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Is this a tic? Urgent, serious question!

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  • Is this a tic? Urgent, serious question!

    I stare directly + uncontrollably at people's private parts 24/7. My eye muscles psysically hurt when I was still at school from trying to not look. I actually couldn't read a word of work because my eyes wouldn't focus on the text. I'm now homebound (at 13) because I everyone noticed and I couldn't take making people feel so awkward. Plus teachers, students, complete strangers insulted me on a regular basis.

    So if you want to yell at me, there's no need. There's no insult worse than the ones I give myself everyday. I hate this. I'm (mis)diagnosed with OCD by a national (UK) OCD therapist. OCD is irrational. But my obsession (staring) is rational, as many people have pointed out. And I have no rituals unless you include avoiding people.

    Does this count as a tic?
    Last edited by Steve; February 21, 2012, 07:43 PM. Reason: reformat for easier readability

  • #2
    Re: Is this a tic? Urgent, serious question!

    Hello Angel 98 and welcome to the TSFC Forum.

    For easier readability, please use the default forum font, which displays better on most peoples' computer screens.


    Here is the definition of a tic from Medterms.com:

    Tic: A repetitive movement that is difficult, if not impossible, to control. Tics can affect any group of muscles. The most common are facial tics, such as eye- blinking, nose-twitching, or grimacing. Tics that affect the muscles used to produce speech are known as vocal tics, and can range from grunts or whistles to the repetition of complete words or phrases. Complex motor tics involve multiple, sequenced movements, and can include behaviors such as twirling in place, tapping a certain number of times, or stooping to touch the ground. Tics are believed to arise in differences in or damage to the basal ganglia, a structure deep within the brain that controls automatic movements and that also affects impulsivity.
    So if you want to yell at me, there's no need
    No one will ever reprimand you or treat another member with disrespect here, so you can feel free to ask any question you would like.

    Your comment is very interesting:

    I'm (mis)diagnosed with OCD by a national (UK) OCD therapist. OCD is irrational.
    What leads you to your conclusion?
    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


    • #3
      Re: Is this a tic? Urgent, serious question!

      Well OCD fears like dying of germs or getting bad luck from breaking mirrors etc. People with those obsessions might wash their hands a certain amount of times, rearrange or do mental counting rituals. I don't. Plus those OCDs the obsession (bad luck) never comes true. My "obsession" which is staring always come true.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Is this a tic? Urgent, serious question!

        Here are some reading resources on obsessive compulsive behaviour you may find informative:

        TSFC Forum:OCD
        What is OCD?
        Psychlinks Forum: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
        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


        • #5
          Re: Is this a tic? Urgent, serious question!

          I looked up the issue online, and, from what I read, one theoretical possibility (other than OCD per se) is that it is a combination of OCD and Tourette's -- so-called "Tourettic OCD." Similarly:

          Tic-like compulsions (touching, blinking, rubbing, tapping, staring) are more common in OCD patients with comorbid tics (Holzer et al., 1994; Leckman et al., 1995; Miguel et al., 1997).

          Concepts and controversies in obsessive-compulsive disorder
          Below is the information I found from the websites of two OCD experts:

          Feeling compelled to stare at the private parts of others is not unusual and is an OCD behavior that we have seen before. Nina, you mention your fear that you will be caught by others and be humiliated. I am guessing you also have fears/concerns about what this may mean about you and are concerned is this really OCD or is there some other problem you have. This is OCD. The targets of OCD are often focused on what might be most threatening to us. With the trauma you suffered, your mind creatively has figured out what would be terrible for you — further humiliation and, again, what does this mean about you. Again, I am guessing that you spend an equal amount of time obsessing about being caught, how to control yourself and what does this mean about you. Because I don’t know you, I can only discuss in general terms what exposure and response prevention would look like. Because it is impossible to have the concentration to control where you are staring 24/7, initial treatment would have you staring at private parts on purpose, but trying to do so in a sneaky way so as to not get caught. This gets you out of the control bind. Scripts to accompany the exposure depend upon whether my guesses about your feared consequences are correct or not and your personal history. In general, they would focus on how you would try to cope with being caught in a positive way and not having definite answers to questions about yourself. You’ve mentioned a traumatic experience, this also requires treatment combined with the OCD treatment. I don’t know if you have seen an OCD specialist. You can check with the OC Foundation (www.ocfoundation.org) and their find a therapist part of the website. If you find names that are close to you, you can call the Foundation to find out if they can tell you more about the therapist. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific, but you should know this is a treatable form of OCD. If you have a therapist who is willing , I would provide them with some supervision.

          ----

          In looking at the responses to this question, the issue of how hard it is to find treatment for OCD is clearly still a major problem. Because of this, I wanted to give a few suggestions of how we treat this problem and some ideas of how to find therapists.

