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Thread: Strange symptom

  1. #1

    Default Strange symptom

    Wow. Just discovered this forum and I am learning a lot! I have had Tourettes and OCD (and God knows what else) for as long as I can remember (I will be 63 Monday) and, since the early 70s have had a particularly strange compulsion to throw the gearshift lever into reverse while driving. (Ouch! you say, and you're right.) This compulsion is overwhelming and has to be dealt with by tieing off the lever with a device I've made. I don't dare drive without it. Trust me, you wouldn't want me to. If someone is in the car with me, I'm OK without the device. Otherwise, I'm just a garden variety touretter, with the usual motor tics, who has learned to get along in society and always to hold down a responsible job and stay married. My question is, has anyone heard of this urge? Many years ago I heard a reference to it as being associated with TS.
    Thanks.
    Card-carrying Touretter (with associated baggage) for 60 years . . . never met another in person. Am learning a lot from this forum!

  2. #2

    Default Strange symptom

    I'm 22 and I also have TS and OCD.

    I've had very similar urges with shifting the car into various gears while in motion. It's not as profound as yours and it has yet to cause actual trouble... but when I'm driving I often have the urge to shift the car into neutral, park or reverse.

    Hasn't happened so far. I hope it doesn't, as I quite enjoy driving.
    Colin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    St. John's NL
    Posts
    1,147

    Default Strange symptom

    Welcome Drummer

    I'm so glad you have found this forum. I have met people who have shared the compulsion to swing their steering wheel sharply to the right or left. That could be just as scary as your compulsion.

    I have TS as well and years ago when I was first driving, I had a friend try to teach me how to drive a standard shift car. He was outside the car with the door open walking me through the whole clutch vs break series of events that had to happen. I was so obsessed with having to co-ordinate the movement of the pedals and gears that I couldn't wait to try it so I tried it, in reverse... without waiting for him to move... I pinned him under the car. :oops: I blame it on lack of impulse control so I have not tried to drive a standard since. :oops:

    I hope you'll make this a regular place to visit. I'm sure you have lots to share and there are many people here who will tell their stories too.
    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

  4. #4

    Default Strange symptom

    Cailian and Janet, thanks for replying to my post. I feel like I'm in the company of understanding friends for the first time in my life. Cailean, the first time I experienced that odd urge was when I was about 28 years old. So you have a while to go. Don't ignore it; be ready to do what I did: deal with it. Under no circumstances can you allow that particular urge to express itself. For obvious reasons!!!

    So far I've managed to deal with my own TS+ but there were times in the past when I thought it was going to get the best of me. I wish there had been this forum then. At the very least misery loves company, right? But I hung on and managed even to teach college at various times and now am retired. My TS+ is probably the worst it's been in my life (except for when I was about 10) in some ways, but I am able to deal with it better than ever before.

    I'm actually a very happy guy and probably wouldn't know how to act if I didn't have TS+. There are some things about it -- the heightened awarness and enthusiasms for things TS is responsible for -- that I'd be extremely reluctant to give up. The main thing is, as I've said, learning how to deal with it and not let it get the best of you. That gearshift thing definitely has the potential of getting the best of you!

    Thanks again for writing.
    Card-carrying Touretter (with associated baggage) for 60 years . . . never met another in person. Am learning a lot from this forum!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    962

    Default Strange symptom

    Drummer:

    Welcome to the TSFC forum and I am glad you found us.
    PJK

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Alliston
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Strange symptom

    Welcome to the forum drummer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,886

    Default Re: Strange symptom

    Hello Drummer,

    Welcome to the TSFC Forum. I am in the same age range as you and was diagnosed fairly late in life, in my late forties. Before that, I did not even know the word Tourette, let alone it was the reason I was doing the things I was doing.

    Compulsions are sometimes associated with Tourette and if a person is diagnosed with one of the so called co-morbid conditions, it is referred to as Tourette Plus.

    Sometimes compulsions can be quite strong and if they cause difficulty in one's quality of life, then they should be discussed with a physician.

    There are effective treatments available for people with compulsions, so it may be worth your while to investigate these options.

    Have you ever acted on one of your compulsions?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Strange symptom

    Not strange at all.

    Reading through your post I had to smile and say to myself "No F***ing way!!!:

    When I was in my teens I had that very same URGE. Never did it but did I ever have to struggle with it. I forgot about it until I read your thread.

    I am starting to feel normal now. Thanks!!!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Strange symptom

    Didn't before but now I do. I am a total copy-cat touretter. If I see someone else exhibit a symptom I tend to adopt it. Hell, I can't wait to get into my car and throw it into reverse after reading this thread. It's wild how just reading about it makes me wanna do it. Ha! Sometimes you just have to love TS.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    St. John's NL
    Posts
    1,147

    Default Re: Strange symptom

    The tendency to be a copy-cat touretter is common especially when you attend a TS conference. This is something many people will share when they come back from a conference when they get to hang with so many others with TS and in an environment that is totally open to all symptoms. They tend to last for the short term not the long term
    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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