Mental Health, Society, Symptoms, Treatment

So High, So Low

Bouncing back and forth between extreme ends of pain and emotions has drained me. My pain is worse than usual at times and better than usual at others. When I feel good, I’m energetic and elated; when I feel bad, I’m despondent and grouchy. It’s true that I’ve never been one to settle near the middle of the continuum, but I’ve felt particularly immoderate the last couple weeks.

Last night I assessed my environmental impact (not pretty even though I try so hard) then caught up on the news. I read about mid-level fashion designers whose work is lost amid the costly designs of their high profile peers. Learned about a little-studied part of the brain that appears to have greater significance than previously thought. Saw the current death toll in Iraq. Watched a slideshow and listened to commentary on children in sub-Saharan Africa who are in adult prisons.

Then I went upstairs to tell Hart how I’d antagonized myself and asked the rhetorical question that’s my common refrain — “Is there anything I can do to make the world a better place?” In tears, I gestured around our office, saying that I’d give it up our comforts if it would make a difference. I felt so helpless.

That’s when I realized that I have classic depression symptoms. I can’t concentrate, I don’t feel like blogging (which normally brings me great pleasure), I’m tired, I despair the inequities in the world. Except, of course, when I’m going full speed at the opposite end of the spectrum. This deviation throws me for a loop.

I’ve landed at the irritating place of watching myself to see how my symptoms progress. Maybe it’s just a blip accompanying a particularly bad headache spell. Or perhaps it’s time to get my meds adjusted. My psychiatrist told me that I’m a person who tends to backslide quickly, so I know I need to be vigilant.

So much in the treatment of headache and depression requires a wait-and-see approach. I just want to feel better, damn it.

5 thoughts on “So High, So Low”

  1. My physician had me cut back on Amitriptyline from 50 or often 75 mg’s per day to 10. (Julie is convinced that Ebbie’s memory got better after she stopped taking Amitriptyline.) Surprisingly, my headaches didn’t get worse, but I couldn’t sleep. Am now back to 25 mg per day and doing better. Hang in there, Jerry

    I’m glad that reducing it didn’t make your headaches worse. I hope you’re able to stay at the lower dose.

    I still take it, but wonder if it’s doing anything.


  2. just wanted to tell you i can completely empathize. so many migraine preventatives need a 3 month trial. and it’s frustrating to try something for 3 months that doesn’t help! of course, then you just have to start another trial.


    i feel your pain. it seems to be endless, and the disappointments are hard to bear when you’re in pain.

    Thanks for your kind words. I’m doing pretty well today, so I have my fingers crossed.


  3. Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you sweetie. Hope you start feeling better soon.

    Going to try calling you tomorrow to catch up on things…until then, take care,




  4. I, too, am needing a medication re-evaluation. Next Wednesday … because I’m feeling the same way you are. I’m thinking about you.

    Thanks, Sarah. That means a lot to me. Good luck at your appointment. I hope things settle down for you soon.


  5. I hear you Kerrie. I’m in that “wait 4-6 weeks to see if this adjustment to your meds is effective” period. All the depression stuff was bad enough before I had the daily headaches. The combination of the two is just so rough.

    I’m sorry you’re in the same spot. I hope you’ve found the right combination. I wish you all the best.


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