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How to Know If Your Tic or Twitch is Tourette's Syndrome

Updated on April 8, 2015
Missing Link profile image

Missing Link is originally from rural Ohio. He currently lives in Hillsboro, OR. with his Wife and two Sons.

Do you have a tic or two? The portrayal of Tourette's by Hollywood always seems to focus on someone who has a very severe case and these DO exist. However, most cases of Tourette's are mild and do not fit the stereotype at all.

A tic or twitch can be something you have had most of your life and perhaps you have gotten so use to it you don't even pay much attention to it. Or, perhaps you have always had a tic and never understood why.

A tic is an involuntary thing that can be motor, vocal, etc. A tic can manifest as sniffing, coughing, throat clearing, swallowing, a facial twitch, a movement of a limb, etc. It is something you have no control over and it must must manifest.

People may misunderstand your tic. If you have throat clearing and coughing you will get tired of people asking if you are sick or if you have an allergy. If you have a sniffing tic people may ask if you have a cold or if you need a tissue.

So, not all cases of Tourette's are people who bark like a dog or who involuntarily call people bad names, etc. as Hollywood would have you believe.

Tourette's also generally comes with a compulsive or obsessive component. A compulsion is action oriented and an obsession is thought oriented. A compulsion may manifest as repeated hand washing, rechecking things over and over, having to follow a certain route or avoiding one. An obsession may manifest as being unable to get a thought out of your head and it keeps repeating and you can't control it.

If you have a tic and some component of obsessive compulsive disorder you likely have Tourette's. You should see a neurologist if you are curious. An official diagnosis can be very liberating. Your slightly odd behavior or condition you had always been curious about could be a case of the neuro psychiatric disorder of Tourette's.

I honestly believe many people with Tourette's have gifts of insight, recognition or awareness that most other people do not. The condition comes with nuances that cannot be understood by those not affected and only barely understood by those who are directly affected.

There is no cure for Tourette's but there are many things that can reduce its impact. There are a few medications that can help---ask the neurologist; Pimozide (Orap) comes to mind. Fatigue and anxiety generally exacerbate the condition while stress reduction and rest offer relief.

Have you ever known someone with a tic or twitch?

See results

© 2010 Missing Link


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    • Missing Link profile image

      Missing Link 4 years ago from Oregon

      Hi Sean,

      Some things you say reminds me of my own history. It sounds like Tourette's to me but you should see a neurologist. A diagnosis can be liberating in that you can come to better understand yourself and your history. Many people grow so use to it and come to think of it as just part of who they are...which is correct....but don't make the connection that it also is a medical condition.

      Your condition could be something else but it sure sounds like it is in the ballpark of being Tourette's. Most people who have Tourette's don't even know it.

      Thanks much for stopping by and for your comments!

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      sean 4 years ago

      Also I am 22

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      sean 4 years ago

      I think I may have some form of it, I blink uncontrollably all day, it'll just hit me out nowhere, I have to jerk my head at random times all day, and I cannot sit still, I have to bend my wrists for about 2 minutes and then I'm fine, and also I'll ransomly say something, not cursing, just have to yell it, and my whole body jumps out of nowhere throughout the day, I've been dealing with it ever since I can remember and have no idea what it is, thought is was normal

    • Missing Link profile image

      Missing Link 4 years ago from Oregon

      Hi bluegirl11 and thanks for stopping by,

      Well, I don't know how old you are---knowing that would help.

      Sounds like the onset is recent instead of it being a long term, chronic kind of thing.

      You also don't say if you have any associated Obsessive Compulsive type symptoms.

      I don't think I have enough information to offer an opinion as to if you may have Tourettes.

      If the symptoms you do have persist for a little bit longer I would go see a doctor and ask if you need a referral to a a neurologist.

      Best wishes and thanks again for stopping by!

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      bluegirl11 4 years ago

      I don't know if i have tourettes or not but i have got this weird short movement i make with my chest and i don't know what it is. Also i have eye rolling. And when i make the 1st thing i make a noise with my nose. It just started yesterday but i am not sure if it is tourettes.

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      eternaltreasures 7 years ago

      interesting hub info