TMS As A Treatment For Body Dysmorphic Disorder & OCD 2020
In this video, we introduce Robert D. McMullen, MD who is a psychiatrist in NYC who has been performing psychopharmacology for over 30 years, the last 10 of which includes transcranial magnetic stimulation(TMS). Today, he will discuss body dysmorphic disorder(BDD) as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD).
First off, BDD is considered by many as a type of OCD and occurs when someone has an obsessive preoccupation with one or more defects they believe they have on their bodies. Many people with this disorder often perform repetitive behaviors such as looking at themselves in the mirror obsessively or even avoiding a mirror if they are really self-conscious about their supposed flaws. Most people don’t see the flaws that people with BDD see in themselves because it is a self-exaggeration of one’s own flaws.
One example described in the video is one of Dr. McMullen’s former patients who was a big and muscular man that worked in the trucking business who was a bit overweight. When this man would go into a deli to pick up meat, he would feel humiliated because he believed people could see his love handles. Although he knew no one would look at him, he still obsessed over his belly fat. Some other cases presented in the video regarding BDD are of a man in his late 20’s who suffered from severe depression for most of his life because he believed he was ugly, and of a woman who suffered also suffered from depression because she believed she had very bumpy knees.
In both instances, the patients had an obsession with their supposed flaws and this obsession began to consume them to the point that they needed to see a psychiatrist. Some ways to treat people with BDD are with serotonin medicine, but with higher doses than with patients suffering from depression. In addition, you can use cognitive behavioral therapy, a new treatment known as acceptance and commitment therapy(ACT), and also TMS(transcranial magnetic stimulation).
According to statistics 2% of the population suffers from BDD, and often, it is not diagnosed by psychiatrists. In addition, 80% of those people report that they were abused as children or emotionally neglected. If someone has BDD, there’s an 8% chance that someone else in their family has it including a 7% chance that someone in their family suffers from OCD. BDD and OCD are similar in nature due to the fact that in both instances, a patient is obsessively preoccupied with very minor details.
One of the biggest problems with patients suffering from BDD is a high suicide rate, which comes from the fact that patients feel hopeless or helpless and feel that their lives are over due to their inability to fix their supposed flaws. Another problem is that these patients tend to get multiple cosmetic surgeries to fix their flaws but are usually always disappointed with the results. One of the most famous cases in history of BDD is Michael Jackson, who underwent 20 or more plastic surgeries over his lifetime, with his appearance changing very drastically over the years.
In people suffering from BDD, it was found through functional MRI’s that they have definite physical differences compared to people who don’t suffer from the disorder. These patients usually have a hyperactive temporoparietal lobe in their brain, and when shown low spatial frequency images, patients activate the area that is hyper-focused on details in images that don’t require them at all. As mentioned before, TMS works very well for curing BDD as well as OCD. 50% of the first 20 patients who underwent TMS therapy with Dr. McMullen saw an over 50% drop in their y-bocs score(yale brown obsessive compulsive score). Having just a 25% decrease is considered a response for OCD due to the fact that OCD does not usually respond well to any treatments, which further shows the effects of TMS for treating this disorder.
These are just some of the findings presented in the video regarding BDD and OCD. Although research is still ongoing, many patients have already seen a significant decrease in their symptoms through the use of medication and TMS. For more information, call TMS Braincare at (212) 362-9635, or fill out a contact form at https://tmsbraincare.com/contact-us/ today!
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