Do Drugs Affect Writing?

After a visit to my dealer, I mean doctor, yesterday, I caught a glint of something positive removing the migraine curse I’ve been under for six weeks now. Doc & I have been together ten years and he knows my triggers. Weather, wind, rain, low pressure systems. Also dentist visits. And stress.

Yesterday as I told my tale of woe, he said “let’s wait a week and see if this new weather system will clear things up.” That reminded me of the many friends I have who suffer from seasonal allergies. I don’t. But if I look at migraine like that, it helps.

The problem with writing for me has been the medication. If a migraine gets bad, I can pop up to 7 extra pills a day. I’ve only had to do that twice, but even then, just the migraine stopper alone makes me a little less inclined to write. I can drive a car with one pill. I can teach class with one pill. And I can write with one pill. I just don’t want to.

I’ve heard many writers say they didn’t have the desire to write while taking certain meds. These writers say that while on the drugs, writing doesn’t matter to them anymore. Some of them go off a prescribed drug because they figure out writing matters more than whatever they’d hope to cure with a pill.

I’m working on a book I love, my publisher recently began accepting women’s fiction and my editor gave me the go-ahead to write it. And yet it has been difficult for me to find words these past several weeks. When I don’t write, it’s usually because things get too busy. But that’s not it this time.

I realized today…maybe it’s the medication. My mood has certainly been no ambition, no energy, no sizzle. This morning, I picked up my notebook thinking that at least I could write some morning pages. Even that was a struggle.

I am not saying anyone should stop taking medication. I will continue to pop pills as long as I need them. I am just hoping the weather clears and the migraine disappears. And hey, I wrote a blog post today:)


  1. I hope the migraines clear for you, Cindy! It’s no fun feeling groggy and/or unmotivated because often there’s a certain amount of guilt that creeps in with it. But you’re right, a blog post is also writing, so you’re still rolling. I’ve had allergies for years and after they became especially bad in the past year, I started acupuncture. The changes are subtle, but it’s doing really good things for my body. Also, I haven’t taken a single antihistamine pill or used my steroid nasal spray (that I’d been on for 15 years) since I started the treatments. Have you considered that for your migraines? You never know what might help…


    1. Laura, So many people suffer from allergies. Migraine, not so much. But they have much in common. I have thought of acupuncture. My insurance doesn’t cover, but still, there are other alternative treatments that also are supposed to align chi … EFT. It’s a funny thing, but it’s free and when I did it years ago, it worked. Going to try it again and also look for a sliding scale acupuncturist.


  2. I hope it clears up for you, I know what you mean about medication clouding the brain. I was suffering from clinical depression a while back and the meds I was on completely fecked up my desire to write, it wasn’t until they were completely out of my system a good year or so that I got the inclination to write back again. I would not recommend either that people come of their meds, but that they be aware that this can contribute to no writing, maybe mention to doc?


  3. Thanks Bridgina! An entire year. Good for you for sticking to it. Hope your depression is better. Friends who are not writers say anti-depression meds won’t let them lose weight. And some report that their desire for sex is gone. Pills seem like the perfect solution…until they aren’t.


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