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Welcome to the updated and refreshed Tourette Canada Online Forum!

Tourette Canada Online Forum is a free, safe, moderated online community where registered users can exchange ideas, information and support about issues related to Tourette Syndrome. Tourette Canada has recently changed the server and refreshed the pages so returning members will notice a brighter look. Tourette Canada welcomes back two former moderators, Janet Rumsey and Cathy Wylie, to the Forum. Their knowledge and insight will serve the Tourette Forum participants with dedication and expertise.

We would like to thank the administrators and moderators who have dedicated countless hours to build and maintain the Forum. We look forward to continuing to provide a place for individuals and families affected by Tourette Syndrome and its associated disorders to get information, exchange information with others, and connect with the affiliates and support available across Canada.
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Spouse of Tourette

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  • Spouse of Tourette

    How does Tourette Syndrome affect your relationship with your partner, or is it a non issue?

    How did you deal with your earliest conversations with your partner to explain and to discuss your Tourette?
    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

  • #2
    Spouse of Tourette

    My TS only became noticable (or unrestrainable) while I was with my girlfriend... and it's pretty much a non-issue. Fortunately, she thinks most of my tics are cute.

    We've been engaged and living together for a while now, and there have been no problems. The only time it's ever a problem is when I have my vocal tic when we're trying to go to sleep. But she's tolerant of it, and very supportive.
    Colin

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    • #3
      Spouse of Tourette

      I was married for 25 years before finding out about TS. I did my best to hide my tics all that time, spending many hours in the bathroom.

      I go through phases of repeating things I say many times, and my husband would always get angry with me for doing that. It was very frustrating, because I didn't know why I did that and had no way of justifying it. All I knew was that I had no control over it.

      Now that we know about TS, most of the time my tics have become a non-issue. Just some vocal tics will get him to say dumb things about them, instead of ignoring them.

      I guess the biggest problem is that now I won't suppress tics in his presence any more (most of the time, anyway), and he isn't used to especially the vocal tics (other than throat clearing, which always seemed normal) and I am sensitive to comments. I'm sure this phase will pass.
      German citizen, married to a Canadian for 28 years, four daughters, one son, eight grandchildren (and one on the way).

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      • #4
        Spouse of Tourette

        i am only just "coming out" about the TS to my husband,he is the only one who knows,but he doesnt want to know really,he will pretend to be interested as he is watching the telly or on the computer with his back to me ,grrr,or the most annoying thing is that he will turn it round to himself,always relating something about me to something about himself,he is so far up himself,well,i wont go on,but he does annoy me !! :x
        nothing and no one in the world is worse off than him !!
        feel better for getting that off my chest,lol
        jo

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        • #5
          Spouse of Tourette

          Perhaps your therapist or physician can of assistance in informing/educating your husband, provided he is willing to listen, to help him understand that sometimes it isn't just "bad habits or behavior", "stubbornness", or "drama".

          Could there be some denial:?

          "A member of my family couldn't possibly have something like this!"

          Could it be fear?:

          "I don't want this to be true so I refuse to let it be true."

          Or, could it be about power struggles?:

          "She thinks this is a problem and I hate/am angry with her so I'll refuse to accept this" .

          Friends support friends in time of need, and the same should apply to spousal relationships.

          Can a third party counselor or health professional help in a relationship where one partner unwilling or incapable of providing support?

          Would it be different if the situation were reversed or if the need for support was in connection with a medical issue like cancer or diabetes?
          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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          • #6
            Spouse of Tourette

            In my relationship, it's totally a non-issue.
            But considering my SO has severe Panic Disorder and Bipolar-'lite' (and probably a med-induced Attention Deficit behaviors) what's a few tics? LOL!

            Comment


            • #7
              Spouse of Tourette

              My TS has recently begun complicating my relationship. My husband knew I had TS from the very beginning. It was no big deal, kuz I haven't had tics in years. But I have a lot of comorbid conditions. He knew about those too, and again it was no big deal. He understood, he loved me, nobody's perfect, we'll work together on it. But then I moved to Canada to be with him (I'm from the States). Things were fine for the first year. BUt since my immigration isn't complete, I'm not allowed to work. I'm in an unfamiliar country. I know nobody. I have no established routine whatsoever. Can you imagine what it's like to go over a year without a routine or place to call home? Everything has been so unstable for me. So now all these little comorbin demons are coming out. I'm driving myself crazy. I'm driving him crazy, bless his patient soul. I can't seem to initiate any activity, even if I honestly want to do it. I sit there and think about it and will myself to do it and play it over in my mind...but NOTHING HAPPENS!

              So yes, it's causing problems in the relationship. My husband is a saint. Very understanding and loving. But the housework doesn't get done. The bathroom has been half-painted for almost 3 weeks now. I never leave the house without him. I start tasks and never finish them. And the poor guy works all day to support me, and he comes home to this unfinished mess. He's exhausted and asks what I did today and I've done nothing. Needless to say, he gets a bit frustrated.

              It has gotten to the point for both of us where something just has to be done. We're both going crazy. That's why I joined this forum and started talking with the TSFC. I'm hoping I can find some help and suggestions here.

