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Do I have Tourettes?

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  • Do I have Tourettes?

    It might seem funny for me to ask this coz I'm 28 and never been to a dr about it or anything. I've always done strange things that i just have to do and I never knew why. Its been getting worse lately and i just wanted to know why i do it. So I searched the internet and came accross info on tourette syndrome and although i don't think i have it, I wonder what i else it can be. Basically when i was about 7 it started. I would squint my eyes, blink and screw up my eyes. Then I started this thing (mainly when i was excited) I would tense up and scratch the inside of my thumbs with my fingers while clenching my teeth and making this screeching noise. I would also scratch my head in this way and rough surfaces. Its continued all my life but i only do it in private now. I dont screech anymore but i still do everything else and I make little grunting noises and other noises by breathing in. It mainly happens when im stressed or excited. Like I say i only do it in private. i live a normal life and nobody except my partner and family knows I do anything like this. i also started suffering anxiety at 7 and have always been a nervous person. Could it be tourette syndrome or is there another explanation for these things? I just can't explain this feeling of having to do it. if i don't i do it even more later and sometimes i break the skin on my hand! maybe im just weird...

  • #2
    Re: Do I have tourettes?

    Being new to this and reading what you listed I would say yes. Tourettes doesn't have to be 'extreme' to be Tourettes.

    My suggestion if you want a confirmed diagnosis would be to contact the Psychologist Association in your city and get a reference to a doctor that specializes in Tourettes. This way you will know for sure.

    FWIW, I have grunting noises I have done since I was 10 plus other things, like the screeching noises that come out when I get excited.

    Wierd? Of course. we all are in our own way.;) ;)

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    • #3
      Re: Do I have tourettes?

      Thank you mrking. I don't think I will get a confirmed diagnosis. It doesnt affect my life really (unless my boyfriend moaning at me for keeping him awake counts hehe;) )

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      • #4
        Re: Do I have tourettes?

        If your symptoms started at a young age it may be tourettes. You should always go to the dr to make sure. I know you say it doesnt affect your life but sometimes its good to know the whole truth instead of wondering. Even if you get the diagnosis doesnt mean anythings different except now you know, if its under control you dont need meds or anything.

        Take Care

        Jessica

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        • #5
          Re: Do I have tourettes?

          Well the truth is I dont really want it on my medical record. Most jobs I go for ask me to complete a health questionaire. i know they cant discriminate but it just worries me a bit. I say it doesnt affect my life but it does really, specially when im really stressed, like now. i seem to make up new things to do. For the last 6 months or so ive been moving my stomach muscles (if that makes sense) it gives me constant stomach ache and i feel sick. i guess I can get my diagnosis 'unofficially' here and still come here for support?:Big Grin:

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          • #6
            Re: Do I have tourettes?

            I have the same stomach thing. And i can understand your worries but have tourettes wont affect your jobs, i get jobs just fine with it and i tell them all about it. Your welcome to stay here but you should still consider going to the dr. TS cant stop you from doing anything no job can deny you for it. If need be they can give you some meds to take which helps it very good if you get the right thing. You dont have to suffer with it there pleanty of help out there, and all of us are here to support you.


            Jessica

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            • #7
              Re: Do I have tourettes?

              Do you really do the stomach thing? Wow I thought I was the only person ever who did that! Im doing it right now, I do it constantly some days depending how stressed i am and it really upsets me coz I get so bloated and feel sick! Its so weird meeting people who do weird stuff too! lol not that im calling you weird I just never in my life found an explanation for why i have to do certain sounds and movements and I feel quite pleased to know there is an explanation and im not the only one!:Big Grin:

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              • #8
                Re: Do I have tourettes?

                There are a number of tic disorders besides just Tourette's Syndrome, and tics can be caused by a wide range of medical factors. There are also symptoms similar to Tourette's that may be obsessive-compulsive behaviours, or OCD in general. While many of the symptoms you describe do sound like Tourette's, some also sound like obsessive-compulsive behaviours, which are often related to TS but aren't the same thing.

                The best way to be sure is to talk to a doctor - preferrably neurologist, or a psychiatrist who deals with Tourette's and/or tic spectrum disorders.

                Of course everyone here will help you no matter what you do. If you're comfortable with yourself and these tics, you don't need to see a doctor. But it can be helpful to understand what's going on.

