These are chemical messengers that control lots of things like our heart rate, our breathing, our sleep and our appetite - how hungry we are or not.

Serotonin and dopamine, I've already mentioned. These are neurotransmitters which really affect our feelings and our behaviour towards other people.

For instance, serotonin affects lots of processes in the body, but research also suggests that the more serotonin we have, the more 'socially motivated' we are.

That means 'the more we care about and take care of the people around us'. Evidence also suggests that serotonin helps us to contain our aggression. That's A G G R E S S I O N. Serotonin plays a part in containing our urge to hurt or harm other people. So if we have low serotonin, we may be more aggressive.

And this is backed by animal studies. Lower serotonin animals are more likely to be aggressive to one another. And low serotonin lessens social motivation and co-operation.

Nutrition and Supplementation Can Transform Your Mental Health

So to some degree, our neurotransmitters are affected by what we eat, what we take into our bodies. This means food, but it also means potentially 'nutritional supplements'. Let me explain the term. 'Nutrition', N U T R I T I O N - that's the science around the substances that we take into our body - so again, mainly food - and the effects on our body and our health. So 'nutritional' is the adjective and the word 'supplement' is a noun. S U P P L E M E N T. And the word 'supplement' literally means 'extra'. So, if you take a 'nutritional supplement', it might be something like vitamin C that you take in a tablet form if you don't feel you're eating enough oranges perhaps.

You're taking 'supplements', so it's 'extra', vitamin C 'extra' to your ordinary diet. And there's a growing school of thought that nutritional supplements may have a part to play in helping people with their mental health difficulties.

I hope understanding of this field grows over the next 50 years!

It's a new field. I looked into training courses in this area for people like me and guess what? There aren't any yet, because it's really new. They don't really exist yet because this is new thinking. But that nutrition can affect our mental health is starting to be more ' mainstream thought'.

Who would have thought that nutritional supplements like these might be the answer to some of our mental health problems?

My prediction is that this field of research and this understanding will grow over the next 50 years or so. Hopefully less time than that, maybe the next 20 years. I hope it does anyway. I don't want our understanding of mental health problems to continue 'barking up the wrong tree', as we say in English! There's an idiom for you to look up if you don't know it.

Either way, if you're taking a nutritional supplement, it's something much more natural, closer to what you take in with your food anyway, so perhaps less likely to do you harm.

Sunshine Vitamin: A Key to Mental Well-Being? For some, yes!

So Vitamin D is a real world example of a supplement that may be able to help with mental health for some people. We're much more aware of vitamin D since the pandemic because we were encouraged to take it for our immune system. That's I M M U N E, our body's system for fighting off disease.

In the UK, we're being told that most people are deficient in vitamin D in the winter because it's quite dark and we don't get a lot of sunshine. So that's become more accepted general advice.

Symptoms of low Vit D or symptoms of depression? Hmmmm...

But if we just take vitamin D as an example? Now, as websites go, you can't get more 'mainstream medical model' than WebMD. But here's what it says about vitamin D deficiency. These are a list of symptoms:-

Mood changes, accompanied by overwhelming feelings of sadness and hopelessness

  • Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness
  • Loss of interest in activities that previously sparked excitement
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive weight loss or gain and
  • Trouble sleeping.

Well those symptoms sound very familiar to me as symptoms of depression. Actually, there's a link between vitamin D and whether your brain makes enough serotonin.

So I might suggest that if you have some of the symptoms on that list, which might get diagnosed as depression, perhaps it's worth trying vitamin D to see if this makes any difference. If it does, great, maybe you keep taking it. And if it doesn't, then perhaps you just judge according to the level of sunshine you get in the wintertime, whether you need it or not.

Depression and anxiety have multiple and different causes

So some people's depression or low mood could be down to 'deficiency' - that means 'lack of' - vitamin D. The problem is, it's hard to research and prove this because depression and low mood have so many causes. One person's depression may be down to a lack of vitamin D - taking a supplement may really help them, but lots of other people, the cause is something else, something different. They're not deficient in vitamin D, in other words.

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Why 'evidence-based science' for mental health falls short

So depression and anxiety are not caused by the same things in everyone, and in each person they probably have multiple causes. And the problem is, scientific experiments and research, by design, have to assume that we're all the same! And particularly when it comes to the ' workings of our minds', we really aren't all the same. Vitamin D might work for some people and not for others. It doesn't make it invalid!

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But scientific experiments by design need to assume that we're all the same. So it's actually quite difficult to prove certain things scientifically, but it doesn't mean they're not true for some people. I think this is where 'evidence-based medicine' can fall down, especially around mental health issues.

But being personally well-informed and being prepared to do 'low risk experimentation', sometimes can be really helpful. And it's not just vitamin D that has a potential positive effect on our mental health. There are many other nutrients that may do this too.

Give us feedback!

If you'd like more information and discussion about this, let us know.


In the meantime, just a reminder that this is an English language lesson, so don't forget to listen to this podcast a number of times, so that your brain has opportunity to learn and really remember any new words.

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at



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