OCD

Americas TMS Center

TMS Specialists & Psychiatry located in Irvine, CA

Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD causes obsessive thoughts or images to plague your mind, which you can only manage by following certain rituals. If you’re finding it hard to cope with intrusive thoughts or time-consuming routines, Americas TMS Center can help. Americas TMS Center in Irvine, California, is an integrative practice that uses established therapies and innovative new treatments, including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Find out what the practice can do to relieve your OCD symptoms by calling today, or book an appointment online.

OCD

What is OCD?

OCD is short for obsessive-compulsive disorder. It’s a mental health condition that can cause severe emotional distress and affect every moment of your life, making it difficult to function at work or home.

OCD has two elements, obsessions, and compulsions. Obsessions are thoughts that dominate your mind and are often unpleasant and intrusive. Compulsions develop as a way of trying to manage the obsessions, consisting of rituals you feel you must complete.

Most patients who have OCD experience problems with obsessive and compulsive behaviors, but in some cases, one exists without the other. At first, you may well be unaware that you have the condition until it becomes seriously disruptive to your life.

What are the symptoms of OCD?

Symptoms of obsessions and compulsions vary between patients, but there are some common themes.

Obsessions

Obsessions make you think about subjects even when you don’t want to, despite every effort to focus on something else. They may consist of pictures in your mind or intrusive thoughts that you find disturbing or frightening. 

You may feel an urge to behave in ways that scare you or don’t fit your personality, like performing violent acts. Or you might have fixed beliefs that you can’t shake off, even if they seem illogical.

Some common obsessions include the fear of germs or infection, and the need to have everything around you arranged in a particular way. Intrusive thoughts might be religious or sexual, or images of extreme violence.

Compulsions

Compulsions typically develop as a coping mechanism for your obsessions. They might help reduce the stress you feel because of the unwanted thoughts plaguing your mind. Or you might feel compelled to act out a set ritual to prevent horrible things happening. Common types of compulsive behavior include:

  • Washing
  • Cleaning
  • Checking
  • Counting
  • Tidying

If you have an obsession with germs, you’re likely to develop a compulsion to wash your hands in a certain way or for a specific length of time. Or you might be afraid that if everything on your desk doesn’t line up perfectly, something bad is going to happen. 

Carrying out these rituals can take up a lot of time, or you may develop sore skin from washing excessively, but still be helpless to prevent your actions.

What treatments are there for OCD?

OCD treatments at Americas TMS Center aim to reduce the severity of your obsessions and compulsions and prevent them from taking over your life. Some patients do well with antidepressant medications and psychotherapy, and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and ERP (exposure and response prevention therapy) are particularly helpful.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is also effective for OCD and has FDA approval. At Americas TMS Center, you can take advantage of this painless, noninvasive treatment option and free yourself from the burden of OCD. 

TMS uses pulsed magnetic fields to stimulate the parts of your brain that regulate mood. The repetitive nature of the magnetic pulses helps reprogram the brain long after your treatment is complete.

Call Americas TMS Center today to schedule an OCD consultation, or book an appointment online.