Obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD is a mental condition in which a person feels the need to perform certain activities repeatedly (Compulsions) or that individual may have repetitive, unwanted thoughts (Obsessions)—for example, frequently washing hands, counting things again and again and checking to see if the doors are locked, etc. OCD creates an abundance of intolerable anxiety in the person. OCD is classified as an anxiety disorder by mental health experts.
For a person with OCD, it is difficult to manage themselves, and they only have self-control for a short period. These activities can occur to such an extent that a person’s day to day life is disturbed. It is observed that around 40% of the patients with OCD don’t respond to conventional treatments like psychotherapy and medications.
Fortunately, a new, unconventional treatment is available that can bring a lot of positive change into the lives of people with OCD.
What is TMS therapy for OCD?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an innovative approach to treating OCD. It is a drug-free and non-invasive form of therapy that has been proven quite effective in treating different mood disorders such as depression (FDA approved for depression with other FDA approvals currently in progress), anxiety and PTSD and of course, OCD. Many mental health professionals have clinically proven the positive impacts of TMS on OCD.
This treatment needs no anesthesia, hospitalizations or extended periods of recovery time, and you can experience the benefits in a relatively short period such as within weeks or a month. It’s a safe, effective and reliable treatment and has fewer side-effects than medications.
How does TMS Therapy work for OCD?
Unlike medications, TMS only treats the brain areas connected with your condition rather than flooding the whole brain with chemicals. If you have OCD, certain regions of your brain are overactive in functionality. That’s why even if you want to control your compulsions, you cannot control them with mere will power.
TMS uses magnets to create electromagnetic fields similar to MRIs. This electromagnetic field generates mild magnetic pulses that have a therapeutic impact on the neurons in your brain that helps balance and normalize the activity levels of your mind.
During a TMS therapy session, a certified technician places a device that contains electromagnetic coils gently over your head. When the device gets switched on, the coils send regular magnetic pulses to your brain, specifically targeting the area where hyperactivity occurs. The targeted areas are based on your personal brain map. The brain mapping session takes place before the treatment sessions.
These magnetic pulses are harmless, and this treatment has very few to no side effects. Each of these treatment sessions lasts for about 20-40 minutes depending on the individual, and a minimum of 30 sessions are required to observe the full benefits of this treatment. As no sedation or hospitalization is needed, you can also easily resume your daily life while getting the treatment.
During the treatment sessions, you may watch TV, talk, text, answer emails or just relax.
What benefits do patients report after TMS?
Many people start experiencing changes in the first couple of weeks, but the time it takes for recovery can vary depending on how critical the situation is and how long you’ve been dealing with OCD. If you’ve been living with OCD, it might gradually take some time to experience the benefits. So, it can be challenging to recognize the changes.
In the beginning phases, you will see some improvements in controlling your intrusive thoughts and their frequency will also lessen, and they will become less distressing. Also, your urges to engage in compulsive behaviors will also be less frequent and not as intense as they once were.
TMS a tested approach for OCD
OCD can make it feel as if your life is out of control. But the good news is that TMS can help you change all of that and finally gain back control and put your obsessions and compulsions to a halt.
Contact the professionals at South Tampa Psychiatry to see if TMS therapy for OCD anxiety may be a good option for you.