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Mar 30, 2019 · migraine type headache for more than 15 years! in Brain & Nervous System

The antidepressant I was described is called Nortriptyline. I started at 10 mg about 5 weeks ago, and have been taking 50 mg about a week now. When the headache pressure got particularly strong a few days ago, I checked in with the doctor to see if there were any next steps (as, to this point, I haven't noticed any change with the antidepressant). I was told the antidepressant can take several weeks to have an impact, and, that it designed to reduce the frequency and intensity of the headaches. The thing is, I'm not having plural headaches; I've had one headache, constantly, for almost 3 months.

I've experienced depression cycles for my entire adult life (I'm in my late 30s), but I've never taken an antidepressant before. In this case, the antidepressant isn't being used to treat depression, but, tension. I struggle with the fact that this antidepressant is supposed to reduce tension, but, there's nothing specifically named that it's treating.

Physically, the pressure kind of feels sinus related (above the eyes, brow ridge, behind the nose, cheeks under the eyes, sometimes the ear) – but – I have not had a runny nose, nor congestion. There hasn't been any drainage to speak of. I did the sinus rinse for 3 weeks, and the doctor recommended to stop doing the sinus rinse because continuing to use the rinse might be making the headache worse.

I've not been diagnosed with anything, at this point. About 6 weeks in, the doctor said he had seen some "nasty viral things" going around this cold and flu season that were taking his patient a long time to get over, but, he didn't speculate as to what could be causing my headache. After the MRI, I think anything brain related was ruled out. He said if I were to see an ENT specialist, they would probably do a CT scan, but he recommended an MRI over a CT scan because it is less radiation and more sensitive in terms of imaging. Even though my pressure seems to be in a sinus areas, I guess I don't really have symptoms associated with a sinus infection (the antibiotic I took was supposed to treat possible sinusitis, but didn't impact the headache at all) – and – I don't know if an MRI addresses potential sinus issues.

I'm concerned the headache has lasted for 3 months, and seeing cases where folks have had headaches for years and years is very discouraging. I'm having a hard time thinking of putting up with this headache for another month, let alone years to come. My mind can't find peace as long as this headache is going on. Having a diagnosis to name what's happening, and a treatment plan to get rid of the headache, and knowing that there are other people who've had something similar and the pain did go away – those are things I was hoping for to feel more encouraged than discouraged about what's been going on.

Mar 30, 2019 · migraine type headache for more than 15 years! in Brain & Nervous System

Good evening. I've never posted on a message board before, but, I've had a constant pressure headache for nearly 3 months and I'm feeling very discouraged. The majority of the time, the pressure sits in my lower forehead above my eyebrows, in my brow ridge, and behind my eyes (particularly the right eye). Generally, the pain level is around a 4 or 5 out of 10 (sometimes the pressure isn't too strong, other times, it's pretty intense). Occasionally, I'll feel pain in my neck (no stiffness or trouble moving my neck). Sometimes, it feels like the pressure is oscillating between my ears and my forehead (mostly when lying down), and I'll feel pain in my cheeks from time to time.

I first went to the doctor in mid-January, after the pressure headache had been around for a week. I had blood work done, and there were no abnormalities in the blood work. I tried various types of OTC pain relievers – Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, as well as OTC medications specific for severe cold, sinus pressure, and allergies. None of them helped ease the pressure. I did a sinus rinse for 3 weeks and took decongestants (though, I never really had drainage or mucus of any kind as long as the headache has been around). Next, I took a week's worth of antibiotics, but the antibiotics didn't work. After that, I had an MRI. The MRI showed no brain tumor, no brain bleeding, or no concerns on the brain which might be causing the headache.

Next, the doctor placed me on an antidepressant to try to relieve tension. I started at 10 mg about 5 weeks ago, and I worked my way up to 50 mg over the weekend. So far, I haven't noticed any change with the headaches. I was told that it can take several weeks for the effects of the antidepressant to be noticed (maybe 8-12 weeks), and, that it wouldn't "acutely" treat the headache – instead, the headache might gradually reduce in severity and frequency as I continue taking the antidepressant.

I had an eye exam, and the doctor didn't note anything of concern happening with my eyes. I was prescribed a new pair of glasses, but the headache pressure patterns have remained the same before and after the new pair of glasses.

I'm tired of having this constant pressure headache, and I'm frustrated that nothing seems to be working. I'm worried that something is being missed – I just don't know what. It just doesn't seem normal to have a constant headache for nearly 3 months when I've never had a problem with headaches before in my life. Wanted to share to see if there are other ideas as to what might be going on?