TMS for OCD: Everything You Need to Know

TMS for OCD: Everything You Need to Know

If you have been diagnosed with OCD, you may be wondering if transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is the right treatment for you. TMS is a non-invasive treatment that uses magnets to stimulate the brain. This article will provide an overview of TMS for OCD, including how it works, potential side effects, and what to expect during treatment.

What Is TMS?

What Is TMS?TMS refers to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, a non-invasive form of neuromodulation. It is a technique used to deliver magnetic pulses to specific areas of the brain in order to stimulate neural activity and modulate neurotransmitter levels. When applied correctly, TMS can increase or decrease neuronal excitability in target regions. And leading to changes in behavior and even positive clinical outcomes.

This technique has been used to treat a number of neurological disorders, including:

  • OCD
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Addiction
  • Chronic pain

TMS can be applied manually or using special machines designed for his purpose. Furthermore, its effects are reversible, so no long-term damage is done when it is used correctly. The delivery of the magnetic pulses is monitored to ensure the patient receives the optimal dosage, intensity, and duration for the best results.

TMS is generally considered safe and effective, with few side effects reported when used properly. It does not require anesthesia or any type of sedation, making it one of the simplest and safest forms of neuromodulation available. As a result, this technology is becoming increasingly popular for treating a variety of conditions.

How Does TMS For OCD Work?

The way TMS for OCD works is by using a magnetic field to stimulate the parts of the brain. As they are thought to be involved in OCD, such as the frontoparietal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex. This stimulation helps to reduce the symptoms of OCD by altering the patterns of electrical activity in these areas.

The effect is similar to the way conventional medications work. But without the common side effects. In addition, TMS does not require any sedation or anesthetic for treatment. And can be done in a comfortable outpatient setting. This makes it a safe and effective treatment option for those who may not be able to tolerate traditional medications or want to try something other than medication.


In addition, there are different techniques of TMS for OCD that are used to help reduce symptoms. The most common technique is called repetitive TMS (rTMS). This type of TMS uses a low-intensity magnetic field that is applied repeatedly over a course of several weeks.

Other techniques include:

  • Deep TMS, which uses a stronger magnetic field
  • Theta-burst TMS, which is an accelerated form of rTMS
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), uses a low-level electrical current to stimulate parts of the brain.

The treatment is individualized for each patient based on their symptoms and response to the treatment. If you are considering TMS for OCD, it is important to talk with your doctor about the potential benefits and risks of any type of treatment.

Overall, TMS for OCD has been found to be a safe and effective treatment option that can help reduce symptoms without the common side effects associated with conventional medications.

What To Expect During The Treatment?

What To Expect During The Treatment?When TMS for OCD is performed, you can expect a mild to moderate tapping sensation on the scalp that usually lasts less than a minute. Some patients may experience some scalp tenderness following the treatment, which typically resolves within 24 hours.

The number of treatments depends on your specific condition. But typically TMS for OCD requires 20-30 sessions over several weeks. As with any medical treatment, the results of TMS for OCD will vary from person to person.

It is important to remember that TMS is not a “quick fix” and it may take some time before you notice any improvements in OCD symptoms. While the effects are usually temporary, they can last several months after treatment. Your doctor or therapist can help you determine if TMS is right for you and when you will experience the most benefits.

So, before going for TMS treatment, it is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of the procedure with your doctor or therapist. It is also important to remember that TMS should not be used as a substitute for other forms of OCD treatment, such as psychotherapy or medication.

What Are The Benefits Of TMS For OCD?

Well, if you’re living with OCD, then TMS is a great treatment option for you. It has been found to reduce obsessions, compulsions, and anxiety associated with OCD. TMS has been proven to be an effective treatment with no significant side effects and many benefits, including:

  1. Increased Cognitive Performance: TMS can improve cognitive performance in people with OCD. This includes improved concentration, decision-making, and problem-solving abilities.
  2. Reduced Anxiety And Stress Levels: Studies have shown that TMS can reduce OCD-related anxiety and stress levels. This can help to improve the overall quality of life and make it easier to manage OCD symptoms.
  3. Improved Mood: This treatment has been found to have a positive effect on mood in people with OCD, resulting in improved motivation and energy levels.
  4. Increased Ability To Deal With Triggers: Also, it can help people with OCD to better manage and cope with triggering situations or events. This can help them to overcome their fear of what will happen if they come into contact with certain objects or situations.
  5. Reduced Compulsions: This has been found to reduce obsessions, compulsions, and anxiety associated with OCD. This makes it easier to break the cycle of obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions.
  6. Increased Self-Esteem: It can help to improve self-esteem in people with OCD, as it can reduce symptoms that can have a negative impact on daily life. This can lead to improved confidence and better relationships.

Overall, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is an effective treatment option for people living with OCD. It has been proven to be safe and effective, with no serious side effects, and many benefits. If you are living with OCD, talk to your doctor about whether TMS is right for you.

What Are Some Risks Associated With TMS?

What Are Some Risks Associated With TMS?Though TMS is a safe and painless treatment, it does carry some risks. These risks can be categorized as acute risks that occur during OCD treatment, and longer-term risks. Let’s discuss both types of risks involved in TMS for OCD:

Acute Risks

  • headaches
  • scalp discomfort
  • facial muscle twitching.
  • nausea and lightheadedness

Longer Term Risks

  • memory loss or impairment
  • changes in mood and behavior
  • interference with brain function
  • increase in anxiety or depression symptoms
  • migraines or seizures

As you can see, the risks associated with TMS for OCD treatment are minimal and manageable. However, it is important to be aware of them before beginning TMS therapy so that you can discuss them with your doctor or therapist. They will be able to advise you on any potential risks and how to manage them should they arise.

It is also important to remember that TMS is not an appropriate treatment for everyone. It can be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as medication and/or psychotherapy, depending on the individual’s needs.

What Is The Success Rate?

The success rate of TMS for OCD is difficult to measure as it depends on many individual factors. However, studies have shown that approximately 50-60% of patients with OCD experienced a reduction in their symptoms after treatment with TMS. Additionally, some studies suggest that the effects of TMS may be long-lasting, up to two years after treatment.

However, there are some factors that may affect the success of TMS for OCD, such as the severity of symptoms and how responsive an individual is to treatment. It is important to discuss these factors with your healthcare provider before undergoing TMS for OCD. Additionally, combining TMS with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may improve outcomes even further.

Overall, while the success rate of TMS for OCD varies from person to person, the evidence suggests that TMS is a safe and effective treatment option for many with OCD.


In conclusion, TMS for OCD is believed to be a viable treatment option for individuals struggling with the disorder. Although more research needs to be done in order to definitively assess its efficacy. Moreover, for those who have not been able to find relief with other treatments, TMS may offer a unique solution that can help alleviate their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Ultimately, it is important for individuals to discuss the potential benefits and risks of TMS therapy with their healthcare provider. With more research and continued development, TMS for OCD may become a more widely accepted treatment option in the near future.

Don’t hesitate to contact us immediately for more information! OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. Contact us today if you have any queries regarding OCD treatment, or ERP therapy the experienced therapists at OCDMantra can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session