H is for Horrid Headaches

H is for horrid headaches. Do I get more points for using two H words? Originally, I had planned to talk about hope for H. I’m having a bit of a down spell though and I’m not feeling too hopeful. What I am definitely feeling is headachey!

hope

Depression comes with physical symptoms too. For me, one of the big ones is headaches. I’ve been having a lot of them lately. Thankfully, they aren’t migraines. Those are pretty miserable. I’ve been getting a lot of those Ibuprofen-resistant headaches. Taking something never helps and the dull ache is just enough to make it hard to function. Usually the only thing to make it go away is sleep. That’s not always an option though. I’ve come up with a battery of things that I try when I can’t just go to sleep.

  • Anti-inflammatory. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen are the quickest fixes if they work. It’s rare that they work for me, but if they do work, relief is usually pretty quick. I usually use Ibuprofen. I read somewhere that taking acetaminophen with my medication isn’t the best idea.
  • Water. More often than not, those dull headaches are because I’m dehydrated. So I get a nice big glass of water and sip it while doing whatever it is that I am doing. Gulping it down never works. Only sipping it works for some reason.
  • Coffee. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I’m a coffee drinker. Not having coffee, if it’s something you are used to, can trigger a headache. If I haven’t had my daily dose that’s probably the reason. Even if I have had my morning coffee, another cup can sometimes quell the headache. Caffeine constricts blood vessels which can decrease pain. It also acts as a brain stimulant which can help you work through the thought fog that often accompanies these headaches.
  • Food. Sometimes I get working on a project and I forget to eat. I am usually reminded of this when my head starts to ache. Eating something healthy sometimes sends the headache on its way. Having something sugary usually results in a recurrence a little while later.
  • Ice. Some headaches are caused by inflammation of the dura, the lining of the brain. The artery that supplies blood to the dura is right behind the fragile bone that covers your temple. Putting ice on that area slows the blood flow which decreases the sensation of pain.
  • Stretching. The source of a headache can sometimes be neck pain, so stretch your neck. Relax your shoulders and face your head forward. Then bring your ear towards your shoulder without shrugging your shoulder up. Let the weight of your head stretch the opposite side of your neck.
  • Peppermint. I get a lot of stress headaches. They are usually caused by holding the muscles around my forehead too tight.headache2 The menthol is peppermint first stimulates and then relaxes muscles. I usually use lip balm or peppermint tea. Peppermint oil or lotion works best though. You can massage it into your forehead for relief.
  • Dim the lights. Complete darkness would be ideal, but you can’t keep doing what needs to get done if you can’t see. Dimming the lights is a good compromise. This usually doesn’t cure it, but it makes the headache more tolerable.
  • Ear plugs. Sometimes all I need is quiet, or to dull the noise a bit. Certain voices bother me a lot when I have a headache, like really loud conversation voices (my sister) or really high pitched voices (my mother-in-law). I love them to death, but I sometimes need to wear earplugs to take the edge off. If I wear the fleshy coloured ones or leave my hair down, they usually don’t notice either.Β Β  πŸ™‚
  • Pressure. Digging the heels of my hands into my forehead feels pretty good when I have a headache. If I’m lucky and I’m wearing one of those belted sweaters that tie around the waist, I take the belt off and tie it tightly around my head. I look like I’m trying to be a samurai or something, but it really works! I’m sitting here now with the belt from my bathrobe wrapped twice around my head and tied. Hands free pressure!
  • Sleep. When all else fails, to hell with your to-do list, sometimes sleep is the only answer.

I hope you learned something new by reading this. How do you work with or get rid of your headaches?

 

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30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. fuzzwalk
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 07:26:36

    My headaches are usually in one eye, covering that eye helps me. Alternatively, relaxing into the pain rather than fighting it. I visualise the headache and go into it, can feel scary at first but once there it can ease it.

    Reply

  2. Scott Lawlor
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 07:45:22

    Hello. I enjoy your posts. I can’t comment on this one because I don’t get headaches. If I do get one, I know something is wrong like I have the flue. Hope you feel better and thanks again for the insightful writings.

    Reply

  3. Sakshi Chopra
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 07:50:59

    Haha, these are some amazing cured for the horrid head aches.. Coffee works wonder, and so does water.. I usually don’t do Meds for the headache. At the end of the day, sleep works the best.

    Regards, Sakshi

    Please ignore any typos or errors as this message has been sent from my handheld.

