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Teens with TS and Alcohol

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  • Teens with TS and Alcohol

    I have come across some new issues with our son and at this point it is very scary I was wandering if anyone had come across these problems. My son is 18 and likes to go out to parties he is not a big drinker but once in a while likes to drink alot. We have had 3 incidents this year with anger and alcohol and this last one was really bad. It started 2 weeks before graduation when his gf broke up with him. They still went to prom together and went to a preformal party. He drank quite alot and was drunk and very angry he was picking fights with his friends and had to leave to calm down they wouldn't let him back into the prom its the rules once you leave you can't get back in he was so angry he paced the streets for a few hours when my dh went back to town everyone was at a after grad party and kyle was still wandering around mad. he brought him home and he went to bed was still mad for a few days. He drink for a while and then went to a party someone was wrestling with him and started to choke him a bit he went a little nuts and started to really hurt this guy his friends stopped him and told him to leave he walked home for 2 1/2 hours we were mad no one notified us. This last time he went to visit his friends at college and they were drinking whiskey and he go really crazy they couldn't control him he was hurting himself smashing his head of the floor being held down they put a pillow under his head and had to hold him down he was also punching himself in the head we were down there too luckily and my other son called us and said he was out of control and they were going to call the police. My dh went to get him he was punching himself in the face his face was a mess bruised swollen and cut we drove around for 1 1/2 hours trying to calm him down Finally he started to calm down threw up and we put him to bed we watched for the rest of the night because he was vomitting in his sleep. He knows now that he can never drink again. but he is only 18. He is not on medication right know our neurologist at sick kids told us a few years ago that he can control alot of his symptoms himself. Medication never took his ticks away and now he hardly has any now unless he is stressed. He just has major OCD and anger issues. Has anyone ever had to deal with this before I am so upset we have been doing good for years. He has been working since June and doing good. And we were going to let him go away to college but know have doubts.

    This is all new to me and any help would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Teens with TS and Alcohol

    Hi catcrazy

    There is not much information available on Tourette, OCD and alcoholism. Alcohol abuse has been linked with both Tourette and OCD but there is disagreement on this point.

    Some of what you describe is 'binge drinking'. Binge drinkers are people who do not drink all the time, but when they do drink they drink alot. From what you describe your son's drinking is bringing out the worst of his anger problems. This can be so scary for both your son and you.

    I have heard some anecdotal stories about teens and young adults who drink and have anger issues. One I know for sure sought help and worked with a psychiatrist or psychologist to address his OCD issues and anger issues. That was a few years ago and he is doing well now.

    You are right to be concerned. Do you have a doctor that is following your son for OCD? Have you or your son talked to him about what is happening?

    Please keep in touch and let us know how things are going. I wish you all the best in seeking help for your son.

    Forum Moderator


    • #3
      Re: Teens with TS and Alcohol

      Hi Catcrazy

      I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you. I am so sorry you and your son have to go through this.

      I am sorry that I have no information for you or advice other than to see your doctor about this. He should be able to direct you to some help.

      Please keep us updated on what happens next. I wish you the best.



      • #4
        Re: Teens with TS and Alcohol

        I talked to Kyle for quite a while last night we are still deciding what to do he told me he has issues that he hasn't spoken to anyone about I asked him if he could and who he would like to do this with we have counseling thru both our works, we are both home alone today he hasn't gone to school or work all week he looks horrible but last night informed me he has been dizzy I never even thought of a concussion so now no hockey either for 2 weeks. I will talk more with him today. He has been raised by his stepfather and dosen't see his real father at all. His real father was an alcoholic and the Tourettes is genetic from his side. Kyles uncle had it so severe and was never diagnosed I was told he had brain damage from a car accident. He lived a life of a bum and died of alcohol poisoning in his 40's. But after I found out that my son had tourettes and I started researching I realized that all along kyles uncle had tourettes severe. His dad has it too. Sometimes I wander if there is to much pressure on Kyle his stepbrother and him have been raised as twins, they are 2 months apart, his stepbrother dosen't have as many issues and is better in school, they have been coached by his stepfather all through hockey and have won the all ontario's. Both Kyle and his biological sister have some learning disabilites where the rest of us don't. He has done well in school and was employee of the month at his job the first month he was there his OCD actually helps him there he folds alot of clothes as h e does as home his room is always the cleanist.

