To anyone who has had an issue with intermittent or chronic depression, do some research about 5-HTP. It's a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin and can really help. It's available over the counter, is relatively inexpensive, and the only side effect would be a tendency for some people to get nausea from it the first few times you take it (there are serotonin receptors in the small intestine and they react to it the same way your brain signals a reaction to a toxin, it's just because of the sudden serotonin impact on that area; it's temporary and harmless although unpleasant).
I had a low level depression for my entire life after I reached puberty, I presume because of hormonal influences. I also had a lot of trouble
sleeping which is indicative of low serotonin and melatonin levels. (You can't make melatonin unless your serotonin levels are high enough). The
5-HTP was like a miracle for me; I took it every day for about six months and the improvement was within days. Now I only need it once a month or so
to keep the brain levels of serotonin up, and sometimes as a lift during the darker days of winter.
You can try to raise your serotonin levels with a tryptophan rich diet of lots of turkey, almonds and bananas but that wasn't enough for me. I'd
have to have a diet solely on those foods... :-/
I encourage everyone to research 5-HTP and also 'smart drugs' or nootropics. There's a wealth of information out there that even your doctor
doesn't know about that can be very useful. The research is several decades ahead of regular medical treatment and the US is particularly behind the
times compared to Europe.