TMS Therapy for OCD

TMS for OCD: Can TMS Therapy Help Manage OCD Symptoms?

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, about 1 in 40 adults in the US have OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is a mental disorder where the person experiences obsessions, which are recurring, intrusive thoughts, and compulsions, which are behaviors a person feels the need to do repeatedly. Examples of obsessions are fear of losing control over oneself or a desire to have things placed symmetrically or in perfect order.

Examples of compulsions would be checking things over and over (such as if the door is locked or the stove is off) or excessive hand washing. Symptoms like these can cause anxiety and affect a person’s life in different ways. There are several treatment options for OCD, including psychotherapy, mental health therapy, medication, and of course, TMS Therapy.

OCD Treatments

Though there is no real cure for OCD, there are different ways of managing OCD symptoms through different types of treatments. This can allow them to engage in everyday activities that they wouldn’t be able to do otherwise, and help them lead active lives. Types of treatments include psychotherapy, medication, and TMS Therapy.

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is a name for a range of different treatment techniques that aim to help a person change unhealthy emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.

This is done through talking with a mental health professional, such as a psychologist. Different types of psychotherapy may be more or less effective for a person, depending on their needs. The ones used most often to treat OCD are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure and response prevention (ERP), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

CBT involves helping a person understand their thoughts and emotions, and helping them change unhealthy behaviors or coping mechanisms. ERP, which is actually a type of CBT, involves facing your fears and learning not to be scared of certain things or react to them in a certain way. ACT, another type of CBT, helps a person learn to accept negative thoughts and deal with them by taking away the power they have over an individual.

These techniques can help someone deal with their OCD symptoms, but they may be more effective when combined with certain medications.

Medications prescribed for OCD are usually antidepressants that target serotonin, a “happiness chemical” in the brain. The specific category of antidepressants used with OCD is called serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SRIs. SRIs can also be used to treat depression or anxiety, but are usually given in higher doses to people with OCD. Medications can often take a while to work; most people feel the effects after 8-12 weeks. Medications can also cause unwelcome side effects. A person taking medications should always stick to the treatment plan provided by a professional.

Lastly, transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS. TMS uses a magnetic coil to send out a series of pulses. Those pulses will stimulate a specific area of the brain. For some people, TMS can reduce OCD symptoms by targeting the part of their brain that is responsible for OCD. TMS can reduce the anxiety and intrusive thoughts caused by OCD, as well as reduce people’s compulsions.

TMS vs Other Treatments

So how does TMS compare with other OCD treatment options? Currently, as a relatively new player on the field, not enough is known about TMS. There are FDA-approved treatments for OCD using TMS, which have worked for some affected individuals, but further study is needed to determine whether it can work for more people. As with any treatment, it will not work for all people, because everyone’s brain and body work differently. However, if more research is done, TMS may provide relief for more individuals who suffer from OCD.


Though TMS is available as a treatment option for OCD, it may not work for everyone. Further research and study is needed to determine its overall effectiveness, and what its long term effects may be.

TMS can be combined with other treatments, such as psychotherapy or medications, to enhance their effectiveness, but those treatments can also be used independently. For a person with OCD, the best option is to get their diagnosis and talk with a doctor or trained professional about what the right steps for them are. For some, it may involve TMS; for others, that may not be the right option. The more people research and discover, the more opportunities people will have to find what works for them. In the future, people may even find a cure for OCD! Until then, people should manage their symptoms in the way that works best for them, whether that uses TMS or not.

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