        I hope we can find a soloution to all this.


        • #5
          Re: Teens with TS and Alcohol

          The only thing I can offer is a {{cyber hug}} - I too can only imagine how hard this must be - I know I am dreading it when my son gets to that age.

          Take care and hope things work out for you.

          Jaxx (New Zealand)


          • #6
            Re: Teens with TS and Alcohol

            Hi Catcrazy!

            It sounds like you are taking a great first step and that is talking about it. My son is 12 and I am always discovering new things about his OCD that i never realized before. I was told by our psychologist that OCD is known as the "secret disorder" because those that have it go to great lengths to hide it usually and/or they think that everybody does that so there is no need to talk about it! My son is no exception.

            I remember when he was in grade four and he casually mentioned one day that he counts the letters as he reads but only every other day! I was stunned as he has always read well above grade level! I asked him how long he had been doing this for and he replied since always like it was nothing. I asked why he never told me before and he said he thought everyone did that and it was no big deal!

            You said there is a history of alcoholism and TS in the family and I am wonderig if this is common? Does anyone know? I have heard that our kids are more at risk for drug or alcohol abuse especially if they are not medicated as they may try to self-medicate. Do you think that is what is happening here with your family?

            I also know of a boy my son used to go to school with who clearly had TS. He sat next to me at my son's bday party one year and throat cleared through the entire movie. He also had a blinking tic. I asked his father if he had TS and he replied no he has ADHD and his mother (now his ex-wife) had mental health issues and was an alcoholic. I am now wondering if the poor woman had TS and was trying to self medicate.

            I also know a woman who has 3 teenage sons with TS who all have minor drug and alcohol issues (at least they were minor the last time we talked about it which was about a year ago).

            Please keep us posted on this. I am very interested in this topic as we are fast approaching the teenage years.



            • #7
              Re: Teens with TS and Alcohol


              My heart goes out to you and I understand your doubts and questions.

              Taking a step back I see three issues to your scenery:

              TS may equal the head banging and the combo of OCD and pure frustration could cause the self inflicted damage under the influence. (Personal opinion only) My own son can do some serious damage to himself at times with his TS+.

              The TS part seems mild by what you describe in your post.

              The alcohol seems to be the motivator for all the bad to surface.

              Have you ever talked to Kyle's Doctor about alcoholic tendencies in children that came from a parent with alcoholism or a background of alcohol abuse?

              Like TS the tolerance can be very low and yet with alcohol consumption can be high before getting that "buzz".

              Alcohol responds differently to individuals just like medications do. Some create passive individuals while other kinds can create rage attacks or promote depression.

              What you are experiencing needs to be discussed with a physician. The vomiting you described is telling you he consumed more then his body could absorb. If someone continues to vomit while sleeping they should be taken to the ER to rule out alcohol poisoning as they can suffer damage from the experience if they survive.

              I can understand your worries about sending him off to College and not knowing if he has the will power to not tip a cup or handle the stresses. Any good reason like the break up is reason enough to drink and this is a typical response or reason to justify joining in even though someone can not tolerate it or it changes their personality. It is so hard for an adult to say "no" and even harder for an adolescent.

              We rode this roller coaster once and we drove for hours not knowing what to do years ago. Finally we took the individual to the ER and he got the help he really needed. Everyone gave him the attention he needed and the attention we could not provide. The person I am referring too did not have TS but did have ADD problems and came from an alcoholic background.

              I am so sorry you are having to live through this experience and I know you want to make it better for him.

              I hope you are able to get someone to listen so he can get the help he needs early on and you receive the guidance you need. No one is perfect and life is not perfect and for a teen to understand that sometimes can be very hard.

              Please keep us posted on your progress.


              • #8
                Re: Teens with TS and Alcohol

                Well his face has healed he has 2 black eyes still and he is finally not dizzy anymore. He went back to school for one class wednesday and a full day friday and went to work last night. Today they are putting him in the back room at work he will go on the computer instead of selling. He had to work out front last night and got a few comments about his face. He is feeling a bit better and had my friends son who he used to hang out with alot come over they all went to a party and he was the designated driver and had fun.
                One day at a time.


