Obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD, is one of the most stereotyped and misunderstood of psychiatric conditions. Few people can relate to the suffering of those who live with it and manage debilitating symptoms on a daily basis.

Rachel Davis, an associate professor of psychiatry and neurosurgery at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, is an expert in the use of a rare procedure called deep brain stimulation for treating crippling and persistent OCD. Davis tells the story of one of her patients, Moksha Patel, who has suffered from OCD since he was a young child and tried every type of traditional OCD treatment since high school. Since his brain surgery a year ago, Patel has seen a drastic improvement in his OCD symptoms and overall quality of life.

Patel’s experience, as told by Davis, provides an intimate glimpse into the minds of people who suffer from severe OCD and this promising approach to treating it.

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Amanda Mascarelli

Senior Health and Medicine Editor

Deep brain stimulation relies on thin electrodes implanted deep in the brain that deliver electrical currents. Olemedia/E+ via Getty Images

Deep brain stimulation can be life-altering for OCD sufferers when other treatment options fall short

Rachel A. Davis, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

This rare procedure is offered by only a handful of centers in the US and around the world and should be used only when less invasive treatment options for OCD have been tried.

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