Mental illness can be a difficult thing to understand, particularly for those of us who have not had the unfortunate experience of living with one. It is common for there to be misconceptions about those who struggle with mental conditions, and many beliefs about what the symptoms entail are inaccurate. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is among one of the mental diseases that is frequently misunderstood. Some are quick to label themselves as “OCD” because they are a stickler for cleanliness and organization. These people are often unaware that the symptoms of OCD can be so severe that they cause a person great anxiety and hinder the ability to operate at a functional level on a daily basis.
However, if you have been clinically diagnosed with OCD, you have more than likely dealt with attempting to find the right treatment solution for you. If you have found traditional treatments to be ineffective, there may be other options that can help. This article will outline the benefits of a relatively new procedure called deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS), and will be targeted at those seeking OCD treatment in Los Angeles (as a great deal of dTMS research is being conducted there).
Obsessions begin with intrusive thoughts about things that you find uncomfortable or frightening. There is no limit to what your intrusive thoughts can include, though there is general subject matter that may be worrisome. Some of the rituals (compulsions) you may perform to eliminate the anxiety caused by these thoughts are obsession-dependent, and are typical for the majority of those with OCD.
- Fear of hurting yourself or those you love
- Fear of becoming contaminated/ill due to germ exposure
- Intrusive sexual and violent thoughts
- Religious/moral fixation, known as scrupulosity
- Excessive need for organization and symmetry
- Extreme superstition
- Unnecessary double-checking
- Repeatedly checking on the health and safety of loved ones
- Praying excessively
- Counting items, tapping objects, or repeating words
- Excessive washing (especially of the hands) and cleaning
- Methodically arranging items
- Saving seemingly useless items in excess
What is Deep TMS?
Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation is a procedure that uses electric coils to stimulate areas of the brain that are involved with mood, emotions, and behavior. This technology is able to penetrate the brain deeper than older devices, called TMS. A helmet that contains a component called an H-coil (it is shaped like the letter H) is placed on the head, and electromagnetic pulses are delivered to the brain. The treatment does not require any invasive surgery and does not cause pain. It is an outpatient procedure, which may be administered on a daily basis for approximately 20 minutes, and repeated for as long as your doctor deems suitable. The most common side effects are headaches and discomfort where the coils touch the skin. The most serious side effects are fainting and seizures, but the probability of occurrence is extremely low.
Benefits of Deep TMS for OCD
Due to the fact that the use of dTMS as a treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder is still in its infancy, there is not much published data assessing the efficacy of dTMS as an OCD treatment in Los Angeles, specifically. Though, there are many studies set to take place in the near future.
One of the first studies that included a sizeable sample population was conducted in Jerusalem, Israel in 2014. The study included 41 people who had been clinically diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, who had not responded sufficiently enough to traditional OCD treatments. Participants received high frequency dTMS (20 Hz), low frequency (1 Hz), or a placebo, says Brainsway. Medscape mentions that dTMS was administered daily for five weeks, for 15 minutes per session. Results indicated that 42% of those in the high frequency group responded to deep transcranial magnetic therapy, with an average of a 28% decrease in symptom severity. To compare, those in the low frequency group showed a 12% decrease and the control group only showed symptom improvement of five percent. In all cases, the benefits persisted for a period of three months.
Furthermore, another research study aimed to discover if dTMS was an effective treatment for reducing OCD symptoms for those who had concurrent major depression. Along with findings indicating that dTMS did not cause any brain deterioration during the six-month study, an improvement of OCD symptoms and major depression was observed. Total remission occurred at the six-month mark, and levels of healthy functioning increased gradually after the study, determined by measures taken during the 15-month follow-up period, states The Journal Of Neurosurgery.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a debilitating condition that can complicate life and cause extensive anxiety and mental anguish. Sometimes, traditional treatments do not work, but you do not have to suffer with your symptoms. If you struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder, are interested in dTMS, and live in Southern California, research concerning this innovative OCD treatment in Los Angeles frequently takes place at local universities and other facilities.
Westside Neurotherapeutics offers Deep TMS treatments for OCD in Los Angeles. For more information, contact them by phone at 310.946.0008 or email at email@example.com.