OCD Treatments on the Horizon

In my last visit with my psychologist, I was informed of a debate that was had in the past that culminated into what modern psychiatry is today; The soup vs sparks debate. Essentially it boiled down to chemicals versus electricity. The winner of the day seemed to be the soup camp around the 1960s. They were able to show how certain neurotransmitters were involved in communication. The pharmaceutical industry has been able to create a wide variety of drugs based on the “soups” paradigm as it were. Well, my psychologist mentioned that the debate has renewed somewhat.

As some may know, there is an electrical component to the brain as well. The “sparks,” it turns out weren’t wrong either. He [psychologist] mentioned that there is some interesting research on devices that do cranial electrostimulation (CES). Some of the new research has many people excited. I tried a treatment. It was…interesting…in a good way. It’s actually quite hard to put my finger on it. My psychologist asked if the skies parted for me, and they didn’t, but I was very intrigued because I did feel something. I didn’t feel it immediately either, but I could say my agitation of the day was gone in about a half hour. Well, I think I’m going to bite the bullet and get one of these units. I get the impression that it could help with overall anxiety and insomnia which is what these devices are used for. They are currently (no pun intended) used by the military and have been used for quite a while with pretty good results (for anxiety, insomnia and depression).

The literature on it claims that certain waveforms can mimic different receptors and activate them as if they were chemically induced to do so. I’ll give it a try and pass along any information. While I understand any info I give will be anecdotal, it can at least suggest where OCD treatments may be headed.

Pure speculation follows: My intuition tells me that there is something going on with this. Whether it disrupts certain circuits from activating or activating dormant circuitry in the brain is unclear to me, but either way it results in lowering the priority of the circuit responsible for OCD. 


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