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Don't Suffer With OCD: Learn About How TMS Can Help

While many people throw around the term “OCD” to describe someone who’s concerned with organization or cleanliness, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a much more serious, complex condition than this slang would suggest. OCD affects millions of people around the world and nearly 1.2% of all Americans. The obsessive thoughts and compulsions of OCD can make it hard to live your daily life and enjoy normal activities. 

If you’ve been diagnosed with OCD but have found traditional treatments to be ineffective, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may help reduce your symptoms. At LiveWell TMS in Huntington, NY, Dr. Nina Greif offers TMS treatment to help people struggling with anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, ADHD, and more. Read on to learn more about how TMS can help OCD sufferers. 

Symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder generally involves two distinct but related sets of symptoms: obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions include intrusive or unpleasant thoughts that are troubling and hard to get out of your mind. 

Common examples of obsessions include:

On the other hand, compulsions generally refer to actions and behaviors that are compulsively performed, often with the underlying belief that the behavior will reduce or prevent obsessive thoughts. 

Compulsions can include:

While most people have experienced unpleasant thoughts or compulsive behaviors before, people with OCD experience these symptoms regularly throughout the day and often find it hard to go about their normal activities. 

Treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder

The two main types of treatments for OCD are psychotherapy and psychiatric medications. Usually, OCD will be treated with a combination of these treatments. 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps you explore the relationship between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is a type of psychotherapy that involves exposing you to feared obsessions while learning to resist your compulsive behaviors. Both of these treatments are often paired with SSRIs and antidepressants.

However, these treatments do not always work for everyone, leading many people to be diagnosed with ‘treatment-resistant OCD.’ Luckily, transcranial magnetic stimulation has shown incredible potential for many treatment-resistant psychiatric conditions. 

How TMS can help your OCD

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive drug-free psychiatric treatment that works with your brain’s natural neurochemistry. It is a safe, FDA-approved treatment with impressive results. In a recent study, 45% of OCD patients saw improvement with TMS. In another study, 35% of treatment-resistant OCD patients saw improvement with this procedure. In fact, in a meta-analysis of 20 TMS studies, demonstrated that TMS had a large therapeutic effect compared to placebo treatment. 

TMS is thought to work by gently activating areas of your brain that are under-stimulated in people with OCD. During your LiveWell TMS sessions, Dr. Nina Greif attaches an electromagnetic coil on your scalp. In your first session, she identifies the best location to place the magnetic coil on your head for maximum results. In your following sessions, Dr. Greif places the coil in the right location and turns it on to produce pulses of energy. This may feel like a tapping or clicking feeling, but shouldn’t cause any pain or discomfort. 

Your TMS treatment plan will normally involve daily, Monday-to-Friday treatments for six weeks, then a taper of 2 - 3 sessions a week for two weeks. You can then come in for follow-up appointments as needed to address any other concerns. Thanks to Dr. Greif’s holistic approach, you can be sure to find the support you need throughout your TMS process. 

If your OCD symptoms are making it hard for you to enjoy your daily life, it might be time to give TMS a try. Give our Hungtington, NY office a call at 631-228-7674 or send us a message online to find out whether TMS might be right for you.

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