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Thread: Non-medicated theropy?

  1. #1

    Default Non-medicated theropy?

    Has anyone else every used a phsycologist for their tourettes? I did when I was younger and it helped greatly but because I was a kid I was sorta embarressed about going to a "shrink" so I decided to not go anymore. I wish I never stopped. He just gave me tips on how to relax and controle my breathing and I still use them today. (I do still take medication)
    The other day at a local grocery store, I saw a rack with books on it and one of them said, "pregancy for dummies"............

  2. #2
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    Default Non-medicated theropy?

    Hi Adam,

    As you rightfully point out, there is an unfortunate stigma attached to seeing a mental health professional. This applies especially to people who might be suffering from depression or even more serious forms of mental illness.

    The fact is a mental illness is no different from a physical illness like diabetes or a throat infection.

    Many psychologists have training and experience with Tourette, and can help with many of the associated symptoms.

    A good example you pointed out is relaxation strategies...another is Behavioural modification therapy to help control those pesky rage reactions often associated with TS.

    Would you care to share the nature of the exercises you do for the benefit of other Forum members?

    Do you ever have any problems performing the breathing exercises with tics that want to interfere with the exercise?

  3. #3

    Default Non-medicated theropy?

    Ok, well, as far as what he exactly taught me, I will try to explain but again I havent seen him in almost 10 years. Mainly, every day when I got there the first thing he would do is just kepp me really relaxed. He had some soft music playing and just told me to try to forget about any personal problems, like just throw them out the door. Then, through a number of sessions, he found out some personal stuff, likes and dislikes and some more deeper stuff. From that he taught me to find a "happy place" in my mind. I know it sounds stupid but it does work. It doesnt even need to be a place, just to think of something you enjoy but that would also clam you. Through many of the sessions, he would then teach me how to control it more and when and why to use it. Again, sorry for the vague details, its been a while. The breathing excersise was merely suggested but I practiced on my own. I found that when I am have an "attack" of a series of tics, whether for being stressed or upset or anxiety or maybe no reson at all, my breathing became eratic. I also noticed a breathing tic where I almost wouldnt finish my breath, if that makes any sense to anyone. Like I was too anxious to get to the next breath. Well, so I will stop whatever I am doing which sometimes consist of walking away from people (it may seem rude but if you explain it to them afterwards or if it is people who know you have tourettes, they will understand your not trying to be mean). I beagin actually be holding my breath for a few seconds. I want to almost start fresh. I than begin the take slow breathes. They dont need to be deep and loud, but mainley slow and controlled. I than after a minute or two, begin to incorperate small or light activities such as just walking or (if your cleaning for example) slowly start folding your clothes. While this is happening, I also use my "happy place" trick. I try to forget about all my frustation. And it helps, I than can try to getting back to what I was doing before. Again, this works for me. I dont know if its what all psychiciatrist (spelling, sorry) do but its what mine taught me. Anyway, sorry if it sounded weird to try, it did when I was younger and that is partly why I also stopped seeing him because I didnt fully appreciate what he was doing for me. But now as an older person (not sure if Im really an adult, lol) I find that it does work. As far as any breathing tics that interfere, yes they do but like anything else, if you practice it enough, you learn to control it. I hope this answers your question steve, and hopefully helps anyone who tries it.
    The other day at a local grocery store, I saw a rack with books on it and one of them said, "pregancy for dummies"............

  4. #4
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    Default Non-medicated theropy?

    Adam,

    The "Happy Place" trick is one that I discovered several years ago, and have employed often. Many years ago, my wife and I visited Cape Cod, and happened to be sitting on the beach with our folding chairs when the tide came in. Suddenly the tide had passed the place on the beach where we were sitting, but we were both enjoying the moment and were both so relaxed, we did not get up and move immediately.

    The mental image of tha moment is very clear in my mind, and it is the image I use when I wish to achieve complet relaxation.

    Like you, I found it works for me. However, I have difficulty with the deep breathing exercises, as I tend to tic rather than breath, which defeats the purpose. {smile}

  5. #5

    Default Non-medicated theropy?

    Well, as far as the breathing thing goes, I probably dont have as strong of a breathing tic as some people, so sorry that it doesnt work for you guys. But I have come to find that everyone is different with different tics and even different ways to calm the tics. But Im glad to see that you (steve) have used the "happy place" trick. (sorry for calling it that, I dont remember if my pshyc. gave me a medical term for it) Glad to see it also works. Yea, mine has been when I went to Florida (USA) and my family took a big boat ride at night. It was sooo relaxing. As far as the breathing tic goes, I had mentioned this in another forum page here but I do gat a nasty breathing tic when I exercise or play sports. Its tough to keep running when you body wants to twitch.
    The other day at a local grocery store, I saw a rack with books on it and one of them said, "pregancy for dummies"............