    Reply

  4. Natalie Zaman
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 09:39:29

    I know when I’m stressed the headaches come–which I’m sure is also tied into depression. Breaking the headache certainly helps break the cycle–I will definitely be trying these out πŸ™‚ *goes for coffee*

    Reply

  5. Birgit
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 10:14:40

    I am lucky that I only get pms headaches and they are bad enough and I use a cool compress and massage my head. My friend gets bad migraines and those I horrible. Stress is so big, my ex suffered from those. Don’t lose hope, let the headache go away and you will feel renewed and find your inspiration

    Reply

  6. Stepheny Houghtlin
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 11:09:33

    Stopping by on the 9th day of the #atozchallenge. Happy to find another writer and with a blog that is easy to read, focused, uncluttered. I find the black backgrounds a struggle, but this beige and brown work well. Having no headaches during the challenge, but having a wonderful time visiting around. If you have time or interest, I am writing about gardening and related topics this month. Come and see me.

    Reply

    • somberscribbler
      Apr 09, 2014 @ 11:13:38

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you haven’t had any headaches and are enjoying the challenge. I’ve been having fun with it too. I’ll definitely check out your site!

      Reply

  7. Sarah Day
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 11:16:31

    Try gently massaging these accupressure points – one on the pad of your hand at the base of your thumb; the other the bony knobs at the back of your head. Works for me, anyway!

    Reply

  8. gunnarraven
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 13:27:02

    I don’t usually get bad headaches. When I do I just take NSAIDS and a nap. If it’s a sinus headache, I also take Zyrtec (if I haven’t already taken it that day.) Usually they go away.
    I certainly understand the depression part, and, to be honest, I’m not feeling very happy or hopeful today myself. I have a lot of money problems that are bringing me down, and depression is the flip side of the coin in my bipolar disorder, so I can expect it to come around at fairly regular intervals anyway.

    Reply

  9. gunnarraven
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 13:27:40

    By the way, thanks for visiting Crazy Town in Looney Land.

    Reply

  10. Jessica
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 15:24:47

    thank you for all of this- the headache tips for sure (I suffer from occasional migraines) but for so openly, honestly, and yet somehow POSITIVELY sharing about depression. I have suffered from depression and anxiety cyclically for as long as I can remember. Writing helps, but hearing from others like me helps even more. Glad I found you. πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • somberscribbler
      Apr 09, 2014 @ 15:30:44

      I’m so glad it helps you. I found that too, hearing others experiences made me feel less alone, so I thought I’d give back and share my story. I’ve made a lot of new friends that also have mental health problems. It’s been very rewarding. Looking forward to getting to know you!

      Reply

  11. Fatma Alici
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 16:01:32

    Bad migraines run in my family, and I’ve had them since I was twelve or so. For those I get ear plugs, snuggled under blankets in a dark room, take some paina killers and wait.

    Occasionally, I’ll get bored and do something I shouldn’t like listen to audio book, because bothers me least, but light bothers me most.

    Reply

    • somberscribbler
      Apr 09, 2014 @ 16:08:10

      I get migraines once in a while, not as often as the dull ache-y headaches though. I’m very photosensitive when I have migraine too. Dark is best. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

      Reply

  12. jodaley
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 17:56:17

    If this were scattegories you’d get two points. We love that game. I don’t think there are points in the A-Z : ) I don’t suffer from headaches and feel for those who do. I have a friend who becomes completely incapacitated from migraines and has been hospitalized several times as a result. Thanks for visiting my blog!

    Reply

    • somberscribbler
      Apr 09, 2014 @ 18:01:27

      Scattegories is my favourite game! No one wants to play with me though, because I usually win, lol. I’m glad you don’t have headaches. I hope you never do. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

  13. theegetawaygal
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 20:17:44

    I think you should always get extra points for using the daily letter twice in one title… way to go! Sorry about your headaches. My son just got back from the doctor because of some bad ones which turned out to be tension related. Love your tips, thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  14. Linda :)
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 23:02:10

    When I get a big headache sleep is the only thing that will get rid of it… And I have to have a cola every day or I’ll get a horrible headache from withdrawals… thanks for stopping by my blog… visiting via the A to Z challenge… πŸ™‚

    Reply

  15. Chuck Allen
    Apr 10, 2014 @ 00:00:00

    Great tips! I have occasional headaches, but nothing compared to what a lot of others go through. Sorry to hear you suffer from that.

    I’ll definitely try some of these when I get one of those that just won’t go away.

    Reply

  16. Stefani
    Apr 10, 2014 @ 02:45:19

    It depends on the headache. I used to get really bad migraines and would rub Tiger Balm on my forehead. Probably close to your Peppermint idea. Now if I feel a migraine coming on I usually head for the caffeine and a few other things on your list have worked for me as well. Now that I am older though, I don’t get that many migraines, what I get now are sinus headaches and those never want to go away. 😦

    Stefani @ Dreams of Nyssa

    Reply

  17. Kari Neumeyer
    Apr 10, 2014 @ 14:53:58

    A few years ago, I had a tension headache that lasted three weeks. My doctor prescribed cervical traction, and with a lot of coordination between her/insurance/the company, I wound up with a wonderful device that stretches the neck. I really should use it more.

    http://www.comfortrac.net/

    Reply

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