I haven't visited this forum in months, or I would have answered you earlier. I don't know if my response will be encouraging, as I've suffered from daily headaches for 23 years. However, I've been able to function well enough to finish grad school and become a professor, so the good news is that at least some of us (the "lucky" ones) are able to deal with the pain enough to function pretty successfully.
My headaches sound very similar to yours -- teeth grinding, shoulder and neck tension, lots of pressure, and starting on a specific day (a sign of New Daily Persistent Headache, or NDPH, which you may want to google). I've just skimmed your posts, but what jumped out at me was 1. the depression, and 2. the short time you give preventive meds to help. In regards to #2, many of the preventive medicines (amitryptaline, gabapentin, valproic acid, Topamax) take 2-3 months before they're likely to have any effect. Several have worked for me after a long startup period, but then lost effectiveness after several months. But you need to give them a chance to work -- they're changing brain chemistry, which seems to take awhile. In general, the side effects tend to decrease over time as well.
The depression caught my attention because some of the best headache prevention drugs are anti-depressants. Amitryptaline, a common antidepressant, is the one drug that has really helped me, and I've stayed on it for the last 15 years, with occasional dosage adjustments. One of the really helpful things for me is that it tends to help me sleep, which is another problem you mentioned. It might be worth giving it a longer trial period.
For me, the biggest headache triggers are poor sleep quality and drinking any alcohol at all. One beer pretty much guarantees a bad headache the next day. Although never big on drinking, I do splurge and have a beer or glass of wine on special occasions, even though I know I'll pay the next day.
Someone also mentioned overuse of pain killers, which often causes "rebound headache". It's a drag to wean yourself off of painkillers when you're in pain, but probably worth it. I don't take any painkiller more than 2-3 days per week.
Finally, the one thing that has helped me in the past is something we aren't allowed to discuss on this forum. Look at rule #2 in the forum and chat guidelines and then look elsewhere for discussions of this well-known pain reliever. I believe there are now more than a dozen states where you can legally pursue this remedy; with any luck, you live in one of them.
Even though your headaches started suddenly, I doubt they'll end the same way. In my case, I've learned to minimize their impact on my life, and I've come to terms with that as being a best case result. Not the best news, I'm sure, and I hope your case is different, but better to assume they won't go completely away and be right or happily wrong than hoping for a cure and being disappointed, from my perspective.
Hope some of this helps. I'll try to watch for your replies, but I go in cycles of wanting to read about headaches and wanting to ignore them!
Post Edited (kymark) : 7/28/2011 10:02:43 AM (GMT-6)