Welcome to the forums! You will find great suggestions here and lots of support!
I understand your reluctance to take mediciations, especially the psychotropic drugs. Many folks who have found these drugs helpful need only take a very small dose so the effect on the patient is not as extreme as if you were being treated for depression. I don't think I buy the theory that, by taking these drugs, you will render the body incapable of producing them on it's own. As it stands, the theory is that your body is CURRENTLY not producing what it needs. Either way, it seems like you wind up in the same dilema - no seretonin. It reminds me of the argument about laxatives. For the many who can not have a bm on their own, taking a laxative is going to be a necessity, even if that means it may render the bowel incompetent on it's own. If the gut isn't working, what choice does one have?
After 3 decades of dealing with IBS, I can testify that ALL treatment options only last temporarily. I have tried them all. Some provide relief for a time and then quit. Same goes for diet. I might find something that "works" for me, incorporate it into my daily meal plan, and find that after one week, it is no longer effective. It is the nature of IBS. It is not "curable", only "treatable".
I completely empathize with this statement:
I guess I feel like a bit of a head case since the major health issues I have had in my life always seem to be deemed psychological
Please understand that your IBS did not originate "in your head". You did not cause your condition. I'll give you some examples.
I have IBS
I have chronic arrhythmia, PVC variety
I have psoriasis
I used to have panic attacks
All these "disorders" have physical roots which are exacerbated by stress and anxiety. I could argue (and have!) that most of my stress and anxiety are the RESULT of these disorders! After all, if I didn't have to worry about bowel explosions or sudden heart attack, I would probably have less stress! One of the best things we can do for ourselves is find ways to relax about our symptoms. And, of course, that is the hardest thing to do! I have found these message boards enormously beneficial. They don't eliminate my symptoms, but they do make me feel less anxious about them.
Hope that helps!