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Thread: Looking for answers

  1. #1

    Default Looking for answers

    Hi folks, glad to find this board... Let me introduce myself, I am a 38 year old husband and father of two and was diagnosed with Tourettes when I was 25. Up until I was diagnosed nothing I had experienced as a child made sense, but when I was diagnosed and came to understand TS the lights went on. Up until I was about 12 I was, as told to me over and over again by my mother, the most free spirited easy going little guy you could find. But then things started to change, I started sleep walking and talking, I started getting facial tics, then head jerking then throat clearing, then eye blinking and experienced bouts of uncontrobable rage. I couldn't concentrate, couldn't finish work and barely made it through school. Growing up in small town Canada I became a prime target for ridicule and humiliation. As I started my tour of duty through High School things got worse and my folks took me to specialists who did test after test..looking, of course, for neurological reasons for my tics and behaviour...scans were done and everything was fine. I was then labeled as hyper-active and sent off to deal with it. This next part is where I am trying to draw a connection and would appreciate feedback if you have some. In my senior year of high school I started to experience bouts of depression..the happy go lucky boy had withdrawn and was fighting the darkness of depression... Since those times i have continously fought depression, in fact it was my first major depression/nervous break down, which I was hospitialized for, at 25 that led to a doctor diagnosiing me with TS based on watching my very active facial tics and throat clearing and sniffing and history... I have worked on coming to grips with the whole TS thing but am constantly struggling with Depression and am wonder if any one is aware of any connections between TS and Depression and if there is anything that can be done about it. I am starting to tire of the battle and the only answer I get from the medical proffession is to take some more effexor, or paxil or the anti-depression drug du jour.... your feed back and experience would be greatly welcomed.....

  2. #2

    Default Looking for answers

    When you were ridiculed, not accepted and didn't have any idea why you had all those tics and were different, that's more than enough to cause depression. Once you fall into a cycle of depression, it's almost impossible to get yourself out of it without help.

    I was severely depressed from the age of 8 until I finally saw a counsellor at the age of 46. It took a year before I was where the depression was lifting, and another six months before I was considered fine.

    I seemed okay for a while, but slowly sank back into depression, and was suicidal again by last spring. I've been seeing a counsellor regularly since then, and things are much better.

    I have Asperger Syndrome and Tourette Syndrome, which were finally diagnosed at the age of 50! Both combined with severe food intolerances (which were also just diagnosed not long ago) make me have an extremely low stress threshhold. I need to see a counsellor just to manage my stress, or I stop being able to function.

    In general, for most people it is not necessary to see a counsellor on an ongoing basis. For me it is a necessity, I can't handle life without counselling. And no, I have never taken antidepressants, and I have no intentions of ever doing so.

    I would advise you to try counselling. You need to learn to think positive again, and to get out of that dark hole. That is not an easy thing to do, but it is very important in order to overcome depression.

    Antidepressants don't treat the cause of your depression, just the symproms. I agree with you that they aren't the answer.

    I hope you manage to overcome your problems and wish you all the best.
    German citizen, married to a Canadian for 28 years, four daughters, one son, eight grandchildren (and one on the way).

  3. #3

    Default Looking for answers


    I think this may be a "sensative" subject due to TS not really having any factual standings (for a diagnosis, you cant just draw blood to see if you have it) and depression is sorta the same way. I think they definately could go hand in hand but is there hard evidence to prove it, prolly not. (but if there is and you can prove it, please reply!)

    This can sorta be realted to the "aggression" argument. Many people out there (including doctors) say that with TS come anger, which to me is sorta not true. Now, this may be just my opinion but lets see how it sounds. I personally think that yes, people with TS are more likely to "snap" or become angry maybe over something very unimportant but what some needs to realize is that anytime you have an issue or debate (you and your spouse are talking about a job issue and you have different opinions) you become more involved and also more defensive, even if you dont notice it. Most people may not want to give in right away. So from this, a slight build up of stress occurs. Well, stress is a huge cause of tics. So you start to tic more and more, and the more you tic the more your stress level goes up from this annoying habit and than you still try to "defend" your point so that also adds stress and also adds more tics and this keeps building and youeven recieve some probably from the other person cause they may not understand this inner battle you are having and than the most natural response is to let it all out with a burst of anger. Now, you can replace any details but the idea is the same.

    With depression, this is a internal battle in your mind. I personally would say I get more depressed right now than most of my friends (although sometimes its hard to see) and part of that is due to TS.

    So really, when it comes to TS and depression, I do think they are related and you are definately not the only obe who has wondered about this issue. But again, its hard to say with no simple factual test to prove it.

    But maybe with the MRI type imaging and CAT scans we have today, maybe they can see the link. Anybody know more about this?

    I also agree with uschi, it will differ from person to person but sometimes the best way to get out is with help and it can work. Anyways, if I have helped great, if I havent, I hope I spelled most things correctly (probably not!) :lol:
    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 Looking for answers

    Thanks Uschi and Adam for your feedback and thoughts....I appreciate it. I have tried therapy and it didn't work for me. I went for about six months, and maybe that wasn't long enough, but it got to the point where there was nothing more to talk about and I still felt hopeless and lost. The meds, as Uschi pointed out, treat the symptons only and on top of that they destroy my creativity and as a Photographer I need to access all the creativity I can muster. I seem to be able to handle the issue of having TS and displaying my tics and sniffles to the world around me but the depression, which no one can see, is the battle I can't seem to win.