          Remember in working with any OCD problem the goal is living with uncertainty and trying to live with the possibility of your worst fears coming true. For the staring problem, there are some questions you won’t find obvious answers to. Why do you stare? The actual reason is because you are trying so hard not to and are constantly concerned about it. There are other related reasons that have to do with learning, but there isn’t space here to go into it. However, as you immediate realize, this doesn’t help you. There is the fear of what will happen to you if you get caught (or remembering embarrassing incidents in which you were caught and fearing it will happen again). Imaginal exposure should focus on this happening and you trying to cope with it. But your big question is how to do behavioral exposure. Obviously blatantly staring at people’s privates will get you into to much trouble and not staring feels impossible. For most sufferers of this, we will have them practice sneaky staring; that is, spending time purposeful time trying to stare, but in a sneaky way so as not to be caught. If this sounds scary, then you can probably make a hierarchy of places to practice, because it is likely that some places are easier than others. This isn’t a complete program obviously, but it may give many of you a start.

          Second, it is important to find a therapist experienced in treating OCD — not an easy task. If the therapist doesn’t say that they use exposure and response prevention, they are not an expert. The American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association actually agree that Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is the first line treatment for OCD with medication being an important addition. Unfortunately we have found that it is easier to treat OCD than it is to change the behavior of mental health professionals. If the therapist says they do cognitive behavioral therapy, you need to ask what kind. ERP is a cognitive behavioral therapy, but there are other techniques. You could contact the International OCD Foundation at http://www.ocfoundation.org – they may be aware of some therapists in your area. Finally, if you can’t find an OCD expert, you may be able to find a therapist willing to be supervised by an expert. I hope this supplies some help.

          ----

          Dr. Penzel: Whether or not it is purely OCD or a tic is up for grabs, and it may vary from person to person. It may even be a combination of the two – something we refer to as Tourettic OCD.

          ----

          Kim, for OCD, ERP is the treatment. If it were a tic, that would be a different treatment; however, I would have to hear more about your symptoms to think that it was a tic and not OCD.

          OCD Help by Dr. Jonathan Grayson - “Compulsive Staring” at Privates
          With that said, it should also be clarified there are some forms of this behavior that may lean more toward the impulsive end of the spectrum; forms that are performed in response to a sudden urge and that are done without purpose and are tic-like. There are also some that have elements of both compulsions and tics. A colleague, Dr. Charles Mansueto, has referred to the forms that seem to have both compulsive and impulsive characteristics as Tourettic OCD (the subject of an article in a past newsletter). This is where sudden, impulsive acts that are more tic-like are performed in very particular (and sometimes ritualistic) ways to relieve the anxiety caused by obsessive, repetitive, doubtful thoughts. Tics can be sensory in nature, and can cause a lot of discomfort if not performed immediately. It strikes me that at least some of those people who suddenly find themselves having to stare, or listen to particular things may fall into this category. On factor that may reinforce this view is the possible antisocial and potentially sexual nature of some people’s staring. It is not unusual for some of those who tic, to feel that they have to sometime perform tics that involve socially unacceptable things, or things they know would somehow embarrass them. They do not consciously want to do these things, but feel as if their symptoms are directing them to impulsively act in these ways. All this can make diagnosis a challenge, due to this gray area that exists between tics and compulsions. The distinction between the two is not always clear cut.

          In Marie’s case, it was not too difficult to make a diagnosis. She denied the presence of urges or sudden impulses to stare or to feel that she had to do something on purpose that would embarrass her. Her symptoms seemed to be driven, instead, by doubt and feelings of anxiety. What we came to learn was that she wasn’t sure that she was really staring inappropriately, would get very anxious about the uncertainty, and used staring to compulsively relieve her anxiety.


          Here's Looking At You, Kid: People With OCD Who Notice Things Too Much


          ---------- Post added at 06:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:53 PM ----------

          Some anecdotal info regarding OCD and staring.
          Last edited by Floridian; February 23, 2012, 06:48 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Is this a tic? Urgent, serious question!

            This happened to me. I was 17 in class and I couldn't stop staring at the genitals of the guy in front of me.My mom didn't take me seriously. I couldn't drop out. Why didn't I? I guess I wasn't thinking at the time. I was a leper in high school. People wouldn't sit by me in two of my classes. It's so bad I can't sit by my dad anymore, not for 12 years.
            Last edited by bethiejw; February 13, 2013, 03:34 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Is this a tic? Urgent, serious question!

              Bethie,

              Originally posted by berthiejw
              I was 17 in class and I couldn't stop staring at the genitals of the guy in front of me.........It's so bad I can't sit by my dad anymore, not for 12 years.
              You are referring to a situation that too place when you were 17 and your profile indicates you are 29. Are you saying you still have the same compulsion and that this interferes with your life?


              I was a leper in high school.
              Figuratively, not literally, right?

              Have you ever been formally diagnosed with any form of disorder or medical condition...anxiety, OCD?

              Have you ever consulted a medical professional about compulsions, moods or behaviours and received treatment?
              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


              • #8
                Re: Is this a tic? Urgent, serious question!

