Anonymous asked in HealthMental Health · 1 decade ago

Do I have Tourettes Syndrome?

I don't have an impulse to shout/swear or make sudden noises but ever since i was a kid I have felt an uncontrollable urge to shake my head slightly - some days it's every few seconds, others I do it less, and it gets worse with stress. I also blink my eyes hard and I develop new habits sometimes that then go several days later, but in the case of one I develoed recently (raising my eyebrows) it has been there for a couple of months now. I find it really hard not to do these things. This is really bothering me and I always feel like such a freak.

25 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Technically, no, you do not have Tourette Syndrome. Tourette Syndrome is characterized by multiple motor tics (like the head shake, blink, etc.), but must include at least one vocal tic, like shouting.

    In my completely non-professional opinion, you do have some motor tics. They ebb and flow in terms of occurrence over time, and tend to flare up more when accompanied by stress. The performance of the tic is usually preceded by the build-up of the urge to perform the tic, and the longer you force yourself not to perform the tic, the stronger the urge to do it becomes.

    I would recommend that you go to your regular doctor, who can then refer you onto a specialist; the specialist may prescribe nothing, some sort of cognitive therapy, or (of course) medication. Medication is traditionally reserved for severe cases, and they usually cause side effects that could become problematic.

    The bottom line: unless your behavior is drastically affecting your life (social isolation, inability to work/go to class), non-drug treatment would be the best route. Perhaps you can work with a therapist/social worker who can help you take the pre-tic anxiety you feel and refocus it so that you're able to control your anxiety.

    FYI: The whole swearing stigmata that is associated with Tourette Syndrome is, in fact, an uncommon type of Tourette Syndrome; however, it is the one that attracts the most attention from the general public.

    Source(s): 10+ years in pharmaceutical industry.
  • Sharyn
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Hopefully, you already got the answers you needed, but if not I can tell you a few things. My 20 yr. old son has Tourette syndrome, which is a neurobiological syndrome with the onset usually between 7-20 yrs. old. A tic is a 'recurrent' uncontrollable motor and/or vocal movement. They can be mild, moderate, or severe in nature. The tics can wax and wane (come and go), and can also change over time. Many people with TS have OCD and/or ADHD. Only about 3% of the diagnosed have what is called "coprolalia", the cursing tics. Good luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    It does sound like a mild case, however, I would advise a trip to a Neurologist. Coprolalia (swearing) is actually the rarest symptom and not required for a diagnosis.

    Tics are migratory and change often. They can include motor tics (as you described) and also vocal tics/tremors. The vocal tremors could be a cough, grunt, squeak or hum. It could even be a clearing of the throat.

    Well meaning friends, parents, teachers and others (including myself) are not qualified to diagnose TS. I would recommend a trip to the Neurologist. Take notes on how many times each day the symptoms occur. Bring your notes with you to the appointment. They will help determine whatever is going on.

    Having Tourettes is not the worst thing in the world. My young son has this disorder. He has motor tics and vocal tremors. He is smart, sweet, funny and loving. He scores high in Q tests, makes movies on his iMac, plays chess and is just an all around great kid. I would not trade him for the world.

    Source(s): Mom of child with Tourettes
  • Gary D
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Don't sweat it. It sounds like a nervous twitch of some sort that you can't control. There's a number of disorders that could cause this, or even toxicity from being exposed to some type of chemical. If you're concerned, and it sounds like you are, you might consider seeing a neurologist for a diagnosis. Neurologists study the brain and the nervous system to figure out if there's an issue.

    In my case, my hands shake alot and sometimes I cannot pick up small objects very well and hold them steadily. I saw a neurologist who did an EEG and said everything was fine, that I had a "neurological tremor" that was hereditary. He said there's no treatment, but to make it less pronounced, I could take a couple of sips of wine and that will immediately take it away. Nice cure, huh? d:)

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  • 1 decade ago

    You may. Tourette's has nothing to do with shouting/swearing really. That's all a Hollywood joke. It's a possible thing for tourette's but it's not really what tourettes is. Tourette's is basically just having ticks. There can be other causes for ticks though that need to be eliminated as possibilities first. You'll also need at least 1 vocal tick to go along with your motor ticks to be diagnosed with tourette's. It doesn't have to be a permanent vocal tick, just one instance where you've had a vocal tick. Vocal ticks can be anything from a common nonsense sound to, rarely, words.

    Here are the official diagnostic criteria:

  • 1 decade ago

    It is probably tourette's, I saw the MTV special there was a pro motorcyclist who had headtwitches and involuntary facial movements, but kinda rarely. There is medication to help with it, and maybe treatment to reduce it altogether get looked at by a doctor. It is not OCD because that's obsessive compulsive disorder, the urge to do pointless rituals all day long or else you feel extreme discomfort. Which obviously isn't your case.

  • newdad
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    You may. Those tics you describe are very familiar to me. My daughter had some of those along with lip pursing (puckering up) and nodding her head to whistling and certain OCD. A lot of that disappeared as she aged. But her pediatrician diagnosed her with a mild form of Tourettes. You have to be clinically diagnosed. Everyone has some form of OCD or a tic of some kind. Don't think you're a freak.

  • 1 decade ago

    Tourettes is usually something that you cannot consciencley control. It sounds like you have strong urges that you feel you kinda have to give into. Sounds more like Obsessive Compulsive. This can sometimes be treated with therapy.

  • Chloe
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Not sure about

    Tourettes but what you have for sure is a need to go see a doctor and figure this out. It might be something simple but the fact that it bothers you and you feel like a freak - it is definitely worth checking out.

  • billy
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Don't listen to those morons above who have answered flippantly

    Sounds like you have some kind of twitch- I would speak to your doctor who can refer you to a specialist.

    One of the most interesting guys I have ever met has a nervous twitch and it used to really bother him, but he has grown to accept it as part of himself.

    Try not to worry about what others are thinking about your unusual behaviour- if they judge you based on this then they are clearly not worth knowing

    Good luck!

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