The Shocking Benefits of TMS Therapy for OCD

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on May 16, 2023
Our team evaluates mental health products, services and platforms like BetterHelp. If you click a link below and make a purchase, we will receive an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can be overwhelming and can disrupt daily life.

The persistent and uncontrollable thoughts that trigger repetitive behaviors can make it challenging to perform simple tasks or interact with people.

While traditional mental health approaches like medication and therapy may help manage the symptoms, there is a promising alternative treatment called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).

The Online Mental Health Reviews team consists of experienced mental health professionals and experts who have a deep understanding therapeutic approaches to mental health issues, such as TMS therapy for OCD.

We have conducted extensive research on this treatment method and stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in the field, making us well-equipped to provide reliable information on TMS therapy for OCD.

In this blog post, we will introduce TMS therapy and its benefits for OCD patients.

TMS Therapy In A Nutshell

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive, medication-free treatment that uses magnetic fields to stimulate certain nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression and OCD.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive treatment that can help reduce symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

It works by using magnetic fields to safely regulate the neural activity of brain structures associated with OCD.

During the procedure, a magnetic coil is placed near the forehead, and brief pulses of magnetic energy are directed at specific areas of the brain responsible for regulating mood and behavior.

Benefits and Advantages of TMS Therapy for OCD

TMS Therapy for OCD

One of the most significant advantages of TMS therapy over traditional treatments is that it does not involve medication, which can cause side effects and does not work for everyone.

TMS therapy has also been shown to improve OCD symptoms in patients who have not responded well to previous medication or therapy.

Furthermore, TMS therapy results in minimal adverse effects, making it a safer choice for patients.

The Efficacy of TMS Therapy 

Studies have shown that TMS therapy is a highly effective treatment for OCD.

A 2018 study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research1 showed that participants who underwent TMS therapy had a significant reduction in OCD symptoms compared to those who received a sham procedure.

Specifically, the authors looked at 22 studies and concluded:

“In real-world clinical practice, the majority of OCD patients benefitted from dTMS, and the onset of improvement usually occurs within 20 sessions. Extending the treatment course beyond 29 sessions results in the continued reduction of OCD symptoms, raising the prospect of value for extended treatment protocols in non-responders.”

Overall, participants who received TMS therapy also reported improved quality of life and a reduced need for medication.

4. TMS Therapy and Long-term Results

While TMS therapy is relatively new and requires an ongoing commitment of 12 weeks of sessions, or at least 20 sessions as indicated in the above study, it is proven to offer long-term improvements in OCD symptoms.

Unlike medication, TMS therapy does not need indefinite usage, and many patients report significant improvements in their OCD symptoms that can last for a year or more.

TMS therapy can be administered periodically for an added positive effect.

The cost of TMS therapy for managing OCD symptoms

The cost of TMS therapy for managing OCD symptoms can vary depending on the provider and the insurance plan you belong to.

  • Generally, one session of TMS therapy costs around $300, but the total cost of treatment can range from $6,000 to $15,000.
  • Insurance companies may cover some or all of the costs.
  • Without insurance coverage, TMS therapy can cost between $5,000 and $10,000 for an entire treatment course.

The costs are high because there are only 7 TMS machines in the United States.

It’s important to speak with your OCD doctor or mental health provider about what kind of treatments are available and what they may cost before starting any type of therapy.

Benefits of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Treating OCD

  • Studies have shown that TMS therapy targeting the pre-supplementary motor area can lead to a reduction in OCD symptoms, as well as a decrease in anxiety and depression.
  • TMS is an effective alternative to traditional forms of treatment such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
  • It is also generally well tolerated, with few side effects reported. In addition, it does not require any medications or hospitalization.

Is TMS FDA Approved for OCD?

The answer to the question “Is TMS FDA approved for OCD?” is yes.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)3 as an adjunct treatment for adults with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This means that it can be used in combination with other treatments, such as medications or psychotherapy.

What are the Downsides of TMS Therapy?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an effective, non-invasive treatment for mental health conditions such as depression. While it is effective in treating these conditions, there are potential side effects associated with TMS therapy.

  1. The most common side effects of TMS therapy include mild headaches or tingling in the scalp or jaw. These effects usually fade away quickly and do not require any additional medical attention.
  2. Other possible side effects include lightheadedness, scalp pain, neck pain, and facial muscle twitching. In rare cases, seizures have been reported as a side effect of TMS therapy.