                Yeah I still can't sit by my dad. My staring problem is really bad. I barely made it through high school. I couldn't go to college. I went to a psychologist for a year but then she told me I was incurable and I gave up on her. I've been diagnosed as OCD by two psychologists.

                ---------- Post Merged at 03:11 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 02:53 AM ----------

                I would like to have a male friend in this life, I've never had one. But I can't sit by men anymore. I live on disability.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Is this a tic? Urgent, serious question!

                  I've been diagnosed as OCD by two psychologists.
                  That's probably a good start, Bethie, so you have an idea of the diagnosis that needs to be addressed.

                  I went to a psychologist for a year but then she told me I was incurable and I gave up on her
                  I think I would have given up on that person as well, but not on seeking a competent therapist however. I'm not a medical professional, but my understanding is that OCD should be a treatable disorder. Perhaps Dr. Baxter might offer his perspective the next time he checks into the Forum.

                  Can you arrange for a referral to a psychiatrist, who might be able to take a more aggressive therapeutic approach to help alleviate your symptoms?

                  I still can't sit by my dad. My staring problem is really bad
                  Bethie, are you saying your family and specifically your father have been unsupportive because your obsession is seen as being sexually motivated, or have you avoided your father because of your own anxiety about how your obsession might be interpreted?

                  Please have a look at these resources for some additional insights:

                  Strategies for Dealing with OCD

                  Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder :: OCD
                  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


                  • #10
                    Re: Is this a tic? Urgent, serious question!

                    My dad says I can sit by him. But honestly I don't want to stare at my father's crotch. That's too weird. I can't stop staring. It's my OCD. The weird thing is that the men in the family have been supportive of me. I get mixed reactions when I tell people what happened to me my older sister told me I did it to myself because I used to watch a lot of foreign movies when I was a teenager. My aunt asked me if I was keeping my thoughts pure. Just the suggestion that I did this to myself is too much on me. I've already thought that for years.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Is this a tic? Urgent, serious question!

                      my older sister told me I did it to myself because I used to watch a lot of foreign movies when I was a teenager. My aunt asked me if I was keeping my thoughts pure
                      Bethie,

                      I'm sorry that you have been made to feel a sense of guilt or some kind of personal failure, that, in reality has no basis in medical fact, if indeed you diagnosis is OCD, as you indicated earlier.

                      OCD is a form of anxiety disorder that involves brain chemistry and behavioural modifications.

                      It's a medical disorder that requires competent intervention by a trained medical mental health professional.

                      You may have had a disappointing experience with those two psychologists with whom you were unable to connect, but that should not be the end of the line for you to investigate your options.

                      My dad says I can sit by him. But honestly I don't want to stare at my father's crotch. That's too weird. I can't stop staring. It's my OCD.
                      It seems your Father is supportive and understanding, so you can take comfort in that. Obviously your compulsion is causing you distress and is interfering with your quality of life and ability to function socially.

                      These would be all good reasons to seek a referral for a consultation with a psychiatrist, a medical doctor who specializes in treating anxiety disorders and OCD.

                      These are treatable disorders that can allow you to take back control of your life.

                      Are you able to make arrangements through your family doctor to obtain a referral to a psychiatrist for treating your OCD?
                      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


                      • #12
                        Re: Is this a tic? Urgent, serious question!

                        Ok this has happened to me before.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Is this a tic? Urgent, serious question!

                          @Bethie

                          I am so sorry you are going through this. Oh, aren't some family members great --not!! Meaning you sister (too many foreign movies).

                          There's nothing quite like OCD and Tourette's to embarrass a person, is there? I hope you can get to a professional to help you. I went through a period of such severe OCD that I was hospitalized. This was when I was in my mid-twenties. The medications and therapy for OCD are so much better than they were 25 years ago when I was ill. I think you really can overcome this, or at least get it under control with the right combination of drugs and/or therapy. Sometimes you need to try different drugs before you find one that works best for you.

                          Take care, don't give up fighting it

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Is this a tic? Urgent, serious question!

                            Thank you kitty whiskers for the comment. I'm going to go to college online and get a degree. So in a way I'm moving forward with my life. I just don't know about the OCD part.

                            Originally posted by kittyfacewhiskers View Post
                            @Bethie

                            I am so sorry you are going through this. Oh, aren't some family members great --not!! Meaning you sister (too many foreign movies).

                            There's nothing quite like OCD and Tourette's to embarrass a person, is there? I hope you can get to a professional to help you. I went through a period of such severe OCD that I was hospitalized. This was when I was in my mid-twenties. The medications and therapy for OCD are so much better than they were 25 years ago when I was ill. I think you really can overcome this, or at least get it under control with the right combination of drugs and/or therapy. Sometimes you need to try different drugs before you find one that works best for you.

                            Take care, don't give up fighting it

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Is this a tic? Urgent, serious question!

                              What are you going to study?

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