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Gaming and its effects on Tourette's Syndrome

Updated on November 22, 2013

So how exactly does Video Games effect people with Tourette's Syndrome?

In this article I will be sharing my opinion on how I think video games can, help somebody with Tourette's and also the strange ways that they can also lead to the development of new tics.

This article will also explain how Video games can reduce the tics of someone with Tourette's and also how they can benifit day to day living.

How gaming can alter tics and also bring new ones about

Strange to say the least, but I will be discussing how video games can bring about new tics

I myself, have been playing video games since a very early age. Even before I was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome. Though I'm sure they played a part in the some of the earlier tics I had developed.

Now for someone with Tourette's, a violent video game(take the Grand Theft Auto series for example) can lead to an array of new tics, all be it mostly vulgar ones. Especially for someone that has coprolalia. I know from first hand experience that playing violent video games, with coprolalia can lead to some quite vulgar phrases and expressions that you hear in the video game fairly often.

As much of a downside this can be, it's also fairly interesting because it shows when we are exposed to violence, Tourette's has a unique way of molding that violence into new tics. I remember personally developing a tic while playing one of the blockbuster Call of Duty titles where my arm would reach out in a sort of, stabbing motion, as if I was 'knifing' thin air. I was very interiuged by this as I was in a way, replicating what I had seen in the video game.

To which I mostly tend to stay away from playing overly violent video games, as I myself, don't like developing tics like that, as it can be quite scary not just for me, but for people around me. And I would much prefer people to feel safe around me.

And present day, I play a certain video game called 'League of Legends' in which each 'champion' in the game, has their own unique catchphrases. One's I hear quite regularly I tend to replicate with my verbal tics in an odd way. The odd part of it been I don't fully replicate it, it merely molds into one of my current tics that I have. Quite interesting to say the least.

How can video games help somebody with Tourette's Syndrome?

I will be explaining the reasons behind this and why video games can ultimately help someone with Tourette's

Video games in general, usually require a certain amount of concentration to be able to complete the tasks you are set within the game. And as some of you are aware, while concentrating, someone with Tourette's generally tends to tic a lot less.

So how can this help?

Well to put it simply, quite a few video games require quick reactions and while executing the gameplay features required for these quick reactions, your brain is generally focused on that over anything else. In my case I tic an awful lot less while been focused on such a game.

If you are reading this and do enjoy playing video games, I'm sure there must be at least one particular game that you concentrate on more than others, one that you come back to more and play more. You might notice you tic a lot less while playing that game? Playing video games can be very good for the brain. As it's always active in trying to solve puzzles, or work out battle tactics.

I think personally, for someone with Tourette's Syndrome, this can be a great therapy in itself. Even if you play only to get away from the day in, day out cycle of your tics. What's wrong with that? It's not harming anyone and it's benifiting you and giving you some relief.

I don't play video games and why should I?

Quite a lot of people don't have much interest in video games, but here I will be explaining some benifits of doing so.

So you may be reading this and have never played a video game in your life.

You may hear lots of bad things about video games in the press or on the T.V. but this isn't always the truth.

Video games can stimulate your brain and keep it active, much like trying to solve a mathmatical problem or working on an equation. They can also increase and ehance your reaction times by quite a bit. Which is great for day to day living, you might find there was something you couldn't do that you now can do due to improvements in your reaction times.

Now I'm not saying everyone should start playing video games, not at all. I'm just saying there are quite a few hiding benifits that not everyone is aware of. Especially to someone who has Tourette's Syndrome.

I myself have found a handful of things that can reduce my ticing, which include playing guitar and playing video games.

I'm pretty sure that most of you reading this with Tourette's Syndrome get very tired and exausted from your day to day ticing, like I do, and have your ways of reducing your tics by concentrating on something that you enjoy doing.

Well this is just another activity that can reduce tics while doing it.

Thank you for taking your time to read this article

If you have any querries or comments regarding what you've read, please don't feel obliged to ask!

This article is just one mans opinion. After all, many things in life are but just opinions.

And I hope for the people with Tourette's Syndrome reading out there, that this may help you somewhat.

Remember, never be afraid to try out new things in life, as you might be suprised to the benifits they may bring you.

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    • MrTourettes profile image

      Mark Bennicke 4 years ago from England

      @Linda BookLady: You're very welcome Linda!

    • MrTourettes profile image

      Mark Bennicke 4 years ago from England

      @Elsie Hagley: a 'tic' is an uncontrolable muscle movement :)

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Very interesting. I have never heard of Tourettes Syndrome so hopefully you will get more comments with people that really understand it. I have never played a video game ever, might be too old now to bother.One question "What's a Tics"?

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 4 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Very interesting! I have played video games, but usually try to stay away from them because I have so many other things to do, and I know video games are time-consuming. Also, fun and addictive! Anyhow, have fun... and thanks for the Tourette's education!