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Are Tics Habit Forming?

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  • Are Tics Habit Forming?

    People who are unfamiliar with Tourette Syndrome sometimes think the tics expressed by a person with TS are a bad habit and if the person were stronger or had more will power could stop those tics.

    Have you ever experienced someone continually telling you to "be quiet" or "stop doing that" even after explaining that tics are involuntary?

    Is there an element of habit associated with tics? What about people who bite their fingernails or stutter? Are these habits or another variation of tics?

    Some people express the same tic for years and even decades....has it now become a habit?

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

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  • #2
    Are Tics Habit Forming?

    Habits and tics are different by definition. The genetic co-morbidity with OCD blurs outsiders' perceptions. I have tics that came from an obvious source (like sniffling after having terrible allergies) and I also have a tic I voluntarily gave myself.

    Bottom line: yes, I get it all the time, especially at work where I can not really control my exposure to some buttheads. "Shut up. Shut up. Hey, Darin, can't you shut up?" At what point do THEY get diagnosed with something, like maybe AHS?

    I love that if you point out a tic it usually makes it worse. My Mom loves to do that when she lectures - telling the audience she can make me tic by referring to the tic. Yikes.

    Remember, this accusation from the outsider is the moral equivalent of "Jeez, can't you do that without glasses!" or even "Dang, your wheelchair smells like rubber and oil."
    Darin M. Bush, The Tourette Tiger, author of "Tiger Trails"