              Comment


              • #8
                Spouse of Tourette

                Hi kwhitlock

                Some of what you describe -- not being able to get into a routine, not getting housework done, etc. sounds like depression. With your comorbid stuff acting up and all the changes, have you considered that depression might be an issue on top of it all?
                Cathy
                Forum Moderator

                Comment


                • #9
                  Spouse of Tourette

                  Kwhitlock,

                  It is understandable that you are feeling isolated and alone in unfamiliar surroundings, along with the other challenges you mentioned.

                  Stressors in our lives are cumulative, and we each have a limit as to what amount of stress we can tolerate. It is postulated that people with Tourette begin with a higher than average baseline stress level due to the disorder.

                  In your case, you have moved to a new place (major stressor), cannot work (major stressor) dealing with Tourette (another stressor).

                  All these add up and if your brain chemistry is pre disposed to depression, then it would be prudent and wise to consult your physician.

                  There is no shame to feeling anxiety and depression, both of which are treatable medical disorders.

                  As for local contact, are you in an area where you can participate in one of the local BC Chapters of the TSFC?
                  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
                    Spouse of Tourette

                    I've struggled with clinical depression my whole life, so I'm very familiar with it. I'm not Depressed, just depressed. Don't know if anyone can relate to the difference. It's all these problems have me a little bummed, but I'm not Depressed, ya know?

                    It's just when I have no routine, I'm completely lost. I stand there not having a clue what to do with myself. It's frustrating. There's no natural prompts to do anything. Like when your alarm goes off, that's the prompt to get dressed, which is the prompt to bruch your teeth, which is the prompt to go to work, and so on. But I have no prompts or routine with consequences.

                    And I do want to see a medical person, but I can't. Since I'm still immigrating, I have no health coverage whatsoever. I'd like to get a neurotransmitter level test done.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Spouse of Tourette

                      Hi everyone,

                      I'm 34 years old, TS/OCD/ADD.

                      I was diagnosed when I was about 25 and had been married to my first husband for several years.

                      Growing up, my parents scolded me for my "habits" and continually told me to stop. Like so many others in this forum, I spent so many years of my life thinking that I was alone and not knowing what was "wrong" with me.

                      When I was finally diagnosed at age 25, I did share it with my parents. It was hard for me, because part of me felt as though they let me down, and if they had just taken me to a doctor I could have at least known I wasn't alone.

                      When I told them of my dx, my mother said "Oh, we always knew it was TS, we just didn't want to label you". Yeah, ok, whatever. Thanks.

                      Anyway...

                      My first husband didn't like to talk about my TS, before my dx when it was just "weird things I did" or afterwards, when we had a name for it and loads of information. He was the kind of person who would rather just ignore it and didn't provide any emotional support. Needless to say, I'm not married to him anymore.

                      I spent so many years of my life hiding my tics and feeling ashamed that I didn't have the willpower to "control myself". And then years with my first husband not feeling comfortable talking about it with him. I swore I would never deal with that again.

                      I've been with my current husband for almost 5 years now and he's wonderful about my TS. I did tell him about it shortly after we met, and explained what it is...and it's completely up-front in our lives. We talk about it, I can vent to him when I'm having a bad day, we even laugh about it sometimes.

                      My 9 year old son (from my first marriage) is also TS/ADHD. He's a wonderful mature, sweet little guy, and I think that having a mom with TS and a stepdad who is completely comfortable with his wife and stepson's TS makes life much easier for him.

                      As far as I'm concerned, anyone who doesn't accept you as you are - all of who you are - whether it's TS, or any of the other countless qualities that makes us each unique - they shouldn't be in your life. Everyone has challenges...ours (one of them, anyway!) just happens to be TS.

                      As usual, I've written a book... :Big Grin:

                      Thanks for letting me share my experience!

                      -Christine

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Spouse of Tourette

                        Hi Christine,

                        As you alluded to your life experience parallels the experience of many of us, particularly those who are older than in their mid 20's.

                        Awareness of Tourette was sadly lacking, and many physicians were not equipped with sufficient information to provide to patients with Tourette.

                        Glad to hear your life is now filled with joy accompanied by the love and support of your husband.

                        Your personal experience will be a great value to the members of our Forum, and we look forward to your continued participation.

                        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


                        • #13
                          Re: Spouse of Tourette

                          I was married about 2 years before I was diagnosed. Stacey noticed things and would look at me out of concern. Her father had previously passed away and had Hodgkins and some of the noises I made were similar to what he did, hence her concern. When I was diagnosed, she jumped right in and learned more about TS than I did. It was great to go through it with someone. Next time around, I will likely need to educate the person in my life about TS....do my own in-service presentation for them...lol....

                          More discussion can be seen on this on the "Journey of Discovery" dvd that is available from the TSFC...Stacey and I were fortunate enough to be part of that and discuss our relationship.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Spouse of Tourette

                            You are fortunate to have such a great relationship and have the support necessary.
                            Life is so much harder when two people bang heads because they can't relate.
                            PJK

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