Overall, the risks associated with TMS therapy are low and it is generally considered safe for most people.

If you are considering TMS therapy for your mental health condition, it is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with your doctor before beginning treatment.

How Many Sessions of TMS for OCD?

A standard course of TMS therapy usually consists of 36 treatment sessions, spaced out over about 12 weeks.

  • Patients typically go in for daily 20-minute sessions, Monday through Friday, for five to six weeks.
  • After this period, the number of sessions may be tapered off.
  • In real-world clinical practice, the majority of OCD patients have benefitted from dTMS and have seen an onset of improvement within 20 sessions.

Tips on Finding a Specialist Trained in TMS for OCD Treatment

If you’re looking for a specialist trained in TMS for OCD treatment, there are several sources of information available.

  • One great source is local mental health centers, which usually have a list of providers who specialize in this type of treatment.
  • Additionally, you can research online to find out which type of TMS is being used in your treatment and ask about the areas of the brain or brain structures that are targeted.
  • It’s also important to look for a provider and clinic specialized in TMS therapy, not a secondary service.
  • Finally, consider joining support groups even when you’re not receiving treatment for OCD as this can be beneficial in managing unwanted thoughts and compulsive behaviors.

What to Expect from a Course of TMS Sessions, Including Techniques Used and Length of Treatment

TA course of TMS usually consists of five treatments that last 20 to 50 minutes each, given weekly for several months.

  1. During a TMS session, you will be asked to sit or lie down in a comfortable position while the technician or doctor places an electromagnetic coil on your head.
  2. The coil produces magnetic pulses which stimulate areas of the brain associated with mood regulation. You won’t need any sedation or anesthesia for this procedure and it is painless.
  3. During the session, you can watch television, read books or Kindle, listen to music, or chat with the technician or nurse who will stay with you throughout the procedure.

Who Could Benefit (Or Not) from TMS Therapy for OCD

Those who could potentially benefit from TMS therapy for OCD are those who have not found relief from traditional treatments such as psychotherapy and medication, or those who cannot take medications due to other medical conditions.

Those who may better benefit from alternative forms of care such as support groups or online counseling are those who have milder symptoms of OCD, or those whose symptoms respond well to talk therapy and/or medication.

Alternatives to TMS

Yes, there are alternatives to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) available. Meditation, somatic experience, and creative therapies are all potential options for those looking for alternative treatments for mental health issues.

  • Meditation is a practice that involves focusing on the breath and allowing thoughts to come and go without judgment. One great way to learn meditation is Headspace, which we bought and documented in our Headspace review.
  • Somatic experiencing is a type of therapy that focuses on the body’s sensations as a way to process trauma. EMDR is another similar therapy that is useful for treating trauma.
  • Creative therapies involve activities such as art, music, or writing as a way to express emotions and explore feelings.

Talkspace and Insurance Cover Online Therapy for People with OCD

People with OCD and other mental health problems can use Talkspace, which is a well-known online therapy tool. The app connects people with qualified therapists who know how to help with OCD and other mental health problems.

Talkspace wants to make it easy and cheaper for the more than 40 million Americans who have health insurance to get mental health care. The app offers personalized treatment plans that may include medicine, as well as easy-to-use ways to talk, like texting, phone, and video sessions.

In our Talkspace online review, we talk about how it felt to buy the service and share videos of our therapy and medication meetings with a Talkspace therapist and doctor. We were moved to tears when we talked to the doctor.

But you should keep in mind that Talkspace might not be the best option for everyone. People whose biggest worry is anxiety or depression may do better with other tools or treatments, such as Brightside Health. When choosing an online therapy service, you should think about what you need and what you like.

Steps Towards Self-Healing, Including Setting Boundaries and Practicing Self-Care

Self-healing is a process of taking care of your mental and emotional health. It involves setting boundaries, practicing self-care, and understanding how to manage stress.

