What am I referring to? Trying to find the correct combination of prescriptions to treat the symptoms of depression.
Treating depression with pharmaceuticals is less than an exact science. Really, there's a lot of black magic and guess-work involved in finding the combination that will work for the person in question.
The health care professional talks with the person needing treatment, thinks about what needs to be treated and makes an educated, informed guess as to what pill/pills will bring relief. Sometimes, it works on the first try. Sometimes, it takes a couple tries. Each try requires 2 to 4 weeks to complete. Most medications need 10 to 14 days to begin to show their effectiveness. In the meantime, the side effects show themselves. These can range from nausea or loss of appetite to panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. Yes, drugs that treat depression can make symptoms worse. And you don't know until you're on the stuff for 2 weeks.
As you're waiting for the effectiveness of the new stuff you're also going through getting off of whatever it was you were taking before. The withdrawal symptoms can be the same as the side effects of the new pills or they can add a whole different set of excitement to the days.
Once you've been on the new course of treatment for the needed period of time, you make a decision if it's working well enough to stay on said treatment. If it's not, you start the process of getting off the old stuff and on to the new stuff you hope works all over again.
As this is all happening, you have to keep trying to live your life without crumpling up into a ball to keep from having to deal with all this bullshit. You still have to parent children, go to work, do laundry and all the other things that are involved in living life. Again, it's impossible to explain to someone who hasn't been through it that the act of putting gasoline in the car is just not something that can be dealt with at this exact moment in time. Leaving the house isn't a possibility, let alone trying to drive somewhere and complete a financial transaction.
There are some dark thoughts that go along with this wait and see period of time. Really, in-patient treatment starts to seem like a completely logical and appealing option. Being someplace where trained pros will keep an eye on you instead of being allowed to take your crazy self out into the world where it will be expected you'll behave like a normal person. Normal? What the hell is that? I'm not normal I'm crazy. I'm a boobie and I belong in the boobie hatch. What a relief it would be to just give in to it. How liberating to just fall into insanity instead of fighting the undertow every second of every day.
You start to think about what kind of deal you'd have to make with what kind of devil to be free of all this. The mood swings, the crying jags, the weird dreams, the nightmares, the side effects, the fear that NOTHING will work this time, the insomnia, the inability to focus, the dizziness, the constant efforts to keep panic attacks at bay, the lack of enjoyment of anything, the never ending fear that this is going to be what it is for the rest of your life.
Crazytown. Welcome, this is where you live. Come on in so we can close up the borders because there is no way in hell you will ever be leaving. Just accept the fact that you're a lunatic and start to deal with it. You are never going to be optimistic, happy, find a child-like joy in all that you do because you're a kookoo.
I would give anything to be free of this.