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How were you diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome?

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  • How were you diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome?

    I've had this condition since I was very young, but I only recently found out what it was after doing research. I'm going to see my therapist in a couple of days and give her a list of the vocal and motor tics I experience, so I can be referred to someone who can help me. My question is how is this going to work? I've very nervous with any social situation, so I want to be prepared ahead of time and know the questions I'm going to be asked. I also would like to know if it's manageable. There's a certain motor tic that makes my eyes draw to someone when they're around me and then go back to where I was looking before. This keeps happening until the person is no longer near me. This tic in particular is the wort and makes it so difficult to be around people. I just really want to be able to go out in public again without having these problems, so is there any medication out there that works to treat Tourette Syndrome? I know it will be my doctor's decision on what I'm prescribed, but I"m still curious.

  • #2
    Re: How were you diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome?

    Hello Enigma and welcome to the Forum!

    Your experience with Tourette is not at all unusual as many people only learn the true nature of their behaviours later in life as you have done. I can reassure you, though, from my own first hand experience that once you know that what you have experienced has a name, and that you are no the only one in the world with this disorder, that you should find dealing with it a lot easier.

    As you may have already learned there is no diagnostic test for Tourette, so a diagnosis is made through observation and interview. For this reason, it is important to consult a health professional with clinical experience in dealing with Tourette Syndrome. Don't hesitate to ask the person seeing you what has been their clinical experience with Tourette.

    Your therapist should ask you a number of questions about when the tics and/or other behaviours first started, what they involved and how often they occur now and how frequently they ocurred over the years and how they may have changed or evolved.

    Additionally your therapist may observe you closely to evaluate your tic expressions, not in a judgemental way, but in an objective and clinical intent.

    You may have developed your own strategies to perhaps suppress or disguise your tics to conceal them from others, so if you can make yourself feel comfortable and at ease with your therapist, try to not do any supression and allow your therapist to see as much of your tic activity as you are willing to show.

    You may need some time to establish a rapport with this therapist (assuming this is your first visit) to feel at ease, so explain your apprehensions or anxieties to him/her so s/he can work with you in the best way possible.

    Manageable? It depends on how your diagnosis of Tourette an any other related "co-morbid" conditions affect your quality of life and ability to function. Once a diagnosis is made, your therapist and or doctor may offer you a variety of options depending on what needs to be addressed.

    For your further information, have a look at the "Sticky" posts, those at the head of the following Forum sections for more in depth discussions on various aspects of Tourette Syndrome:


    Symptoms, Causes, and Resources

    TICS Overview

    What has brought you together with this particulr therapist? Were you referred by someone or have you been receiving therapy from this practitioner for some time?
    Steve

    Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

    Tourette Canada Homepage
    If you enjoy the TC Forum, please consider a Tourette Canada membership
    Please visit our sister Forum: Psychlinks Psychology and Mental Health Support Forum

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    • #3
      Re: How were you diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome?

      Thanks for the the help Steve. This will actually be my third visit to my therapist and I think she already noticed something since she recommended I see a neurologist when she noticed my eye movement tic. I really would rather not be on medication since I've been on medication since a very young age due to my selective mutism which to this day hasn't been completely cured (it actually has got worse since I've been off medication). The vocal tics are controllable when I'm out in public, but some motor tics I can't control which makes it awkward for me to be out in public. I also have a history of OCD in my family which I think I have now since I've noticed many symptoms related to it. OCD doesn't quite affect me in public like my tics do, so my main concern is getting these tics taken care of. I'll read up on the information here and see what my options are when I see my therapist. Again, thanks for the help.

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      • #4
        Re: How were you diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome?

        Controling tics with medication is often problematic for many people because some people find the side effects more of a hindrance than the problems caused by the expression of their tics.

        On the other hand, treating the co-morbid disorders such as OCD, ADD anxiety or depression is often easier and more effective because there are enough options in the choice of medications for these indications to find what works best for each individual.

        The vocal tics are controllable when I'm out in public, but some motor tics I can't control
        Discuss this with your therapist and the neurologist if you receive a consultation, which will provide them with important information about how your Tourette symptoms affect you.

        Your best strategy in dealing with people is communication. By having prepared a concise explanation that you have Tourette Symptom, a nuerological disorder that causes involuntary sounds or movements, will usually allay any further curiosity and will ease the tension you might feel when interacting with others.

        If you ever have the opportunity to see the movie "Front of the Class" the life of Brad Cohen or to read his book, you might gain some valuable insights into how one can achieve great success in life because of their Tourette Syndrome.
        Steve

        Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

        Tourette Canada Homepage
        If you enjoy the TC Forum, please consider a Tourette Canada membership
        Please visit our sister Forum: Psychlinks Psychology and Mental Health Support Forum

        Comment

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