Being treated for mental illness with medicines is not as easy as, say, being treated for an infection with an antibiotic. There’s an amazing and somewhat horrifying amount of guesswork involved. There’s no blood test for depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or the slew of other things that effect a broad swath of humanity (yet). There’s no way to measure what exactly is lacking, or overdone, or exactly what needs adjusted, to bring someone back towards the mean.

What this means, is that your medical professional will make an educated guess, you will try something, and then, if it doesn’t work out, they will make a new guess, and try again. It takes about a month, in my experience, for a mental illness medication to really set in and get working, so you could spend the better part of a year, adjusting dosages, discarding medications that don’t work, adding new ones, or combinations of ones that might. The whole time you’re dealing with initial side-effects. The main medication I’m on right now, caused a week-long migraine when I started it. You can’t just stop taking these meds, either. Withdrawal is no joke, let me tell you.

The latest med we have added to the cocktail is supposed to help with the depression, and give me a little more energy and focus. I have been, more or less, a walking zombie for the last two weeks. I have never looked forward to a doctors appointment the way I am to the one this week, so I can talk about whether this is a long-term effect, or if we should stop with this particular experiment, and move on to another one.

And so it goes.