TMS treatment for OCD

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Around 40% of people with obsessive compulsive disorder don’t respond to conventional treatments, such as psychotherapy and antidepressant medication.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an innovative approach to treating OCD. It’s a non-invasive therapy that uses magnetic pulses to calm the areas of your brain that cause obsessions and compulsions.

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Obsessive compulsive disorder affects everybody differently. In recent years, the term OCD has been used flippantly to describe someone who likes things to be tidy, but the condition is so much more than this in reality. Usually, the sufferer will have unwanted patterns of thought and compulsions which aim to stop or reduce the obsessive thoughts from occurring.

Obsessions might include:

• Fear of harming yourself or someone else intentionally
• Fear of harming yourself or someone else by mistake
• Fear of disease, infection or contamination
• A need for order or patterns – for example you may not be able to rest until all your shoes are correctly lined up
• Thoughts of an excessively sexual or violent nature

Compulsions tend to be excessive or unrealistic and may include:

• Hand washing or cleaning
• Checking doors are locked or switches are turned off
• Counting
• Repeating words
• Hoarding
• Avoiding certain situations
• Asking for reassurance

Although OCD can impact every part of your life, treatment is available and many of our patients have experienced an improved quality of life following their treatment.

Despite years of research, experts are yet to agree on the cause of obsessive compulsive disorder, although there are a number of potential triggers. These include:
• Biological factors – a chemical imbalance of serotonin in the brain
• Psychological factors – a tendency towards being neat or a perfectionist; or being naturally more anxious can be factors in OCD
• Stress factors – difficult life events can trigger OCD in those with a tendency towards it (e.g. childbirth, redundancy, bereavement, moving house)
• Genetic factors – a family history of the condition (inherited factor)

This is not a finite list and the above doesn't necessary mean that you will develop OCD, but there are known links. Each patient is an individual and circumstances are often more complex.

In most cases, psychological treatment will be offered first. This is likely to include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with exposure and response prevention (ERP).

Should you be unresponsive to therapy alone, the next treatment step is usually to add an anti-depressant, whilst continuing with your course of CBT. There are various antidepressants (including SSRIs like Sertraline and Fluvoxamine) which can be used in varying doses, so you may need to trial more than one.

Somewhere in the region of 40% of OCD patients are resistant to the above treatment. Excitingly, in a study of 791 patients suffering from OCD, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) saw significant improvements when compared to a placebo treatment.

How does TMS treatment work for OCD?

TMS treatment uses a repetitive magnetic pulse to calm the parts of the brain that cause the symptoms and behaviours of OCD.

The full treatment for OCD can need up to 30 sessions, which are split into three courses of ten sessions. These take place over three to six weeks, with some patients having more than one session in a day. Sessions won’t take any longer than 30 minutes each.

Read our testimonials from patients who’ve been freed from their OCD compulsions after TMS treatment.

Research has shown that Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) can reduce the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder.

TMS only treats the brain circuits involved in your condition, rather than flooding the brain with chemicals.

With no anaesthetic, no need for hospitalisation and no recovery time, it’s a safe and effective alternative to traditional treatments, with fewer side-effects than medication.


What our patients say

I just want to say thank you because rTMS has genuinely saved my life and you've given me a chance to have a fulfilling life. I have virtually no compulsions now - I can even eat pizza with my fingers!

Miss C

The TMS treatment has eliminated almost all of the distressing and unwanted thoughts, and therefore the time spent ruminating and the need to constantly discuss them and worry about them.


I don’t know where to begin to tell you of our thoughts and gratitude to you. Our son is now the son we have had glimpses of throughout his adult life.

Mrs A

Treatment results may vary from person to person according to individual experience and the condition being treated.

Continuous Care

OCD is typically a difficult condition for psychiatrists to treat, so once you go into remission with Smart TMS, we recommend maintaining the improvements with one of our aftercare packages.

The Continuous Care aftercare packages available to patients treated for OCD include:

  • Smart TMS Monthly: Two monthly TMS treatments to keep you feeling your best.
  • Smart TMS On-Demand: Become a member of our Smart TMS On-Demand scheme, entitling you to exclusive discounts on treatment, should you feel that you need it at any point following your treatment.

Have you had TMS treatment for OCD at another clinic? Smart TMS can offer you maintenance therapy, too!

Learn more about Continuous Care

Is TMS right for me?

OCD is treatable, and Smart TMS can help. Most people are suitable to receive TMS treatment.

Check suitability for TMS

To help you make up your mind about treatment, our practitioners offer pre-arranged clinic visits to answer any questions you have and show you the TMS machine.

If you would like to arrange a clinic visit, call the team:

☎ 0345 222 5678

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