You are hereMental Health Treatment

Mental Health Treatment

Valerian Root Can Help Sleep! sticky icon

This herbal preparation can help onset of sleep

A plant root can really heal some people's insomnia!

by Harris Jensen, MD

Editor, Good Day Journal

I've been hearing from people for 15 years that valerian root pills, taken one to several hours before sleep, helped them get to sleep and stay asleep.

Now there's some science to that.

The Herbal Medicine Physician Desk Reference confirms studies show some people have less anxiety and better sleep with this medication. 

Great Nutrition and Exercise Advice from Dr. Katz! sticky icon

A healthy lifestyle means you'll live longer and healthier!

Sixty percent lower rates of cancer and heart disease with a healthy lifestyle, Dr. Katz says

by Harris Jensen, MD

Editor, Good Day Journal


See Dr. Katz web site for more details!


Relaxing Stream Sounds Soothe The Soul! sticky icon

Bird songs identified on sound track of Rocky Mountain River!

Many thanks to the birders at Cornell Lab Of Ornithology and graduate student Matt Young!

Learn to identify bird songs with this sound track and links to Cornell Lab web site!

"Backyard Birdsong Guide" quite helpful in identifying  birds by sound!

by Harris Jensen, MD

Editor, Good Day Journal

Stress Managment With Nature! sticky icon

Bird songs and stream sounds help heal the soul!

Free sound track included in this article!  Helps stress managment!

Great for background sounds for studying too for college students!

by Harris Jensen, MD

Editor, Good Day Journal

I recorded in stereo the wonderful sounds of a mountain creek in spring, along with these singing birds, back in May, 2009.  I used a stereo microphone with a Sony voice recorder, edited the works in Garage Band on my Mac.

Can't Afford Medication? Have Your Doctor Write An Appeal Letter! sticky icon

God Bless The Divine In All Of Us, Even Drug Companies...

Can't Afford Seroquel?  Doctor Can Write Appeal Letter...

by Harris Jensen, MD

Editor, Good Day Journal

One of my patients couldn't afford a medication she desparately needs.  Her depression hit her like an angry lion, left her barely able to get out of bed.  She has failed to respond to 25 different medications prescribed by a number of doctors over the past 15 years, including me.

Walking Meditation Practices Great Stress Managment sticky icon

Fort Collins Psychiatrist Records Stress Managment CD

Mindfulness Approach Backed By Research

by Harris Jensen, MD
Editor, Good Day Journal

Managing stress by taking a good, long walk is about as American as apple pie.  I mean, Henry David Thoreau extolled the virtues of a walk in nature in his essary "Walking," 150 years ago.

But you can get more out of a walk by developing your powers of mindfulness.

Bipolar Treatment Strategies Reviewed By Fort Collins, CO Psychiatrist sticky icon

Chart Your Mood And Help Yourself And Your Doctor!

Bipolar Monthly Symptom Chart Makes It Easier!

by Harris Jensen, MD

Editor, Good Day Journal


The really hard thing about bipolar mood swings is there is sometimes no rhyme or reason to the vicious up and down swings of mood that can terrorize a person.

Dr. Harris Jensen Reviews Treatment Of Mood Problems From Traumatic Brain Injury sticky icon

One million people each year in the US

Are victims of mild traumatic brain injury--here's how to treat it!

by Harris Jensen, MD

Editor, Good Day Journal

It happens hundreds of times each day in this country.  A person is riding in a car, on a bike, on a skate board...and hits their head at 10 mph or faster.

The person is knocked out or briefly loses alertness, some would say, "I was knocked silly," and they feel "a little out of it" for several hours or several days, but they then get on with their life.

Or so they think.

Fight Your Addictions To Food And Alcohol and Nicotine With New Thinking Strategies! sticky icon

New Three Step Model Can Help You Kick Your Addiction!

Out Think Those Urges To Over Eat Or Drink And Start Losing Weight!

by Harris Jensen, MD

Editor, Good Day Journal

New imaging studies of the brain show the brain gets "excited" by even the sight of the substance of abuse!  And without the drug, whether it is nicotine or cocaine or crystal meth, the brain's own ability to think clearly, solve problems, regulate emotions--is physically not normal.

Addicted brains have a decreased number of dopamine receptors in the brain's "pleasure center."  That means that there just isn't the "wiring" needed to normally feel pleasure from the things one enjoys...unless those dopamine receptors are excited by the substance of abuse: alcohol or crystal methamphetamine or cocaine or excessive amounts of food.

A great article detailing, for example, the addictive properties of high amounts of sugar, are at this article link, click Sugar Addiction Is Real

The use of the drug of addiction causes changes in how the brain physcially works, so a person can feel pleasure normally again..but they are hooked on the drug to make that happen!

The articles reviewed below have actual pictures of these dopamine receptors "in action" creating this sinister situation in the brain.

The bottom line is this: a person may be predisposed to getting addicted.  Then they get addicted by the thoughts and actions they take, triggering changes in their brain chemistry by using these drugs and thinking about the drugs in a distorted way.

