Its really the chicken and egg question - which comes first. In my case though, the anxiety began when the diagnosis was purely based on my symptoms presented. I know that I easily get anxious but all those attacks were manageable.
GERD is very subjective, the heartburn, the something is being stuck in there feeling, the dry, itchy throat, the post nasal drip, etc. My anxiety became controlled when I finally underwent an endoscopy and my gastro enterologist saw esophagitis and gastritis.
Most often, our mind will wander and we think of a "dreaded disease" and asks a lot of what ifs. This forum helped me a lot in understanding GERD. Only a person who suffers GERD can understand what you went through. Even my friends told me to just relax and dont think about what im feeling. The heartburn is very frustrating and leaves you with many sleepless nights. People who would not understand your illness would presume you are just too pre occupied with things that is why you cant sleep.
Xanor helped me but it didnt cure my sleeplessness. Its been more than a month now with PPI and the side effects that I experience include sleeplessness, alternating constipation and diarrhea, lethargy, ringing of the ears, never ending post nasal drip, lightheadedness and headache. It was my GI who gave me Xanor for insomnia and anxiety. What helped me to calm down is the sitting meditation that a psychotherapist has taught me. For my sleeplessness, its our company doctor who told me to stop Xanor and prescribed me with Itarax (an antihistamine actually) which is non-addictive. By the way, for the almost one month duration, i was only able to take 6 (500 mcg Xanor) since my dose is only 250 mcg so i would cut it into half.
Anxiety causes GERD. Stress plays havoc to our system so if we dont keep ourself calm most of the time, hyperacidity level also rise up.
I still have another month to go with PPI ( since end of October I am on Dexilant 60 mg, OD). I have to endure all the side effects for another month. I am claiming once im done with PPI, my old self will come back. I am very conscious now of what i eat - non fatty, non acidic, non spicy..No coffee for more than a month now -- huhuhuhu..
Keep on reading the posts here, these would help you understand GERD better.
Have a great day ahead.