Your Coffee Break: Coping With OCD

Your Coffee Break online lifestyle mag for professional women explored the difficulties that a change in routine, like the Christmas break, can present to those suffering from OCD. 

The article was written by guest writer: Abie Taylor-Spencer, mental health expert and TMS Technician at Smart TMS.

Abie explains that changes in routine can cause stress and difficulties which are amplified for OCD sufferers:

She highlights issues that build up, including:

  • High expectations
  • Sense of pressure to ‘be happy’
  • Worry about spoiling things
  • Wanting things to be perfect
  • Different routine
  • Trying to hide compulsions
  • Lack of control

Alleviating Anxieties

Abie suggests a few ways in which OCD sufferers can alleviate some of the stresses. These are appropriate not only for Christmas but going into the New Year too.

  1. ‘Me time’
    Taking a break from stressful situations to avoid becoming overwhelmed
  2. Journaling
    Writing down a log of thoughts and feelings can be a helpful coping mechanism
  3. Mindfulness
    The popular technique of being aware and accepting of thoughts and feelings, plus calming techniques like breathing or meditation
  4. OCD Support Groups
    Can be helpful for advice and a support network

OCD Treatment Options

The article outlined 3 options for treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Psychological Treatments

CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) is a widely used psychological intervention. Exposure and response prevention is more specific to OCD and involves seeking to habituate the patient to unwanted thought or situation.


Where psychological treatment is ineffective, medication such as SSRI (serotonin reuptake inhibitors – typically used as antidepressants) is used.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

TMS therapy can also be used to treat OCD by targeting the specific brain area known to be overactive in people with OCD and applying magnetic stimulation.

Abie explained:

“Research has shown that 30% of OCD patients went into remission, and 55% of patients showed a significant reduction in OCD symptoms with TMS treatment.

“Smart TMS clinics in the UK and Ireland offer TMS treatment for OCD.”

Read the feature in full at

Abie, TMS Technician at Smart TMS

abie smart tmsAbie is a member of the Smart TMS team of technicians at our Manchester TMS Clinic.

Her qualifications and experience prior to working at Smart TMS include:

  • Psychology Bsc (Hons) at Lancaster University, with a certificate of distinction
  • Currently studying MSc in Developmental Disorders
  • N-compass Northwest volunteer – advocacy and carer support
  • Experience of peer mentoring, supporting disaffected youth and co-facilitating support groups for mental well-being


Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatment is now available for private patients at Smart TMS, a specialist provider of the innovative treatment with an expanding network of locations around the UK and Ireland. For any queries or to book an appointment, please contact us:

Tel: 0345 222 5678