Anxiety disorders impact more people across the United States than any other mental health conditions. Specifically, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects up to 7.9% of the American population, making it one of the most prevalent anxiety disorders. OCD can be extremely difficult to live with, especially when it is left untreated. Thankfully, this particular type of anxiety disorder is usually effectively treated with a combination of medication and therapy. But, despite being easily treated in most cases, there are some individuals who continue to struggle with the crippling symptoms of OCD despite medication and therapy. Similar to treatment-resistant depression, these individuals require more than the traditional approach when it comes to having their OCD properly treated. Fortunately, TMS for OCD can provide relief.
What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, often referred to as “OCD”, is a type of anxiety disorder that is defined as having excessive thoughts that lead to repetitive behaviors. While the abbreviated version of its definition is minimal, there is a great deal of complexity to OCD. For example, there are four categories of this specific disorder. They include:
- Cleaning and contamination
- Symmetry and ordering
- Forbidden, harmful, or taboo thoughts/impulses
The symptoms associated with each type of OCD are different. It is a common misconception that all individuals with OCD need to have everything in order at all times. OCD is a much more detailed condition than that. Some of the symptoms associated with each category of OCD include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Cleaning and contamination – excessive/ritualized hand washing, frequent clothes change, avoiding touching certain things, excessively sterilizing things
- Symmetry and ordering – intense anxiety over asymmetry, feeling like something bad will happen if certain items are in place, extreme need for balance
- Forbidden, harmful, or taboo thoughts/impulses – intrusive, unwanted thoughts, deep shame regarding harmful thoughts
- Hoarding – continually obtaining items that are not needed, feeling unable to part with items that are not needed, sacrificing health and wellbeing to continue to bring more things into the home
The specificity of symptoms within each category show that OCD is a mental health condition with many different faces. Being able to treat this anxiety disorder and all of its categories sometimes takes further action. That is why TMS for OCD is an excellent option for those who are in need of more robust care.
TMS for OCD: What is it?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is most synonymous with depression treatment. However, this particular form of treatment has proven to be highly effective in reducing symptoms in individuals experiencing OCD. Not only do TMS patients benefit from having their treatment-resistant OCD effectively cared for, but they also benefit from this procedure being non-invasive and easy to incorporate into their everyday lives.
So, how exactly does TMS for OCD work? In short, TMS for OCD works by stimulating areas of the brain that can help minimize OCD symptoms, but it is more detailed of a process than just that. TMS patients will have a specific coil placed strategically on their foreheads with a headcap to hold it in place. This FDA-approved coil then pulsates stimulation to the anterior cingulate cortex and the medial prefrontal cortex, both of which are regions of the brain impacted by OCD. This stimulation allows these parts of the brain to function more effectively, reducing symptoms of OCD.
TMS for OCD: How Does It Help?
TMS for OCD helps individuals struggling with this anxiety disorder in a number of ways. Most importantly, the symptoms of a person’s OCD are lessened dramatically, allowing for some relief. TMS is not a cure-all, rather it is a treatment modality that is often included alongside other forms of treatment such as medication and therapy. When included in a complete treatment plan, symptoms can become less overwhelming and individuals can place their focus on other areas of their lives as a result. This is a major benefit because when left untreated or when not being effectively treated, symptoms such as intrusive thoughts can cripple a person’s spirit, the need for extreme symmetry can produce high levels of stress, maintaining a clutter-free living space can become impossible, and the desire to continuously wash hands can go too far.
When TMS for OCD works effectively and reduces symptoms, individuals can benefit t from:
- Less stress
- Easier to control thoughts and impulses
- Improved physical health (e.g. less stomach issues, headaches)
- Improved concentration and focus
- Better understanding of OCD as a disease
- Increased mood
TMS has the ability to help individuals achieve these and several other benefits, making it one of the top go-to treatments for those who are not experiencing positive changes with traditional OCD therapy.
OCD Treatment in Florida
If you are experiencing OCD and need help, reach out to us at Neuroscience Institute right now. We understand the challenges that come with OCD and we know that attempting to live with them without the proper care can be nearly impossible. We are here to let you know that you do not need to continue living with OCD controlling your life. Call us right now to learn more about how we can help.