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Is TMS Treatment Effective for OCD?

Nov 08, 2022
Is TMS Treatment Effective for OCD?
There are many different treatment options for managing OCD symptoms. But what if they’re ineffective? Learn how TMS can help you overcome your treatment-resistant OCD.

Studies show that 1.2% of Americans live with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD is a mental health condition that results in obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.

There is no cure for OCD, only symptom management. Prescription medications and therapy approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure-response therapy (ERT) help manage OCD. 

However, many people find that their first attempt to treat symptoms is ineffective. Fortunately, modern-day technology has provided transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as an alternative approach to treating various mental health disorders that don’t respond to typical treatment, including OCD.

Dr. Ashley Johnson, DO, and her team at Colorado Recovery Solutions offer TMS to help manage your OCD.

What is TMS?

TMS is an FDA-approved noninvasive treatment procedure that sends electromagnetic pulses into your brain through a coil placed on your head. Since your brain is electrically active, these electromagnetic pulses communicate with the neurons in your brain. TMS either stimulates parts of your brain that are dormant or inhibits other parts of your brain that are overactive. 

TMS targets parts of your brain that cause your particular mental health disorder. You receive specific levels of intensity based on your health needs and goals, so Dr. Johnson works with you to develop a plan that’s best for you.

Researchers say that TMS has proven to significantly improve those who struggle with treatment-resistant depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. 

Does TMS work for OCD?

Typically, an overactive supplementary motor cortex (SMA) causes OCD, giving you the symptoms of obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions. TMS inhibits the excess activity happening in your SMA to allow you to break away from intrusive and repetitive thoughts and actions.

However, if targeting your SMA doesn’t offer relief of your OCD symptoms, you can treat other areas of your brain.

Overall, many cases of OCD have shown improvement in controlling obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors after a course of TMS treatment.

What to expect during a TMS session

At Colorado Recovery Solutions, you receive TMS therapy in a specific treatment room. You are provided with a comfortable chair to sit in, pleasant videos of your choosing to watch and earplugs to wear. An electromagnetic coil is placed on your head to send magnetic pulses to your brain. 

During the procedure, you should experience little to no discomfort, and you can resume your regular activities as soon as your treatment session is over.

TMS treatment sessions typically last about 18 minutes for OCD. We recommend that you receive them five days a week for six weeks to get optimal results.

If you’d like to schedule a consultation to learn more about how TMS can help manage your OCD, call our office in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at 719-356-3078 or request an appointment online today.

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