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Hi there guys

Well, let me start off by saying the following:

I'm a 31 year old archaeologist. Been working back in archaeology in Portugal for the past years. The weather there is nice and the food is awesome, but as you guys know, at this point, Portugal isn't doing to well financially and I never managed to make a decent living back there. Not directly due to the nature of my profession. I know load of architects, engineers, lawyers that were making less than me.

I'm currently in London doing an MA in Archaeology and the Winter here is just ******* me. I started getting depression during 2009 and in early 2010 I started taking 100mg of Cipralex (an SSRI). That kinda helped for a time but it never really made me better. At this point I'm trying supplements. I tried St. Johns Wort for some time but that didn't do anything. I tried Chromium but also nothing and today I'm starting with 5HTP with 50mg in the morning and 50mg at night.

My main symptom are:

Hypersomnia - By far my biggest issue. Keeps me sleeping around 11 to 12 hours a day which really interferes with my work/study.I wake up really groggy and tired, like I ran a Marathon. I guess I'm getting to much REM.

Fatigue - Specially in the morning during the first couple of hours. It kinda gets better during the evenings but nothing substantial.

Anhedonia/Lack of motivation - Not really interested in anything, and the fatigue doesn't help either.

Lack of appetite - Complete loss of appetite, but not losing weight. On the contrary, been gaining weight steadily. I'm pretty slim though, at 1.85m and 84kg, which makes is pretty healthy.

Some stress and anxiety but nothing too problematic.

At this point I'm not really sure what type of depression I have. I've ruled out diabetes and hypertyroidism. The doctors I've visited all say different things and I was expecting someone with similar symptoms could share some ideas. I don't think it is melancholic depression since usually SSRI's work with that stratum of depression and melancholic depression is usually associated with some trauma (relationship, loss of kin, etc) and it doesn't last as long. On the other hand atypical depression is usually associated with most of my symptoms but not with loss of appetite, much on the contrary, people with atypical depression tend to have high BMI's and carb cravings, which I don't.

At this point I'm not really sure how to fix this. I remember once, a couple of weeks ago, I went out for drinks, got a really bad stomachache that kept me awake till 7 in the morning. I woke up at around 11 (so 4 hours later) but feeling completely refreshed and in an awesome mood. I guess having slept little and going through less REM helped! So I'm guessing that whatever is keeping me depressed has to do with my Hypersomnia and disturbances in my sleeping patterns.

Anyone else with these problems? Anyone know how to improve their sleep?


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Hi Artur. Welcome! I think it's great you are trying some natural methods for your depression. Have you ruled out a vitamin deficiency? I know lack of viatmin D can cause depression. The sleep I do not know about, sorry. Did you get blood work done or can you participate in a sleep study? I know fatigue and sleeping a lot are symptoms of depression. It seems like your sleep issue is not related to feelings like, "I'm so depressed and miserable I just want to stay in bed and sleep." It seems like there is something more going on, in my view.

Did the doctors you've seen mention anything about a sleep disorder? That might even cause depression, but you'd have to ask about it. I have atypical depression. What about dysthymia?

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Well, I get bloodwork done every 6 months and they're fine. It's nothing physiological. I did a battery of tests when I was first diagnosed and everything was more than fine, in fact, I've got the health of an athlete if based solely on my bloodworks and tests. It's also interesting that whatever I have doesn't seem associated with my mood. I'm always in a great mood, I have a healthy social life, I don't get particularly angry or sad, except for a the anhedonia where i kinda just lose interest in things extremely fast. I stay in bed a lot even during the day, but the fatigue and consequent back aches I get from the fatigue leads to that. I don't know about dysthymia. How does one usually treat it?

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