    Well thanks again to both of you for your input...really appreciated it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Ottawa, Canada

    Default Looking for answers

    Welcome to the TSFC Forum, Photomkr!

    in response to your question, the National Institute of Health says:

    What disorders are associated with TS?

    Many with TS experience additional neurobehavioral problems including inattention; hyperactivity and impulsivity (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?ADHD) and related problems with reading, writing, and arithmetic; and obsessive-compulsive symptoms such as intrusive thoughts/worries and repetitive behaviors. For example, worries about dirt and germs may be associated with repetitive hand-washing, and concerns about bad things happening may be associated with ritualistic behaviors such as counting, repeating, or ordering and arranging. People with TS have also reported problems with depression or anxiety disorders, as well as other difficulties with living, that may or may not be directly related to TS. Given the range of potential complications, people with TS are best served by receiving medical care that provides a comprehensive treatment plan.
    Printable version of NIH report

    The road to treating depression can be lengthy and requires time and dedication from both health professional and patient.

    There is no quick fix so it's not uncommon that dosages and or medications need to be adjusted over time until the right combination for you is found.

    What has been your experience with the anti depressants you were prescribed...Effexor, Paxil etc?

  6. #6

    Default Looking for answers

    Steve..thanks for the info. My experience with anti's are mixed...I find that they tend to just numb me and create a false sense of reality. They do keep me from hiding my basement for days at a time ... :shock: but they just don't feel right.....I dont feel authentic when I am on them. ( I have been on and off them for over a decade now) I also have a strong sense of failure when I break down and go on the meds, a feeling that I cant manage my life without the assistance of drugs. I have read self-help book after book and cant find the answer...maybe it's there but I cant or wont see it..

  7. #7

    Default Looking for answers

    Hi, Please don't think of taking medications as a break down in your ability to handle the disease process.

    Medications have extended people's lives with heart problems and it has helped people who could not move because of Parkinson's disease move again and there are many other examples where meds help give people hope.

    With TS the brain was not formed like other people's therefore, medications help the brain return to normal. Like Steve said, there are many comorbid conditions because of TS and depression is one.

    Depression is not your fault and no one would wish to feel unhappyiness and a loss of hope. Please don't give up on meds and maybe writing in a journal or typing in a computer journal could help.

    You can always talk to us on the forum! We would love to hear from you. Steph

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Ottawa, Canada

    Default Looking for answers


    Depression is a medical illness thought to be caused by an imbalance of two neurochemicals in the brain...seretonin and norepinephrine.

    The imbalance of these compounds is no different from someone needing medication to treat diabetes or menopause or a heart condition.

    Feelings of guilt or somehow feeling inadequate because a medication is prescribed is faulty logic.

    Modern medicine has scientifically supported strategies to improve the quality of life of people afflicted with various illnesses and disorders.

    If you were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease and needed to take medication to control your heart rhythm because without it your life expectancy would be shortened, how would you feel about taking those medications?

    Depression is an illness that is treatable, but requires dedication of both physician and patient, so that a line of communication exists between the two.

    Medications to treat depression have been refined and improved to where they now act on specific brain neurotransmitter receptors. One's quality of life can improve to where normal or close to normal functioning can return.

    The therapeutic process needs time, including fine tuning the dosage and even the medication compound to fit one's particular brain chemistry, along with supportive psychotherapy.

    The process can take a year or two, but in the end, one's quality of life can improve considerably.

    Do you have a mental health professional involved in your health care at this time?

  9. #9

    Default Looking for answers


    I think an issue with meds is that whether its the idea of medication or something else, but the world percieves them as a "cure all, quick fix" theropy. I think we have had a discussion on meds many times in this forums and always split on what people think on them. (maybe this post should be in another thread, sorry) But I get the idea subconciously sometimes that if there is a drug out there for someone, its new age science and it cant fail. But the reality is although drugs today are amazing, sometimes they dont just "cure all". But than the first assumption to it is all drugs are just a way to make money. But the truth is certain drugs work with certain people. I mean, how many drugs are out there for TS? Now I used only 2 kinds and both worked very well, but there may have been some that wouldnt have worked for me, although I became "immune"(I forgot what its called) to one cause I took it for so long and I just decided to try to calm my tic without meds to learn ways to control them but I am very much up for going back on them if I think I need to be.

    I guess what Im getting at is maybe we should have a thread in the treatment options page not really for anyone to reply to but just an explanation that not every drug is for everybody and other "issues" people have with meds. Maybe its a bad idea, lol, I just recall having a med discussion about every week and I think that there may be just a set negative common thought on meds.
    The other day at a local grocery store, I saw a rack with books on it and one of them said, "pregancy for dummies"............

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Ottawa, Canada

    Default Looking for answers


    This discussion about the usefulness and effectiveness of anti depressants is OK. Perhaps as it develops, the moderators may feel it is more appropriate in Treatment Options, but for now we can leave it here.

    Treating the illness of depression is quite a different issue from treating Tourette and/or associated disorders of ADHD or OCD.

    When a person is clinically depressed, their entire outlook on life changes, with judgment impaired often accompanied by thought s of paranoia and other feelings of hopelessness.

    This impaired judgment may affect the person's ability to make the right decision to comply with the physician's therapeutic plan.

    There may be other psychological issues going on as well, so the person really needs to be evaluated by a Psychiatrist who can provide psychological support in addition to medications.

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