Anyone else out there suffer from Tourette's?

It drives me batty, it does. Can’t stop the annoying tics, and they get worse when I don’t sleep well, which is most of the time because I’m an insomniac.

Any fellow sufferers out there in Doperland? How do you cope with it?

It does become very burdensome. Stress and chemical irritants make it worse.
Being around somebody that has the same problem works as a feedback loop and makes it worse. The calmer you can be the more you can control it. Closing my eyes and concentrating on slowing my heart rate and breathing helps so long as you can do it. Certain repetitive types of music in headsets blocking out the rest of the world noise can help to calm me so the tics decrease. People need to remember vocal tics are also facial body movements, sniffing, huffing, rapid eye blinking and not just noises. I had botox injections around the eyes when it was experimental yet, because I couldn’t keep my eyes open after about 6 hours of being awake they had been so hyper and hurt so bad at that period. It worked great the first time. the second time it only reduced the problem some. Botox works less each time you use it, so save it for severe times of trouble. After all the neural medications I tried the best and least problematic was Diazpam. Too bad it took years to try that instead of meds that mess with neural transmitters. After the major illness that I’ve been recovering from for years the illness actually raised my trigger point for the vocal tics so I don’t have severe tic problems most of the time and I don’t have any meds. I still have problems with the triggers I listed, but it’s not from waking to sleeping every day of life anymore. It’s Hell when you can’t get a break from yourself and others can.

Learn to meditate to control your body. It will help in situations in your life.

Get you asthma under control if you have it as it added into the factors of causing my tics to escalate.

No idea if I have Tourette’s or what but I do have very occasional tics. Mostly in the fingers but also the calves and some headshakes.

Had one in my right index finger just now.

Are your tics involuntary (like muscle spasms) or are they conscious movements that you have a compulsion to do?

Headshakes are pretty much compulsive, legs are a mixture of both, fingers seem to be involunatary, except when I’m trying to pop the top knuckle in my right thumb.

I don’t think involuntary muscle spasms have anything to do with Tourette’s (that I’ve ever heard of) but when you have a repetitive motion or sound (or sometimes even thought) that you are actively DOING, even though you don’t want to be, that could be Tourette’s. For me the ones that are the most annoying are the ones that I do with my head/face. Mainly because they’re the ones that I feel are most obvious to others. I try to hide them with motions that are more acceptable, like scratching my nose or pretending to have something in my eye.

I’ve never been medicated for my Tourette’s.

I don’t think I have actual Tourette’s but I sometimes accidentally blurt out words. Usually the same words–words or phrases sort of bubble up. For some reason, I’m able to control it pretty well when other people are around, but when I’m alone it happens frequently, especially if I’m tired or emotional. Then I always try to tell myself, “Be quiet, or they’ll think you’re crazy!”. So I can control it very easily when I try to control it, but it can happen when I’m not paying attention.

Ignorance fought, thank you. I always thought that Touette’s was like when my eye twitches, compeltely involuntary - I notice it happening because I can feel it moving.

But you’re saying that you actually do it, even though you don’t want to? I thought it was more like you would hear the sound, then realize that you had vocalized it. Fascinating. I’m fascinated.

any chance of an “Ask the gal . . .” thread? Pretty please with sugar on top?

I have TS - eye blinks, head nodding, a little throat-clearing noise, those are my primary tics. No coprolalia - when I swear it’s because I want to :smiley:

I don’t know if it’s because the tics are relatively minor, or because I’m no longer a teenager, or because my self-confidence got much better over the years but I wouldn’t say that I “suffer” from TS, it’s just something about me that I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about.

People who meet me undoubtedly notice it and wonder (little kids tend to ask, bless their hearts - I’d rather answer a straight question about it) but nobody makes a big deal of it and my friends say that most of the time they don’t notice it at all.

Happy to share my experiences and answer any questions that people may have.

OpalCat, what do your friends and family say? Do they care, is it a big or little (or no) deal to them, has it actually interfered with your day to day life, etc?

I’m watching a show from Britain on Torrettes and I’m laughing right now as a group of them are walking and all this swearing is going on. Why? I can see myself there and find it amusing to be there with that going on and others are doing the same thing. At least with the internet teens don’t find themselves isolated like I was growing up. It wasn’t heard of when I grew up.

As usual the Family Circus has already covered this

We’re now putting threads about medical conditions and anecdotes about the treatment thereof in IMHO, to emphasize that any advice given is by laypeople offering opinions.

As always, a reminder that your best bet is to consult your physician.

twickster, MPSIMS moderator

Are you saying that it’s not Mundane Pointless Shit I Must Share? Good for you to recognize this.

I have tourettism. I have not received the TS diagnosis because you have to had exhibited tics as a child, and I didn’t start doing weird things until my early 20s.