                • #9
                  Re: Teens with TS and Alcohol

                  Maybe this will be a good time for him to reflect on what happened. He has to make his own life choices as we all do and as a parent this can be so hard to watch sometimes.

                  It sounds like he is taking some solid steps forward.

                  Thank you for the update and please keep us posted.


                  • #10
                    Re: Teens with TS and Alcohol

                    I am glad to hear Kyle is feeling better and reconnecting with old friends. It may be just what he needs.

                    Please keep us posted on his progress.



                    • #11
                      Re: Teens with TS and Alcohol

                      He went to a video dance last night was the designated driver and had a ball he danced with tons of girls and drove everyone to Party he still knows that he can't drink and I hope he keeps this up. He told us this morning that it was so good to feel great while everyone else felt sick this morning. I also have to tell you guys that at 18 most of his tics are gone now people don't realize that if you are not ticing like crazy or shouting obcsenities that you can still have tourettes, Kyle has anger and ocd issues still but I also know the tics may re-appear its really Kyle that has to do all the work now in controling himself I can just support him. ;D


                      • #12
                        Re: Teens with TS and Alcohol

                        Thanks for the update!

                        It sounds like he is making some great decisions for himself and realized the limitations and rewards for aiming in the right direction.

                        You are right about stepping back and providing the support necessary. This is something that as a parent of an older teen can be very hard to do but it sounds like you are doing a great job.

                        Take care.


                        • #13
                          Re: Teens with TS and Alcohol

                          Well its January and Kyle is still fine still hasn't had a drink he is now considering going away to school since he has done so well!!!


                          • #14
                            Re: Teens with TS and Alcohol

                            Glad to hear it!

                            Thanks for the update.


                            • #15
                              Re: Teens with TS and Alcohol

                              No matter what your situation is, you must always be firm on your rules about drinking. The key to it is, right approach at the time time and place. Teens everywhere are going to the same phase where they are faced with peer pressure and societal approval. Proper guidance from the parents and support is really needed. I read an article that says..

                              While it's imperative that your teen understands that this behavior has corresponding consequences, it's also very important to keep a few things in mind when talking to your teen about drinking. Simply imposing punishments for teens who drink is not enough here are a few pointers to consider:
                              1. Talk at the right time - The first reaction of parents who see their teens coming home drunk is to get mad and lecture them right on the spot. Talking to your teen while he/she is drunk is as ineffective as talking to him/her while you're still angry. Wait for the right time to talk; when both of you are clear headed enough to communicate with each other properly.
                              2. Ask questions - Asking your teen questions will help you understand the situation better. Ask your teen what brought on this underage drinking, where he/she got the alcohol that he/she drunk, find out just how educated your teen is when it comes to the consequences of underage drinking.
                              3. Explain yourself - Instead of stringing out a list of demands (or a long list of "don'ts"), explain to your teen why you are worried and what they're not seeing when they engage in this kind of behavior.
                              4. Keep yourself informed - When your teen is going out, make it a point to know who he/she is with, who's driving, and if there are adults present.
                              5. Be consistent with the consequences - It's one thing to inform your teen about the consequences of underage drinking as far as house rules go, it's another thing to consistently uphold the rules you made. It takes patience, effort, and time to follow through with threats of punishment, but doing this will tell your child that you are searious about the rules of the house, especially about drinking and using/abusing other substances.
                              6. Understand your role in their lives - You are a role model for your teen, whether you believe this or not. Your drinking habits have an impact on their choices. The way that you handle frustration also sends a strong message. If your teen has begun the bad habit of underage teen drinking, it's probably time to evaluate the situation at home too. The first step is usually to make alcohol harder to come by at home. Doing this will send a louder message to your teen rather than screaming at them to stop what they are doing.
                              As teens grow older, the fear of being punished by their parents grow weaker. Hence, the need to constantly talk to them about important issues such as teen alcoholism and substance abuse. If your teen has not started drinking yet, it's important to educate them very early on how to respond to the pressures that they will inevitably face in the future.
                              Developing a strong relationship that fosters open commnication with your child is one of the best preventive measures to underage drinking.

                              Source: Teen Drinking
                              Tips for parents who caught their child drinking..