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Thread: Smelling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    29

    Default Smelling

    My son MUST smell everything he picks up. EVERYTHING! I was wondering if anyone else has had this tic and if it's one of those that can come and go or does it seem to stick around for the long haul?

    His chore at home was taking out the garbage but I have changed it since this started! I couldn't do that to him! ick!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Smelling

    My son does this too, but our psychologist says it is his OCD. We are doing some behaviour therapy for it, which involves having Jacob touch something or someone then not smelling his hands (which is the main thing he smells). It is a bit successful, but he is still smelling other items, though not everything he is going to pick up. Has your child been diagnosed with OCD (I'm sure you know how common it is with TS). I find that many tics and compulsions overlap and it is also difficult to figure out which is which. Therapy-wise, the main difference (according to our psychologist) is that compulsions can be treated through CBT and tics are better to ignore. If you have access to a psychologist/therapist who does cognitive behaviour therapy (if your child has OCD) I would recommend it. It is better if the child is motivated but even if not, there are ways for parents at least to stop enabling the compulsion (and strengthening it!). It has been great for us. Kristin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Smelling

    I always thought there was some OCD in the mix too but the doctor that finally diagnosed the TS said that L didn't show enough of the required behaviors for the diagnosis. I'm still researching it myself to see if I can make the connection. Thanks for the info!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    St. John's NL
    Posts
    1,147

    Default Re: Smelling

    Hi

    When OCD presents with TS the symptoms are not the "typical" OCD symptoms. It presents differently and many feel it is OCB ie obsessive compulsive behaviors. I have TS plus ADHD and OCD and I smell many things especially anything I ingest. I also have a hyper sensitive sense of smell, I smell everything even things most don't notice. This is often a problem for me because sometimes intense smells can trigger a migraine for me.
    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

  5. #5

    Default Re: Smelling

    Janet,
    How is OCD different when it is related to TS? I was not aware of this. Jacob's OCD is a lot worse than his TS and as far as I have read and learned, most of his OCD symptoms are fairly typical. He does, however, have some behaviours which are hard to distinguish from tics (like the smelling, banging, tapping, etc.). Kristin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    557

    Default Re: Smelling

    Hi Kirsten:

    OCD with TS may present a bit differently than OCD alone.

    One of the things that tends to show up more with the combination of OC behaviours and TS is the 'just right' feeling. This 'just right' feeling can be in how things look, or how things feel.

    In children, this may be manifested in the child erasing a letter or word and rewriting it over and over until it looks 'just right.' They could even end up erasing to the point that there is hole in the paper and then reaching a point of major frustration because they can't achieve that 'just right' feeling.

    Or, it could be struggling to get clothing to feel 'just right.' A child may constantly readjust his or her clothing until it feels right. This could mean that the shoulder seams are in the right place and balanced, or that seams pants sit at just the right spot on the waist, or that belts are tightened just so. With my son, the issue was shoelaces. His shoes had to be tightened just right or he couldn't leave the house. This could take multiple tries to get the laces pulled to the right tightness in the right places and with the bow tied in just the right manner.

    Some of my son's symptoms were very hard to distinguish from tics. Was he hitting the table and walls because of tic, or a compulsion? We are now pretty sure it is because of OC behaviours -- but hind sight often makes things easier. At the time he had a wide variety of motor tics that were similar, making it very hard to tell what was what.

    There is a good section on OCD in Understanding Tourette Syndrome: A Handbook for Families.
    Cathy
    Forum Moderator
    TSFC Homepage

  7. #7

    Default Re: Smelling

    That is interesting. Jacob does have some of those "just right" obsessions and compulsions - the main one being pressing his neck or other body part onto something repetetively. I always thought it seemed more Tourettish than OCDish but the psychologist said it was "just right" ocd. So, I guess that fits with your explanation.
    Back to the smelling, would that be more typical in people with TS too? Kristin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    St. John's NL
    Posts
    1,147

    Default Re: Smelling

    With the smelling from my personal experience only.. I have seen this in many, many of the people I know or have met over the years with TS. I know a couple of people with OCD and have not seen them smell anything, that does not mean they don't. I smell things regardless of who is around LOL

    thanks Cathy for popping in with a "just right" response LOL
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Buckhannon, WV
    Age
    47
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Smelling

    I am 46 and have smelled my hands after touching things as long as I can remember. When I was young, I twirled my mother's hair constantly, and would then sniff my fingers. I did this to my wife until she tired of it, and I began touching my own hair and sniffing. I smell my hand if I touch an animal, after I pump gas, it goes on and on. I remember my grandma asking me why I smelled my hands after I touched everything. It is so natural to me, I usually don't even notice it.

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