While it doesn't go away, most people find things that control and minimize the symptoms so they are able to keep their jobs, go out with friends, etc.Heather's diet is a good place to start.You might check out the threads on the OTC section about Calcium, that helps a lot of IBS-Ders and is a nutrient most of us do not get enough of.Taking Imodium morning and night may control it so you are more comfortable going out (take the lowest dose you can you don't want to constipate yourself).Some people do very well with probiotics (acidophilus, lactobacillus, various other probiotic bacteria)Once the doctor has looked you over there are a fair number of medications they can try you on some of which work extremely well for some people...it can take time to find the ones.One thing to consider is this sounds post-infectious and a fair number of people do have it fade in intensity over time.If you are interested in that route (some are, some are not) various mind-body therapies do help a lot. How you relate to the symptoms can make them more intense or less intense because the mind talks to the gut and visa versa and that can be either a healthy or a dysfunctional relationship. The extremely scared and depressed is probably getting communicated to the gut and probably doesn't help the symptoms any (it is NOT in your head, but what goes on in your head effects the gut) I did really well with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Some people do really well with Hypnotherapy (especially one set of tapes a lot of people here did www.ibsaudioprogram.com ) For me with the CBT I found the "how will I live the rest of my life" thoughts tend to keep symptoms going when they start up. "This too shall pass" thoughts tend to make the symptoms calm right back down.I hope you find something that helps soonK.