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.