Living with OCD during a pandemic

When they find that no disease has resulted from visualizing the tissue, therapy may progress to more provocative exposure, such as touch...


When they find that no disease has resulted from visualizing the tissue, therapy may progress to more provocative exposure, such as touching the tissue, and so on, until they overcome their unrealistic fear of contamination. For particularly fearful patients, this therapeutic approach is often combined with medication for depression or anxiety.

One of the positive aspects of the pandemic is that it may have enabled more people to seek treatment remotely through e-health services. “With telemedicine, we are able to make very effective treatment for patients, no matter where they live versus the therapist,” said Dr. Lack. “Without ever leaving central Oklahoma, I can see patients in 20 states. Patients do not need to be within 30 miles of the therapist. Telemedicine is a real game changer for people who are unwilling or unable to leave their homes.

For patients with severely debilitated OCD for whom nothing else has worked, the last option is transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, a non-invasive technique that stimulates nerve cells in the brain and helps redirect the neural circuits involved. in obsessive thoughts and compulsions.

“It’s like the brain is stuck in a rut, and TMS helps the brain circuits to take a different path,” said Dr. Lack. As with exposure and response prevention, he said, TMS uses provocative exposures, but combines them with magnetic stimulation to help the brain resist the urge to respond more effectively.

In a study of 167 severely affected OCD patients of 22 clinical sites published in May, 58% remained significantly improved after an average of 20 sessions with TMS. The Food and Drug Administration has approved the technique for treating OCD, although many insurance companies do not yet offer coverage.

Bradley Riemann, a psychologist at Rogers Behavioral Health System in Oconomowoc, Wisc., Said his organization, which has 20 sites in nine states, relies on treatment teams that include psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses and social workers to provide outpatient and inpatient treatment to patients OCD patients from the age of 6 years. Too often, said Dr Riemann, parents inadvertently reinforce the problem by paving the way for their child to avoid their obsessive fear and the resulting compulsive response. For example, they could systematically open doors to a child fearing contamination.

The Boston-based nonprofit International OCD Foundation can help patients and families find therapists and support groups for those struggling with the condition. A message can be left at 617-973-5801.


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Newsrust - US Top News: Living with OCD during a pandemic
Living with OCD during a pandemic
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