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Thread: localized tics

  1. #1

    Default localized tics

    Has anyone else noticed that their tics only affect maybe one part or side of there body? I have noticed through the years that any of my tics that affect a limb or a part of me where there is a right and left (i.e. left/right arm, left/right leg, left/right shoulder) My tics generally affect my left side but rarely ever do they affect my right. Is there a reason or is it just odd?
    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Ottawa, Canada

    Default localized tics

    Now there's an interesting question!

    I heard this topic discussed at a presentation given by Dr. Mort Doran, who has been on the Board of TSFC, a surgeon and who is, himself afflicted with TS.

    As a side-note, Dr. Doran is one of my personal heroes, because it was the awareness he created in the 80's through radio and TV interviews about TS that helped me in the early years of my realization of TS.

    He talked about the symmetry of TS where many people need to balance their tics on both sides of their body. So if there is a need to tic with the left thumb, it has to be balanced with a tic with the right thumb.

    Looking at the broader picture however, knowing obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is frequently a component of TS and that the need for symmetry is considered as obsessive behaviour, then I wonder if the need to tic symmetrically is an extension of the OCD component of TS.

    Could it be, Adam, that you are fortunate in being spared the OCD part of Tourette Syndrome?

    I found the following two articles on TS where symmetry in the context of TS is discussed.

    NASP Communiqu?

    Baylor College of Medicine

    Search for the term "symmetry" on these pages, using your browser's Edit menu or refer to the section(s) on obsessions

  3. #3

    Default localized tics


    I dont think I was spared. I do have odd tendencies of symmetry like if a drop of water were to hit my right arm, I would need to feel the same "sensation" on my left which ends up meaning I would lick my arm (I have over the years evolved a way to hide this tic or make it look as a natural motion. This also goes for bumbing into somthing, stepping on cracks(this tic can get very very very very very complex, I can sometimes get ti the point where not only if I step on a crack with my left foot I must do so with my right but I have to step on a crack in the same area of my right foot. If it was my toes that stepped on the crack with my left foot, it MUST be my toes on my right foot or else I keep a running order of a "to do" list of what part of my foot needs to step on a crack), but this list can go on and on. Its not a major tic and if I dont tell anybody they would never know so it doesnt affect my life. Its almost like passing the time as I walk.

    But as far as just ticing, a motor tic or twitch, I always seem to do my left arm or hand or leg or toes or eye but never my right.
    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

    Default localized tics

    Same thing here... I agree that the need to have symmetry is probably OC based. Maybe your OC stuff just doesn't affect your ticcing? I have some of each.

  5. #5

    Default localized tics

    it is odd ,most of my tics are right sided
    i kick up my right leg,sniff through my right nostril,touch my chin on my right shoulder,bite the end of my right index finger,flick my head to the right,wink my right eye etc.............but rarely feel the need to do the same with the left side,it feels to me like my right side is not so "sensitive",so if i touch something with my left side i would need to even it up on my right but many many times to get the "full benefit" kind of thing,its like it hasnt had enough until it hurts !i cant explain it very well but i know what i mean :D i remeber knocking my left shoulder once and i had to go back and knock my right shoulder on the same doorframe over and over until it really hurt,...........i was alone so i only looked a fool to me :lol:

  6. #6

    Default localized tics

    See jo has the same thing but it is on the right side for you. Me its the left side so I wonder what decides which side will be affected more? Could it be just brain activity or stimulas? or something else?
    The other day at a local grocery store, I saw a rack with books on it and one of them said, "pregancy for dummies"............

  7. #7

    Default localized tics

    Well, I think my tics are evenly distributed on both sides. And my OCD isn't bad enough to ever have to 'even things out'. It shows itself more in things like not being able to leave the house (even when getting late for something) unless my hair is just right. I might be in tears about being late, but can't leave unless it's all curled under 'properly'. I do have a pretty set routine for getting ready in the morning, but other than the hair thing (which is one good reason for wearing it fairly short, which makes it easier) I am flexible to a degree.
    German citizen, married to a Canadian for 28 years, four daughters, one son, eight grandchildren (and one on the way).

  8. #8

    Default localized tics

    My tics are mostly on the left and mostly in the shoulder area.

    I have discovered recently that my tea must be stirred in a clock-wise direction. Someone handed me a cup they just stirred counter-clockwise and it was wrong! I never realized the direction mattered before -- but then I usually stir my own tea.

  9. #9

    Default localized tics

    cotw, I think the direction matters because it is the easiest and best way to use your hand/arm, because of the way our anatomy is. I would stir clockwise with my right hand, too, but stir counterclockwise with my left hand. I have my doubts that it has anything to do with TS/OCD at all.
    German citizen, married to a Canadian for 28 years, four daughters, one son, eight grandchildren (and one on the way).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    St. John's NL

    Default localized tics

    Couldn't the same agrument be made for toilet tissue and how it rolls off the roll. I cannot tolerate the toilet tissue rolling off from the top of the roll, it has to roll off from underneath. Many argue with me, as if it has to be logical, that it is easier for the user to pull the tissue paper from the top of the roll and that it is mechanically more efficient that way. I argue that it needs to roll from under so that it can be pulled off more effectively and because it doesn't roll off as quickly from underneath as it does when rolled from the top. It doesn't lead to wasted sheets being pulled off this way either. I have tried not to switch the roll over especially when in someone elses house... and I can stop myself when in another person's home. But when staying in a hotel it is the first thing I do when I get to my room and every morning Housecleaning changes it so that they can do the little folded triangle on top. When put on the roll "wrong" I have tried to ignore it but could not function or focus and would have to go back and change it. So at work and home it is understood that the tissue rolls from underneath and don't bother arguing with me about it.

    I totally feel that need comes from my OCD while others think it is a natural expectation that it roll over the top.

    What is your experience with the Toilet paper issue?
    Janet, mom of 4

    TSFC Homepage

    "Intelligence is always increasing; accommodation allows your intelligence to do what it has always done." Cassie Green, Washington College


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