                Generally, you can keep any diagnosis confidential. This of course depends where you live, as all laws are different. But it is your choice whether or not you disclose a disorder to your employers. The only thing you NEED to do is disclose anything that either affects your ability to do your job (even if they accomodate you) or causes danger to yourself or others.

                For example, if you had a tic that prevented you from driving safely, you shouldn't be taking a job as a taxi driver or deliver pizzas. That said, Tourette's doesn't need to limit you, as there have been pro athletes, pilots, surgeons -- all sorts of people who have had diagnosed TS and not been slowed down by it.

                But you are considerably well protected under laws in Canada, the U.S. and the UK - at least. There are also advocacy groups like the TSFC that can help you if you have any problems in that area. Don't be afraid of a diagnosis, as it'll only provide you with answers.
                Colin

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                • #9
                  Re: Do I have tourettes?

                  FWIW, I do the stomach tensing as well. Causes me heartburn sometimes. I have strong abs though, so there is a benefit. :D

                  For me, what I got out of having a firm diagnosis, was peace. Finally, I know what I do has a name, others have it as well, and now I can get specific treatment (non drug) to alleviate the anxiety I create for myself as I am a big negative thinker.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Do I have tourettes?

                    thank you everyone for your replies, u dont know how good it is knowing i'm not alone!! I know what your saying about a diagnosis etc and maybe one day I will change my mind about getting one. Im training to be a speech and language therapist and when i started my course they asked about any mental illness. Ive had anxiey all my life and I went to the drs when i was 23 and was put on medication (which i stopped taking after 2 months) so I felt i had to tell them that on the form coz they actually write to my dr with the same questions. It didnt stop me getting on the course but speech therapy is a competitive field in the uk so i really dont want anything to hold me back. So maybe i have tourettes or maybe i have ocd or maybe i have a tic disorder of some kind but least i know theres a name for it!! Before, i didnt even know how to explain it even to myself!!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Do I have tourettes?

                      Mrking what is the treatment u get for negative thinking? (if u dont mind me asking) im a big negative thinker too

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                      • #12
                        Re: Do I have tourettes?

                        I've just started relaxation techniques myself so I might not have the best explanation for you.

                        This is the way I understand it....

                        Step one is to recognize at the time of negative thinking that you are in fact doing it and then taking the time to relax yourself out of it through Diaphragmatic Breathing or some other form of relaxation. Once I am more relaxed and gotten myself out of the anger/stress I just caused myself through negative thinking I try to substitute it with something more positive. What this is depends on my mood. It could be just thinking of my kids and how cute they are when they laugh, that I just one the lottery (odd one I know), fishing on my favourite river, having sex, going for along run, etc.

                        I tell you it is tough. I have been negative thinking for a long time now, not all my life but for many, many years so it is a tough go. But I recognize every time I do it now, whereas before I would come home all pissed off, end up being pissed off at my wife, kids etc and had no idea why. Now I know why. I just have to counter the effect. Heck, just even knowing why I get pissed off is beneficial.

                        I hope others will come by and explain there techniques too.

                        Remember this is only through my understanding of what I need to do so far, not something to go by verbatim.

                        The benefit of seeing a psychologist about this is that they will help with all this things that I never even thought were connected to the noises I make. I feel like I am finally breathing fresh air.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Do I have tourettes?

                          Thank you for sharing that with me Mrking. i have never been very good at the diaphragmatic breathing, people have recomended that to me in the past. something which i have found good for relaxation is meditation. ive downloaded some guided meditation tracks form the internet. Thank u for your advice

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                          • #14
                            Re: Do I have tourettes?

                            From your description, you fall in the category, though as it's been advised already, you should go see a doctor who specializes in diagnosing neurological disorders.

                            On a sidenote, I had almost every friggin tic on both the severe and mild lists plus both physical and vocal tics when I was younger. I still have some of both but through medication and age they've improved. So trust me when I say you can live with it and have tics in public and not be embarassed about it. Nothing to be embarassed of.

                            As has been mentioned, it is illegal to refuse employment to people with disorders, so long as it will not prevent them from completing the tasks required of them (ie, filing papers, computer work, talking on phones, etc). During interviews when people ask me if there's any questions or concerns I have that I want to share referring to the job, I mention I have TS but am physically and mentally able to perform tasks regardless. I encourage you to do the same as it will help people understand what you're doing in regards to tics.

                            It's best if you are properly diagnosed first ;)
                            Marisa

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