  6. #6

    Default Adams Topic/ Breathing Tic

    Adam and others who have tourettes. I am the mom of a child with tourettes. My son Brandon who is 11 has a very strong breathing tic. It starts in April. It is May 21 and he has had the breathing tic non stop from April 1 to May 21. The only exception is when he is sleeping. It is a sound like this ehh uhhh ..then his left shoulder lifts up and his head goes back. Does anyone think this could be allergy related. Also is their anything that can help this breathing tic. Please be open minded and please share as much information as you can. Alot of people that I have asked who do have Tourettes say leave him alone and ignore it. I try but it is so hard. He is on meds risperadol and guanfanicine. Thankyou

  7. #7

    Default Non-medicated theropy?

    AliceD,

    First off, for any concerns you should definately see his doctor/neurologist to see what they say. But as far as I can see it, the tic always coming during the same time of year is different to me. Most if not all of my tic do go in cycles but usually there is no repetitiveness to when the tic comes and goes. But tics do come and go. As far as the tic itself goes, I have a very similar tic where I almost twist my upper body while taking a short quick breath. Now from this motion I usually let of a light grunt like sound but I think that may just be from all the tension. Again, not sure what allergies can do to affect TS, maybe somone here can elaborate more, but thats an issue I would bring up to his doctor.

    Do you notice when the tic happens? By this, does it seem to always happen when he is active, not active, stress, angry, etc.....? I notice that if you get a tic from stress or just being too active, really the best way to calm it down is having him stop what he is doing (if he can) and try to relax. Try not to do anything that would cause more stress itself. from this he will naturally calm down. If he does it real speratically, its a little more tricky. I think in this situation, the best way to control the tic is more on a personal level with himself and he may be the only one who can calm himself. Maybe someone can post some ideas of any tips on controling tics (as I did above with the "happy thought"). As far as leaving him alone when he tics, as hard as it may seem, that may be the best option. Now, I dont want to tell you that you should or shouldnt do anything but in reality, there isnt much you yourself can do other than just being there trying to help him calm down. Again, personally, living with TS for 21 years, I tend to want to be left alone when having a tic outburst. I see it as I have delt with it myself and noone (family and friends) know what Im going through so I probably know best. But that again is my view, maybe this is not the same view of your son.

    Again, these are just some opinions of me, I strongly recommend mentioning this to a doctor/neurolgist though.
    The other day at a local grocery store, I saw a rack with books on it and one of them said, "pregancy for dummies"............

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Non-medicated theropy?

    Alice,

    Welcome to the TSFC Forum! Thanks for sharing your concerns about your son.

    As has been suggested, if you have not already done so, arrange to have your son seen by a neurologist or other competent health professional with training in movement disorders. It may take a bit of local research on your part, because not all physicians, nor all neurologists have training in this area.

    Some people with TS report on seasonal cycles with their tics, and tics come and go over a period of time...wax and wain, as they say.

    Those of us with TS will tell you that a well meaning parent or loved one telling you to "stop it" will have little effect on curbing the tics, and will likely have the opposite effect of making the tic activity worse. The stress of knowing someone is watching, and/or reprimanding the person with TS increases stress, thereby increasing tic activity.

    Experience the need to tic for yourself as an experiment, Alice....

    Hold your eyes open for as long as you can, and say to yourself, I must not blink.....and see how it feels at a certain point, when you must absolutely blink your eyes.

    This is the closest method I know of to share with someone the need to tic by a person with TS.

    It's understandable you might feel uncomfortable or perhaps even embarrassed at first when your son tics in public. But, this is who he is, Alice, and his best strategy is to rehearse with you an explanation he can share with strangers when he is in public.

    He can explain he has a neurological disorder called Tourette Syndrome and cannot help it when he tics.

    When people know what's going on, you will be surprised at how supportive most people will be.

    Please keep us posted on developments, and feel free to share any other concerns or questions about TS you may have.

    Are there any local support groups in your area?

  9. #9

    Default Breathing Tic

    I really want to express my gratitude to Adam and Steve for responding to my post about my son's breathing tic. It really is okay for him to tic like you said. I tried keeping my eyes open without blinking...wow took alot of concentration. That really helped me to understand that tics are natural for the person doing it. We have seen all the doctors that you mentioned. I am going to an Ecologist for allergy testing I will let you know what reaults if any come of that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Non-medicated theropy?

    Alice,

    Glad you found our online community and chose to join in. Thanks for your kind words, and we'll look forward to hearing how you make out.

    Hope you make the TSFC Forum a regular part of your online activities.

    Regards,

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