I'm 42, female. I was diagnosed with IBS 21 years ago. In the past few years I added a diagnosis of GERD. Basically, my digestive tract has caused me problems for a very long time.I have read and researched, as I'm sure many of you have, about how to help my IBS, what foods to avoid, food diaries, etc. Through the years I've become unexcited about eating out or even dinner at friend's homes, etc. due to the fact that I could experience IBS symptoms at any time, and staying near my own bathroom was more comforting to me than the prospect of a nice dinner out. Even when I did eat out, I was constantly wondering and fretting over what to order and "how was it making me feel", "was I getting symptoms",etc. Even as I interacted at the table,in the back of my mind I was aware of how I was feeling and if symptoms were coming on. My mind, as you all may know, became occupied with "what should I eat", "how will this affect me" and "if I feel the symptoms coming on, do I have an escape route to the bathroom and then to home", etc. I didn't enjoy traveling much due to long car trips, road food, and being away from the comfort of my own home and bathroom and the freedom to get away by myself until the episode was over.What I'd really like to share here is that recently my stomach became uncontrollable, nothing seemed to settle it down, and my focus totally became "what am I gonna eat today" and I ended up in the ER with what they said was a panic attack. Who wouldn't panic when you feel so yucky all the time, and can't explain it to others, and you have to eat, but just didn't know what to eat to help. After much prayer, I knew I was to see a Doctor who attended my Church, I believe it was because I felt I could trust him, and when dealing with doctors that is so important. I've been to some gastric doctors where I ended up feeling like I knew more from my research than they did about IBS, so I didn't really trust their solutions, which didn't seem to work anyways. So I made my appt., one of many I've had over the years for the same symptoms. I explained my symptoms, my long history, etc. and the Doctor listened. Really listened. He listened to all I was saying and picked up on something. The first question he asked me was how many flare-ups I have a year. When I really thought about it, it wasn't tons. He said it sounded like I thought about it alot, adjusted my life a lot, etc. considering it wasn't a constant happening. Even when I'm not in a flare-up, I was still thinking about my food choices so as to avoid one, or what I would do if it did flare. Anyway, he suggested trying to treat the underlying problem rather than just the symptoms. He put me on Celexa, it's a GAD medicine. GAD is General Anxiety Disorder. Now I'll admit, I didn't think I had general anxiety. I didn't worry or fret like those folks on the TV ad for GAD. But then as I started to look back at how I've lived with IBS for the past years, I realized I was anxious a lot about food and my reaction to it. I dabbled with "new feel-better diets", then stopping certain foods, or food groups to try to prevent the IBS. I was caught up in a cycle of being anxious about eating and it's affect on me, which I think caused, without me realizing it, a general tenseness that upset my intestines. Good news tho, as we adjusted the dosage on Celexa, I was able to slowly come off my stomach meds. I'm feeling better now than I have in a long time. My energy's even returned. It's been 6 weeks at my present dosage and I'm really starting to focus on other things besides what I'm eating, gonna eat, or how it's gonna affect my body, my day, my social life. I think the med helps the slight depression I didn't even know I had too. I just thought every one felt and thought as I did, a little worn out all the time, a constant feeling ill or not up to par feeling, even when I wasn't experiencing stomach problems, just basically blah. Constantly living with IBS did 'cause me some frustrating and depressing moments and sometimes a hopeless and helpless feeling, esp. when nothing was working and the doctors offered no sure fire help. Anyway, I hope that maybe there's just one other person who hasn't tried this approach and that this message will help. Celexa has very few side effects. It might be worth talking to your Dr. about and trying. It takes a month or so to really kick in and get the right dosage. I don't feel like I'm on med, I just feel relaxed about eating, and actually I'm enjoying what I eat and don't avoid anything.May God bless you as He has me. Hope this helps.