Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is an FDA-approved alternative treatment for chronic depression that has gained significant attention in the medical community over the past decade. But in addition to depression, TMS therapy has also been explored as a potential treatment for other mental health conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). But can TMS therapy help treat OCD?
What is OCD?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder characterized by two primary features: obsessions and compulsions.
Obsessions are unwanted and intrusive thoughts, images, or urges that trigger intensely distressing feelings. Compulsions are ritualistic behaviors or mental acts an individual feels compelled to engage in to fend off their obsessions and alleviate the associated emotional, psychological, and physical distress.
Individuals with OCD often find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle of obsessions and compulsions, causing significant distress and interference with their daily lives.
Understanding TMS Therapy
TMS therapy utilizes magnetic fields to stimulate neural pathways in the areas of the brain involved in mood control and emotional regulation – which has been shown to help alleviate symptoms of depression and other associated mental illnesses like anxiety disorders.
The process involves placing an electromagnetic coil against the scalp near the forehead. The electromagnet painlessly delivers targeted magnetic pulses to the brain to stimulate or activate dormant neural connections, facilitating healthy mood and emotional regulation. According to research, TMS therapy may also help promote neurochemical balance in the brain, further compounding its therapeutic benefits.
The effectiveness of TMS therapy for treating depression has been studied extensively, and it is now widely accepted as an effective alternative treatment option, especially when other treatments – such as medications and psychotherapy, have proven ineffective or resulted in intolerable side effects.
TMS Therapy for OCD Treatment – Does it Work?
While TMS therapy’s effectiveness for treating OCD is still under exploration, early research shows promising results. In a few clinical trials, patients with OCD who underwent TMS therapy reported a remarkable decrease in their compulsive behaviors and obsessive thoughts.
This prompted FDA approval for TMS therapy to be used as an adjunct or alternative OCD treatment in 2018. As with depression, this innovative treatment option offers a much-needed alternative for individuals struggling with OCD who have not responded to medication or psychotherapy.
TMS is generally well-tolerated, with minimal side effects compared to other treatment options. It is a non-invasive procedure that does not require anesthesia or sedation, allowing individuals to resume their daily activities immediately after each session.
What to Expect During Treatment
TMS therapy for OCD typically involves a series of treatment sessions over several weeks. The frequency and duration of sessions may vary depending on the individual’s needs and treatment plan.
During each session, the individual sits in a comfortable, slightly reclined chair while the TMS device delivers magnetic pulses to the targeted brain region. The sessions are generally well-tolerated, with minimal discomfort or pain reported by most individuals.
OCD is a crippling brain disease that can significantly interfere with your quality of life. Where there are proven treatment options like therapy and medication, they don’t work for everyone. For individuals experiencing treatment-resistant OCD, TMS therapy offers a promising alternative. Its non-invasive nature and potential effectiveness make it a viable option for those who have not found relief through traditional treatment approaches.
At Initia Nova, we are a leading ketamine clinic specializing in providing cutting-edge alternative treatments for chronic and treatment-resistant mental health disorders, such as TMS therapy and ketamine infusion therapy.
Our dedicated team of professionals offers compassionate care and patient-tailored treatments to meet each patient’s treatment goals. If you have been diagnosed with treatment-resistant OCD and are considering TMS therapy, reach out to Initia Nova Medical Solutions for specialized treatment and care.