Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is an enduring mental health condition that causes individuals to experience a variety of symptoms that typically fall into one of two categories: ‘obsessions’ and/or ‘compulsions’.

Obsessions are characterised by persistent and irrational thoughts or urges, and compulsions refer to physical or mental acts that individuals feel compelled to perform. Some individuals who develop OCD only experience one type of symptom, whilst others can experience both obsessions and compulsions. These irrational thoughts and behaviours can become extremely time consuming and can seem impossible to stop or control.

To arrange a free telephone consultation or to ask us questions about how rTMS therapy can help you, call us today on 01925 661721 or email us at info@experttms.co.uk


The most common form of OCD is obsession that is related to hygiene and contamination.

This form of obsession causes the sufferer to develop an intense and irrational fear of germs, dirt and disease, resulting in them compulsively washing themselves or objects more than usual, only touching things with a tissue, and avoiding items which may be contaminated.

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      Other examples of obsessions that individuals with OCD may experience include:


      • An obsession with causing accident, injury, harm, danger or misfortune to yourself and others
      • An obsession with order and symmetry, and being highly superstitious in relation to certain numbers, arrangements or colours
      • Feeling as though things need to be done perfectly, ‘just right’ or in a certain way, otherwise terrible things will happen or you will be punished
      • Worrying that you have a serious disease despite medical reassurances
      • Fearing that something bad will happen if you throw anything away, or a fear of losing things that you might need
      • Experiencing intrusive or ‘forbidden’ sexual thoughts, or constantly questioning your sexuality
      • Intrusive violent thoughts and images


      As the actions that are associated with OCD are a response to obsessional fears, the resulting compulsive rituals may cause you to have ‘safe’ thoughts which temporarily reduce anxiety. Examples of compulsions can include:


      • Compulsive checking and double-checking e.g. that the house is locked, that appliances are turned off, that loved ones are safe
      • Repeatedly seeking reassurance from other people
      • Repeating actions a set number of times or for a specific period of time e.g. counting, repeating certain words over and over again, turning a light switch on and off
      • Reordering or rearranging things to make them aligned, symmetrical, or ‘just so’, and becoming distressed if people move/change them
      • Compulsively avoiding situations where you think that you may engage in violent, sexually inappropriate or blasphemous behaviours
      • Excessive praying or other religious rituals
      • Hoarding or collecting items that you don’t need or use


      Though conventional treatment are psychological therapies and medications ,somewhere in the region of 40% of patients with OCD are resistant to the this standard treatment and in this situation, rTMS should be considered as an option. Published scientific studies have shown that after treatment with TMS, about 30% of patients with OCD, (which is resistant to standard treatment) go into full remission and at least 55% have a clinically significant improvement in their symptoms of OCD.

      Research Evidence

      1) A randomised controlled study was conducted on 21 patients suffering from treatment-resistant OCD. The symptom severity reduced in the group treated with rTMS when compared to the control group. This study suggested that rTMS is a successful intervention for patients suffering from treatment-resistant OCD (Haghighi et al, 2015)

      2) A systematic meta-analysis of the efficacy of rTMS for OCD was conducted. Data was obtained from 10 randomised controlled studies with a total of 282 subjects with OCD. Using a standard measure of OCD the pre and post treatment scores showed a significant difference in outcome favoring treatment with rTMS compared to the control groups. Response rates were 35% for those patients with OCD treated with rTMS. In conclusion this analyses show that active rTMS seems to be effective for treating OCD (Berlim et al, 2013).

      To arrange a free telephone consultation or to ask us questions about how rTMS therapy can help you, call us today on 01925 661721 or email us at info@experttms.co.uk

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      WA3 6WP


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