Posts Tagged ‘ocd’

Implant may reduce OCD symptoms with electrical pulses

Deep brain stimulation,” or DBS, can offer significant relief to as many as two-thirds of patients with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, a new study found. Photo by Raman Oza/Pixabay


by Alan Mozes, HealthDay News

When traditional treatments fail to help patients with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), an implant that zaps the brain with electrical pulses just might, a new research review shows.

It found that the remedy — known as “deep brain stimulation,” or DBS — can offer significant relief to as many as two-thirds of such patients. On average, it can reduce OCD-triggered symptoms by nearly half, the review found.

“[OCD involves] intrusive and bothersome thoughts that the individual cannot silence, and compulsions that are repetitive, ritualistic behaviors performed to reduce the anxiety produced by the compulsions,” said study author Dr. Sameer Sheth. He is an associate professor of neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

An estimated 3% of the global population is thought to be affected. For those with severe OCD that is uncontrolled, the symptoms can be “all-consuming,” Sheth said. Examples of OCD include repeated handwashing, ordering and arranging, repeating words in one’s head, and checking and double-checking.

“They can prevent the person from being able to perform other necessary activities of life, and therefore be extremely disabling,” Sheth said. “Some people cannot leave their room or home because of the cleaning rituals that would be necessary to re-enter, or cannot interact with others because of incessant taboo thoughts.”

The good news is that a combination of behavioral therapy and standard antidepressants — such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) — help many individuals.

The bad news: “About 10% to 20% do not respond” to those treatments, Sheth said.

Continued in response section



OCD isn’t just about being a neat freak. And for those with it, this next stage of the pandemic may be hard


By Madeline Holcombe, CNN

CNN)During the pandemic, Malena Dell sat in her car at a gas station for 45 minutes crying because she couldn’t touch the gas handle to fill up the tank. She went from washing her groceries to not eating at all, afraid of getting herself — or someone else — sick.

Dell lives with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and like many people in the United States, the Covid-19 pandemic has posed huge challenges for her. 

“I know that the uncertainty was hard for others,” said Dell, who lives in Martinsville, Indiana. “Those of us with OCD have been like, ‘Welcome. This is what it’s like for us all the time.'”

The prevalence of OCD was on the rise even before the pandemic, according to a 2020 study. And clinicians have more patients seeking treatment, according to Bianca Simmons, a Houston therapist specializing in OCD.


Anxious as we transition out of the pandemic? That's common and can be treated, experts say

The stress, disruptions and uncertainty of the pandemic has posed challenges for those who have been diagnosed with OCD and those experiencing tendencies that line up with the disorder, said Broderick Sawyer, a clinical psychologist in Louisville, Kentucky. But even as the world transitions to a sense of normalcy, challenges lie ahead for many people.

The disorder is not just about fastidiousness and a tendency toward organization, said Erin Nghe, a licensed clinical social worker who treats patients with OCD in the Atlanta metro area. It’s an often debilitating disorder that can latch on to core fears, including concerns over morality and the potential for harming others, Nghe said.

Before seeking intensive treatment, Dell said that 12 hours of her daily life was taken up by attending to her compulsions.

Symptoms can be exacerbated by stress of any kind, Simmons said. And even as the pandemic disruptions wind down, there could be challenges in maintaining mental health. It’s important for both people with an OCD diagnosis and those without one to recognize the stress that may come their way and learn to address it in a healthy way, Sawyer said. 

“The pandemic is ending, and some people are going to return to normal, but my brain will never return back to normal and it’s something that I’ve had to learn to deal with through recovery and treatment,” Dell said.



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