  1. To start the journey towards self-healing, it’s important to first recognize that you are ready to take this step.
  2. The next step is to sit in a comfortable position and become aware of your breath. This will help you relax and focus on yourself.
  3. After that, take your hands (palms together) in front of you and rub them rapidly for 30-60 seconds. This helps to create energy within yourself which can be used for healing.
  4. Once you have created this energy, it’s time to practice self-care. This can include anything from eating healthy meals, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, or even just taking some time out for yourself each day.
  5. Additionally, it’s important to set boundaries with others so that you don’t overextend yourself or put too much pressure on yourself.
  6. Finally, it’s important to understand how to manage stress and depression to keep your mental health in check. This could include using apps that teach yoga or meditation, or other ways to help reduce anxiety levels and promote relaxation.

Overall, self-healing is an ongoing process that requires dedication and commitment from the individual involved.

With the right steps taken towards self-care and boundary setting, anyone can start their journey towards better mental health and well-being!

Resources For OCD that do Not Include Medication

There are a few things you can do if you don’t want to take medicine to help with your OCD symptoms but still want help.

  • Support Groups from the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF): The IOCDF has a large list of local and online support groups for people with OCD. These groups give people a safe, understanding place to talk about their situations and ways to deal with them. Link:
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: If you are in a panic or having trouble with your mental health, you can get help from trained counselors at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline anytime, day or night. Dial 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) for help. Link:
  • OCD Action is a charity in the UK that helps people with OCD by giving them support, information, and tools like a helpline, online forums, and self-help materials. Helpline: +44 (0) 845 390 6232 Link:
  • The OCD Stories Podcast is an inspiring show where people who have had OCD and mental health experts talk about their experiences and give tips on how to deal with OCD symptoms without medication. Link:
  • Jon Hershfield and Tom Corboy’s “The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD”: This self-help book is a complete guide to using mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral treatment to deal with OCD symptoms without medication. Link:
  • Jonathan S. Abramowitz’s “Getting Over OCD: A 10-Step Workbook for Taking Back Your Life”: This practical workbook gives techniques and exercises that have been shown to help people with OCD get rid of their symptoms and regain control of their lives. Link:
  • The book “Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” by Jonathan Grayson: This book gives people with OCD a complete, self-directed program that uses cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness methods to help them deal with their symptoms without medication. Link:

TMS Therapy for OCD Conclusion:

OCD can be a challenging condition to live with, but with the introduction of TMS therapy, there is a ray of hope.

TMS therapy provides a better alternative to traditional medication and therapy approaches for OCD treatment. Its effectiveness, safety, and long-lasting results make it an attractive option for anyone living with OCD.

If you or a loved one is struggling with OCD, it might be time to explore TMS therapy as an option. OCD costs can be high, which is why other alternatives such as EMDR exist.

Our team wants to hear your opinions too! Tell us know which mental health software product that Online Mental Health Reviews should analyze and evaluate next. Please share your discount codes, horror stories and your experiences so we may all benefit!

Best Value-Per-Dollar
BetterHelp | Online Therapy for Stressed Professionals
$60-$90 / Week

Overall, BetterHelp conveniently provides busy professionals with various live therapy options to make it the best online therapy in terms of value per dollar.

Try 10% Off Our Review


  1. Roth, Y., Tendler, A., Arikan, M. K., Vidrine, R., Kent, D., Muir, O., MacMillan, C., Casuto, L., Grammer, G., Sauve, W., Tolin, K., Harvey, S., Borst, M., Rifkin, R., Sheth, M., Cornejo, B., Rodriguez, R., Shakir, S., Porter, T., . . . Zangen, A. (2021, May). Real-world efficacy of deep TMS for obsessive-compulsive disorder: Post-marketing data collected from twenty-two clinical sites. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 137, 667–672.
  2. Cocchi, L., Zalesky, A., Nott, Z., Whybird, G., Fitzgerald, P. B., & Breakspear, M. (2018). Transcranial magnetic stimulation in obsessive-compulsive disorder: A focus on network mechanisms and state dependence. NeuroImage: Clinical, 19, 661–674.
  3. FDA permits marketing of transcranial magnetic stimulation for treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder. (2018, August 17). FDA Permits Marketing of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder | FDA.

If You Are In Crisis

In Case of an Emergency If you find yourself in a crisis and cannot wait for an online therapy session, it’s important to act quickly. In situations where you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 911. This includes any plans to harm yourself or others. If you’re considering self-harm, reach out to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988. They offer assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Another option is to call the National Helpline of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 800-662-HELP (4357). This helpline provides free and confidential support for individuals struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues. They can help you find treatment options and provide information about them, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Related Posts