A severe case of the blues? (“Un gros cas de blues.”)

Frances first girlfriend, 48 year-old journalist Valerie Trierweiler, has “Un gros cas de blues.” (“A severe case of blues?”) after French President Hollande spent the night with 41 year-old actress Julie Gayet. The point of this blog is not to speculate on whether Holland was technically cheating on Trierweiler, nor is it to discuss if the French press is becoming more Americanized in their graphic expose of Hollande scooting through Paris on his Vespa for all-night trysts. I am more interested in the fact that Trierweiler checked into a hospital for Sleep Therapy to deal with her depression. 

The link between depression and lack of sleep is well established. More than half of the depression sufferers struggle with insomnia. It was long thought that insomnia was a symptom of depression, it now seems that in many cases, insomnia is a set up for depression and often doubles the risk of becoming depressed. New research shows that treating insomnia can synergize other depression protocols in the battle against depression. 

Many children and adolescents with depression who suffer from both insomnia and hypersomnia are more likely to have severe and longer-lasting depression. They are also more likely to suffer from anhedonia (an inability to feel pleasure). Additionally, a 2006 sleep poll focusing on children aged 11 to 17 found a strong association between negative mood and sleep problems. Among adolescents who reported being unhappy, 73% reported not sleeping enough at night. 

Four studies funded by the National Institute of Mental Health are set to be released in 2014 on the topic of sleep and depression. The first has already been completed, and the promising findings were presented at a November 2013 convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. The study found that 87 percent of depression patients who resolved their insomnia had major improvements to their depression, with symptoms disappearing after eight weeks whether the person took an antidepressant or a placebo pill. “The way this story is unfolding, I think we need to start augmenting standard depression treatment with therapy focused on insomnia.” 

There are several natural antidepressants that not only address depression through various pathways, elevate serotonin with 5-htp, inhibit serotonin reuptake with Sceletium Tortuosum, enhance sleep with L-tryptophan