Thanks for using Doctor Spring for posting your query.
I have gone through your question is detail and I can understand what you are going through.
I understand that you predominantly have an anxiety disorder complicated by an episode of depression as well. I see many such patients in my clinic and its not a rare phenomenon. Now try to understand that both sertraline as well as effexor are both anti-depressant as well as anti-anxiety drugs and there is no chance that the combination can increase your anxiety disorder. Coming to your suspicion of serotonin syndrome, you are on a low dose of effexor i.e. 75 mg and at this dose with sertralin at 100mg, the possibility of serotonin syndrome is rare. Moreover you only have anxiety symptoms and probably its the primary anxiety disorder that you are still suffering.
Along with your current medications, you can reduce the anxiety symptoms by adding up clonazepam or etizolam or propranolol. These drugs will symptomatically reduce the anxiety while the combination of sertralin and effexor cure your serotonine imbalance. If it still doesnt help then your antidepressants probably need to be changed to either paroxetine, bupropion or mirtazapine etc.
Also there is an option of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This therapy is taken by either a psychologist or a psychiatrist in which the therapist identifies impaired cognitions (Thoughts) and try to correct them. They are 15-20 min weekly session and there should be around 8-10 sessions to help you with your illness.
Hope I am able to answer your concerns.
If you have any further query, I would be glad to help you.
Wish you good health,
Dr. Srikanth Reddy M.D
Patient replied :
Thanks for your response, however, I still have some follow up:
1) why do I have a slight feeling a being hyper? Is that the serotonin boost? or is that mania? especially when I drink coffee, I feel more anxious and slightly euphoric?
2) Does that feeling of euphoria mean I am actually bipolar?
Thanks for the follow-up query. I will try to address them one by one
Depression and anxiety both are cased by serotonin imbalance and increasing serotonin levels improves both depression and anxiety as well. Drinking coffee increases anxiety in patients with anxiety disorder.
Your suspicion of being bipolar mood disorder is very much justified. However to quantify a mood swing as a hypomania the symptoms have to persist for atleast 48 hours at a stretch. If it is less than that then probably it is more of an anxiety symptoms.
Hope I am able to clear your concerns. Would be glad to answer any follow-ups.
Dr. Srikanth Reddy MD