I never suspected I could be ever diagnosed with Tourettes. I just figured my consistent clothes pulling, tugging was I felt antsy. My grimacing, my picking my lip, my constant brushing my hair away from my eyes were just nervous habits. My father used to call these movements schticks. If your unfamiliar with the word its Yiddish for either an unusual way of performing or something someone does quite well. Its a show business word too. The first definition isn’t that far from what a tic is. But more on that later.
My image of somebody with Tourettes was someone who yelled out profanities and ethnic slurs.I know now only between 10 and 15% do that. Didn’t presumed since I didn’t do this so thought could never be a part of my life. Throughout the years I suffered from various mental disorders that I much later in my life, discovered are comorbids of Tourettes. Co morbid means it coexists. In Tourettes it common to be diagnosed with ADD, OCD, and mood disorders. Those were my diagnosises since I was a teenager. Yet for some unknown reason I never until recently put it together.
I found out about the possibility of TS from several high school reports. Please see my first post.
So what is a tic disorder. A tic disorder involves either vocal or motor but not both. Tourettes includes both. It must be diagnosed before age eighteen. True I was way over that when I received my diagnosis from a neurologist from U. of Penn. hospital Neuro. department. However the conclusions was based on records when I was 14. How long I was this way I can’t tell.
What is a tic? A tic is I think a movement that one feels compelled to do. It is different from a compulsion because there usually is no psychological need, ie no feeling of relieving anxiety. It can be motor or vocal. It can sometimes be controlled if one really, really tries but once it comes back the urge is at least twice as strong. Tics are usually short lasting, quick and repeated in rapid succession for at least several times. My source is webmd.com. In summary tics are rapid, successive movements that are preceded by pre tic regular movements and post tic regular movements.
Here is a list of some vocal and motor tics. http://www.tourette-london.ca/ae0016.htm