A person's thoughts and actions then trigger changes in the working parts of nerves.  Receptors, which are dedicated to catching certain chemicals and then sending messages down the nerve, change in response to what a person is thinking a doing.

The dopamine type two receptors actually decrease in number in the brain's pleasure centers.

But just the same, the brain can be changed back to normal, not craving the substance of abuse and lacking rational thinking about it.  This change can happen by a coordinated treatment plan involving treatment of underlying issues, such as depression and anxiety, and new thinking and new actions based on a healthy lifestyle and healthy thinking.

The new thinking model I outline below is based on these imaging studies, and I am seeing it really work to help people stay on track with their plan to kick their addiction.  It accounts for the fact that parts of the brain can still be craving the drug while a person is trying to redirect it to like the new healthy lifestyle the person is trying to achieve.

The area of the brain that we use to think things through, which is the front part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, actually isn't working normally, after people quit using a drug of addiction.  That front part of the brain, so critical to our ability to "steer" out lives, think things through clearly, slows down.

Our ability to control our behavior is impaired from the inside of our brain, by drugs of addiction.  How sinister!

Likewise, our ability to experience pleasure is twisted by addictive drugs, such as nicotine.  The pleasure centers of the brain are not functioning normally without the drug of addiction, unless the drug of addiction is used!  Of course these drugs can lead to death, such as from lung cancer from smoking cigarettes, so this is a sinister example of how the brain can learn to be "sick" or want things that are bad for it.  What Dr. Stephen Stahl calls "diabolical learning,"

Adding to this, the very area of the brain where we experience depression is altered.  This is the anterior cingulate cortex.  It's activity is altered by drugs of addiction, so addicts can only feel "good" when they are using a drug, whether it is nicotine, cocaine, methamphetamine.  This is also the area where we understand what we need, or what is good for us, where we feel our self awareness of our needs.

A review of these amazing brain imaging studies with color photos of the brain imaging itself, is available at this article by Volkow and associates in the Journal of Clinical Investigation: click it and be amazed!


Volkow and others reviewed how similar neurons are similarly "out of control" in obesity and drug addiction in this fascinating article, complete with brain imaging with people with obesity:

Click it and be informed!  Information is power!  An informed person is an empowered person...


A simple three step model provides a start at counteracting this wicked tendency of the brain to learn to like what is not good for it.  It is wickedly powerful!  Here is a blog site from someone who learned about this model from reading articles on this web site, and is using this new approach!  See new thinking in action!  Click this link and see for yourself!

 A similar article reviewing altered dopamine receptors in alcoholism is at this link:

Volkow's article said new approaches are needed to counteract this addictive behavior of the brain, new medicines and new counseling or cognitive approaches.

Patient's have found this simple three step model above  to provide great help to them, as they fight their addictions to food, nicotine, alcohol, pornography, and cocaine.  It doesn't of course provide a "Miracle cure" nothing does, but it does provide a model to explain their experience of the addiction, and the loss of control of how they feel and think, and it provides a way to "win at the mindgame" which is at the heart of winning over your addiction.

Whether it be to food or nicotine or alcohol or crystal meth. 

I'll write more on this in the near future...

In the healthy brain, the thinking and actions and feelings revolve around what is good for the self or the person, and a person naturally likes what is good for them, the feelings are sympathetic to what a person likes.  The thinking likes to track consequences and focus on keeping a person safe.

In the addicted brain, the thinking and feeling and actions revolve around what is good for the addiction.  The feelings don't automatically "care" about what is good for the person and their hopes and dreams and goals and emotions.  The feelings automatically are focused on what will work to use more of the substances.  Likewise the thinking is more automatically reacting (with denial, minimizing consequences, pretending it is too hard to look at consequences, etc) in ways that reinforce the substance abuse.  The actions likewise focus on what works for the addiction.  All these mental processes are a product of a network of neurons that have changed to depend on a substance of abuse.

A network of neurons has in effect "hijacked" the brain and twisted the feelings and thinking around to work for the addiction.

The metaphor for this addicted brain's mental processes would be the same as the above, but with "what is good for the addiction" put in place of the "Self", in the middle of the triangle.

This has proven a powerful tool as people try to wrestle with their cravings for the things that are not good for them: whether it is too much food, sweets, carbohydrates, alchohol, crystal methamphetamine or cocaine.

Massage Therapy Helps Heal The Soul And The Body... sticky icon

Here’s Some Lame Excuses For Not Getting Massage Therapy!

Sharon Welch Reviews What Is Known About Massage Therapy And It's Potential For Physical Healing

By Sharon Welch
Massage Therapy Editor For The Good Day Journal, and
Certified Massage Therapist
Loveland, Colorado

Massage therapists are a little like celebrities in social situations. People are fascinated with us, and the mystery that what we do. When people find out what I do for a living, we usually have one of two kinds of conversations. The first is the obvious, and starts with “I sure could use a massage, how much do you charge!” and the other is the polar opposite, “I could never get a massage.” The latter is the conversation that I love to get into.