In an age of unscrupulous social-media-mediated personal revelations, I’m not particularly big on self-sharing. So I try to write about myself only when I think it adds to the discussion.
I wish it weren’t, but today is one of those days. After more than a decade of taking newer antidepressants for depression and anxiety, I’ve begun taking a drug developed before I was born – the tricyclic antidepressant nortriptaline, or Pamelor.
I’m doing this not for mood issues, but because I’ve been suffering from chronic migraines for nine months, and a litany of other drugs have done nothing to prevent them. But my decision to substitute Pamelor for Prozac – my doctors didn’t want me taking both, in addition to Wellbutrin, my other antidepressant – is significant because I’m a child of the SSRI era who had a miracle turnaround when I first began Prozac over a decade ago.
If weren’t for the headaches, you can bet I wouldn’t go anywhere near a tricyclic. The SSRIs and their cousins, the SNRI antidepressants, of which Wellbutrin is one, have worked too well, and the rumored side effects of the tricyclics have scared me off.
This is the second time that the migraines have induced me to do what neither intense anxiety or unrelenting depression could: get me to try a psychotropic I was otherwise opposed to trying.