The uncontrollable thoughts and behaviors of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) cause severe impairment in half of the adults diagnosed with the condition, preventing them from thriving in daily life. At Pacific Phoenix TMS, Elia Gonzalez-Rodriguez, MD, provides exceptional therapy to people with OCD at two convenient locations in Vancouver, Washington. The team has extensive experience in therapy and medications for OCD, but they also specialize in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS is a painless, non-invasive treatment that relieves OCD when other treatments fail. If you need help with OCD, call the nearest office or request an appointment online today.
People with OCD have uncontrollable and unwanted thoughts (obsessions) that cause intense anxiety. The anxiety compels them to engage in behaviors (compulsions) intended to relieve their distress.
Compulsive behaviors temporarily stop your thoughts, but they return eventually, making you feel the urge to repeat the same behavior. In severe cases, the time spent engaged in this ongoing cycle significantly disrupts your daily life.
A few of the most common obsessions include:
Compulsions may consist of random, repetitive behaviors. For example, you may need to count, go up and down stairs, or repeat the same word in response to anxiety-provoking thoughts.
However, compulsive behaviors often follow the theme of your thoughts. A germ obsession may lead to repeatedly washing your hands. A need for order may prompt you to keep moving items to put them in a specific position. And a fear of being harmed may compel you to keep checking your doors to be sure they’re locked.
The first line of treatment for OCD includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and antidepressant medications. If you have moderate symptoms, your provider may recommend CBT, then add medications later if needed. But if your OCD symptoms are severe, your initial treatment usually includes both.
People who respond to CBT and medication often get great results. However, about half of adults don’t improve with conventional treatment. Then your next step is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
Pacific Phoenix TMS uses the NeuroStar® Advanced Therapy System, a TMS device cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration for treating OCD.
TMS is a non-invasive, pain-free, and medication-free treatment that effectively treats OCD using magnetic pulses. As the pulses travel into a precisely targeted area of your brain, they stimulate nerves and increase neurotransmitters.
A typical course of treatment consists of five TMS sessions each week for 4-6 weeks. By then, most people have significant results and only need an occasional maintenance treatment.