Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a chronic and disabling mental health condition which affects 2% of adult individuals.

The clinical presentation of OCD can differ significantly from one person to the other. However, it is characterised by the patient getting intrusive, often unpleasant repeated thoughts, images or impulses (i.e. obsession). This leads the patient to engage in repeated behaviour (i.e. compulsions) in an attempt to relieve the anxiety associated with these obsessions.

These compulsions might be in the form of a person washing their hands repeatedly or checking that the doors are locked. Unfortunately, carrying out these compulsions results only in a temporary relief of the anxiety and stress associated with the obsession and shortly after they are performed the patient’s anxiety starts building up again.

The onset of OCD is usually around late adolescence or early adult life. Some of the common obsessive thoughts patients experience are; fear of contamination, fear of harming others, fear of causing a problem and need for symmetry. Some of the common compulsions are; doing things in a ritualistic way, repeated hand washing, checking things repeatedly, repeating certain words and doing things for a certain number of times. Severe OCD can be very disabling, and it can stop people from carrying on their usual life activities.

There are a number of different treatment modalities that can help patients suffering with OCD:

  • Psychological therapies include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).
  • While medications that can be used in OCD include; Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and the Tricyclic Antidepressant Clomipramine. In treatment resistant cases adding an antipsychotic medication to other medications can be indicated. As you can see antidepressants are used to treat OCD. When compared to depression higher doses are needed and patients need to take the medication for a longer period of time before benefits are seen.
  • Besides medications and psychological therapies TMS is now used to treat OCD and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first TMS device to treat OCD in 2018.

At London TMS Centre we have special expertise in treating OCD. This ensures that when we recommend TMS for one of our patients this is done as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses different aspects of the patient’s difficulties.

Our consultant psychiatrists have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating OCD. This includes using different treatment modalities and working with colleagues from other disciplines, such as psychologists, to deliver a comprehensive and holistic management plan to their patients.


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