Mental Tourettes syndrome?

Is it possible to have Tourrettes syndrome internally without actually saying what you think?

I ask because I often have embarassing, insulting thoughts towards people that doesn’t fit at all with my attitude. They are nearly always the most inapropriate thoughts you could have - picking on someones race/perceived sexuality/weight, basically the most insulting thing you could say to a person.

I have no need to say them out loud, but to me the effect is the same as if I had. I can live with it, but the effect is sometimes very embarassing.

If You’re not spontaneously blurting out stuff despite a concious act of will, you’re probably just have a little Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder.

IANAD, but I advise you see one who will prescribe behavior modification and/or medication…if you feel this problem is too much to handle yourself.

Tourette’s is a disorder which involves an impulsive set of symptoms and is particularly characterised by ‘ticcing’ or involuntary spasms and vocal outbursts.
I remember reading a book of case studies by Oliver Sacks of ‘Awakenings’ fame in which a Tourettes sufferer uncontrollably threw things across the room. Just as he let the object fly he would have a split second when he was conciously aware of what he was doing and shouted out a warning to anybody within the missiles path.
The point being that the tic occurs without any concious prethought and physically manifests itself regardless of whether you want it to or not.

The person you are describing is your inner (very rude) child. It needs spanking.

What you are describing are known as intrusive thoughts. Although they are a symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder they are not the entirety of the disorder. The short hand way to describe OCD would be “If I don’t do A, B will happen.” When B is completely irrational. For example, you touched a door knob and your hand is going to rot of if you don’t wash it right this instant. OCD can take a lot of different forms but it mostly involves counting things and checking thing (like locks, light switches, stoves) If you don’t experience any thing like this or the intrusive thoughts don’t get in the way of your life I wouldn’t worry about them. Interestingly malnutrition is often a trigger for OCD symptoms so you might want to check the ingredients in your multi-vitamin.

A good example of OCD is Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets, with the handwashing (a new bar of soap every time) and the locks on the door.

Is it possible to have Tourrettes syndrome internally without actually saying what you think?

Hmm: I’m not sure I dare admit this, but … I’ve occasionally wondered the same thing. For me, these intrusive thoughts manifest in a very specific way: virtually any song I hear is more or less instantly transmuted in my thoughts to an obscene version (a relatively mild example being “my only sunshine” becoming “my foamy bum-slime”). It only happens with songs.

First, a disclaimer: IANAD. However, I do have Tourette Syndrome, so I probably tend to be somewhat more aware about the facts and myths surrounding it than your average Joe off the street. That said, I cannot guarantee that my answers are completely accurate. If you honestly think you have TS, see a doctor. At any rate…

I’d doubt that you have TS. The syndrome is almost always characterized by vocal or motor tics, that increase with stress. I have very mild symptoms, but trust me, when I’m under a lot of stress, I can definitely see the change – sometimes to the extent of muscle aches.

The whole deal with people shouting out obscenities (coprolalia) does occur, but in less than 15% of cases. Nevertheless, it is the symptom most stands out, and is the one that is most frequently portrayed in the media, despite its rarity.

In light of this, simply having “obscene/inappropriate thoughts” doesn’t seem to qualify, especially if there are no motor or vocal tics. Still, if you honestly think you have TS, there’s no harm in seeing a doctor, who could make a proper diagnosis, or at least refer you to someone who could. Even then, there’s not necessarily a big concern about it. I’ve never taken any medication for my symptoms, and I get along just fine. In fact they’ve reduced in severity as I’ve grown older, as is the case with most people with TS.

For more information about Tourette Syndrome, check out the National Tourette Syndrome Association webpage (which, not-so-coincidentally, is where I got my cites).

I think its really more like my inner republican… I’m all for a spanking though :slight_smile: