Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a uniquely destructive disorder characterized by obsessions, or repetitive and intrusive thoughts, and compulsions, ritualized and habitual behaviors. These can manifest in a multitude of different ways, ranging from repetitive hand-washing to hoarding. The only common link between these varied behaviors is the mental toll that they take on the person suffering from OCD. Therefore, it is extremely important that those living with this disorder are provided with effective options for OCD treatments.
Three treatments currently in use for OCD are Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), prescription medication and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). According to The International OCD Foundation, using either medicine or CBT will be effective as a treatment for OCD in seven out of 10 cases. TMS is a promising new approach to treating the three out of 10 people who are not adequately relieved of symptoms by CBT or medicine, or those that want to try the method first.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
A new brain stimulation therapy has been developed for the safe and effective treatment of multiple mental disorders, including OCD, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS. This was originally approved by the FDA for treating major depression; however, it has recently been studied as a treatment for other brain disorders, particularly when the patient is not responding to medication or behavioral therapy.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation works by targeting areas of the brain that are linked to the disorder, including the prefrontal cortex. Non-invasive electromagnetic coils transmit electric currents to these areas, affecting the activity level of the neurons there. Through “resetting” the brain, TMS offers significant relief from the symptoms of OCD. Although TMS is a relatively new option for treating OCD, early studies show tremendous promise.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is a natural and frequently chosen option for treating psychological disorders, such as OCD. CBT is different from traditional talk-based psychotherapy in that it is more centered on specific behavior patterns and on clinical process than on any kind of insight.
According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is one form of CBT that is widely used to treat OCD. With ERP, the patient is exposed to a stimulus that triggers a compulsive behavior while restricting this response. The therapist provides support and guidance during this process, so that the person is able to confront their OCD and receive relief.
Medication for OCD
Psychiatrists frequently prescribe medication to combat the symptoms of OCD, often in conjunction with behavioral therapy. Psych Central states that the only drugs that are scientifically proven to be effective in treating depression are those that interact with serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter believed to play an important role in OCD. The drugs frequently used to target serotonin include Zoloft and Lexapro.
Medication is not a quick and easy fix, with treatment taking up to 12 weeks to take effect. Another frequently cited complaint about the use of medication to treat OCD is that many of the drugs used have unpleasant side effects, such as weight gain or dizziness.
Obsessive compulsive disorder disrupts the lives of millions of people living in the United States. However, there are several options for OCD treatment that promise better lives for these individuals. Through the use of medication, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or TMS, the person suffering from OCD can work to fight the symptoms of this disorder.
Westside Neurotherapeutics offers clinical trials for TMS therapy for OCD. For more information, contact Westside Neurotherapeutics by phone at 310.946.0008 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.