My tics aren’t bothersome to me, even though they are bizarre. I grimace, shake my head back and forth, shrug my shoulders, and bop my head backwards. I also have vocalizations (repetitions of the strange thoughts in my head). I suppose I’m not so worried because I do control them–it’s usually when I get home at the end of the day and my meds have lessened that I let myself go. When people happen to catch me in the act, I just say I have a movement disorder and hope their nosiness is sated.

I also do things that are harder to classify, other than just general “dyskinesia”. For instance, I have hard time walking fluidly sometimes–my lower extremities will stiffen so that I can’t lift my feet up to walk like a normal person. Sometimes I have akathesia–or the inability to keep still. This is manifest in walking in place, rocking when sitting and standing, flapping my hands, and doing “peddling” like motions with my legs right when get in bed. I also have bizarre posturing in my hands (like holding my fingers in tight fights or in a twisted “spastic” manner). I also tend to walk and sit with my head tilted to the side.

I know what I’ve written makes me sound like I must look like a cuckoo all the time, but it’s really not that bad. Bizarre and potentially embarrassing, yes, but I guess I don’t care anymore. I do take clonazepam and it helps a little, but I’ve decided that I’m not going to try to fix myself anymore with drugs, beyond the two that I already take. I need help with the strange thoughts that are constantly streaming across my consciousness like a CNN news ticker. Most times just being able to complain about them is all I ready need. I tried to handle the meds but I couldn’t stand being so exhausted and I realized that if I can cope with most of it on my own, why bother? Plus, they were taking a long time to work–assuming they were ever going to. I’d rather have to explain why my head is shaking funny than explain why I can’t stop falling asleep in staff meetings.

I just hope things don’t deteriorate more. I’m fine where I am right now and am starting to feel more optimistic than I’ve ever been. But I’m a little concerned the docs will finally figure out what’s wrong with me and it will be something unpleasant. Oh well. I’ll deal with it when the time comes!

Too bad we don’t have a forum Cooping With Life and Shit That Just Happens. This is not a jibe at you so don’t take it that way.

monstro you have all the things I do. My body pulls down to the right when I’m having it bad. I’ve dealt with this since the late 60’s. I never did the bed peddling though. I did repetitive complex sequences for hours until I collapsed from exhaustion when a kid. I was a very spastic hyperactive kid.

I also think you reach that point were you will be an assertive individual or hide away, because there is no between. People will always notice you, and there is no unanimity.

I also have Tourette’s, but I’m fortunate that it’s minor enough that I can ignore it most of the time. I’ve never taken any medication for it. The biggest aggrivating factor seems to be stress; there will also be periods where it’ll get better or worse for no apparent reason.

Much like Harmonious Discord, I find that situations where I become aware of my own symptoms tend to create a sort of feedback loop where it becomes a lot harder to control them. The idea of meditation to regain control over the tics is a strategy that has really worked well for me. The other thing that I’ll sometimes do to cope is to force myself to focus intently on something else, which can break the aforementioned feedback loop. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work.

I wasn’t hyperactive as far as I know, but I would describe myself as a “spastic” kid as well. The way kids would mimic me (arms held up to the chest, head tilted, scissor-like walk, slurred speech) sometimes flashes in my head. Perhaps I’ve always had dyskinesia(s) but it took being on my own, away from family, for me to really notice. And for whatever reason, it has just been gettng progressively worse.

It is difficult sometimes describing the symptoms to doctors because usually when I’m talking to one, I’m completely fine. And yet I have a shrink who has pegged me as anxious…suffering from OCD. My movements, he thinks, are not tics but rather rituals. But people who have rituals know they are rituals. They are aware of them and they have some rationale, however bizarre, behind them. But when I try to assert myself and tell the doctor that I don’t fit into the hole he’s trying to put me in, he tells me that I’m wrong. At least the neurologist he sent me to actually looked up from his clipboard and noticed that he wasn’t look at an anxious person and did some research into why my symptoms might have arrived later in life. I hope his hypothesis is correct, not just because it might lead to successful treatment (a cure, actually), but because it would be kinda cool to have such a sharp doctor on my side. Here’s the hypothesis he presented to me and that I’m being tested for. It could be more common than people think.

I’m starting to live my life with an assertive attitude, and it is empowering. Once you stop caring what people think and start embracing your quirkiness rather than always trying to conform and apologize, you find that you have an inner strength that you never knew you had. When I’m at the grocery store and suddenly start shuffling like a Parkinson’s patient, I just think to myself, “I might seem weak right now, but I’m extremely strong. I will fuck up anyone if they think otherwise!” I smile at people who manage to catch my eye and just keep on shuffling. And then the cloud in my brain lifts and I can walk normally again.

Don’t know how I can be both hyper- and hypoactive. All I can say is that dopamine is a hell of a drug!

Puzzled. Did you mean anonymity?