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Can Tics Be Suppressed?

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  • Can Tics Be Suppressed?

    The attached excerpt is from the book published by the TSA titled A Family's Guide to Tourette Syndrome that provides a comprehensive overview of Tourette to newly diagnosed families.

    It describes why Tourette tic symptoms can be confusing to someone working with a child or adult with Tourette.

    Tic Suppression.jpgClick on the article text to enlarge the view


    Tics Better or Worse.jpgClick on the article text to enlarge the view

    These excerpts can be saved to your computer by right clicking the article image and selecting "Save Image As..."

    Does this article represent your own experience?

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

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  • #2
    Re: Can Tics Be Suppressed?

    For me, I believe there's always some degree of unconscious suppression of tics, unless I'm alone or with people I feel 100% comfortable around. That list of people would be quite short. There's also conscious suppression, but that can last only as long as attention is focused on suppressing. As soon as attention needs to be focused elsewhere, tics reappear. And then there's hiding tics - this is somewhere between conscious and unconscious.

    Concerning the idea that tics increase at home because they've been suppressed all day at school or wherever, I'm not sure that I can agree. If that's the case, then we should expect to see that the level of ticcing tapers off during the afternoon and evening, so that's it a whole lot less near bedtime. That's not my experience; maybe someone should do a study of that hypothesis. I think it's just not feeling the need to suppress when you're alone, and feeling a lot less need to suppress when you're with your family.


    • #3
      Re: Can Tics Be Suppressed?

      My "suppression" is really just another kind of tic, and it only works for some of my body. I always hold myself somewhat stiffly, or I do things like press my feet into the floor, or cross my legs and press them together a bit. It makes my body feel "more busy" and that lets me hide them.

      This does not work for head tics though. The squinting is still an issue.