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Thread: Hi There (Thoughts)

  1. #1

    Default Hi There (Thoughts)

    Hey Everyone,

    I have never sought out diagnosis and I'm aware that without a thorough evaluation from a physician it is hard to say for sure. I would however like some opinions from those who do have the diagnosis. I will give you a run down.

    I am 28 years old with no significant medical history. I have suffered from tics my entire life, although usually minor. The earliest I can remember were facial tics where I would squint or blink one eye constantly. Often people would ask me why I was winking at them and I was ridiculed by my mother for them. She would often say things like "why are you doing that" and "what is wrong with your eye". I always did my best to fight them off but inevitably I would continue doing them. I also remember as a child constantly flexing my throat (similar to the initial phase of swallowing) which would often generate either a small sound or at the very least a rush of air. If it was loud, no one would say anything and when in quiet I tried my best to not make noise when doing it. These tics would often change location and severity. Fast forward to 28. Thinking back, I remember having them as a kid and for some reason there was a break, or at least a reduction as an adult. For the last 2 years or so, there has been an increase (with a vengeance) I might add. The first thing I can remember was the return of the eye twitching followed by the throat flexing. Those subsided and I am unsure how long they were gone, but it was not to long after that I began consistently flexing my shoulder, which I would hide in public by pretending like it was sore. This was the first time tics began to produce pain. I was able to fight this off but was met with the lovely tic of flexing my neck to the side, usually starting to the right and moving to the back. Again this started to produce pain and was noticed, and sometimes asked about. Once again I was able to reduce and virtually eliminate this tic, although as I write this, all of them seem to be manifesting themselves. Another tic was the flexing medially and laterally of my right hip to the point of pain. This one is easy to hide in public during the act of walking. Presently I have been flexing my back to the right, kind of like a side bend, only contracting until there is resistance as well as some flexing of my right wrist, usually resulting in the extension of my fingers.

    Again, as I type this all of them seem to be manifesting themselves, but I can pretty much fight them off and am sure that when I am done I will be left with just the ones that are present lately. I am able, most often, to keep them at bay although the stress and anxiety does build while doing so and I often find myself kind of making up for the lack of them previously while in private. There has also been ankle flexing and rotating, toe flexing, blinking and many others.

    It is important to note that most of these, especially as an adult, seem to manifest themselves so much they cause pain over time and do cause me a moderate amount of internal disgust/stress/sadness (to say a few) but do not effect my ability to function socially or professionally. I can say fairly certainly that between the ages of 18ish - 24ish they were either non existent or very minor to the point I did not recognize them. I'm not sure why they are back and much worse then I remember as a child. When I say worse, I feel that, when reading and researching other cases, what I describe is very minor, and I am thankful for that, but worse in the sense that they are much more pronounced, move to other locations more often, are more frequent, and often are present in multiple places at any given time. I also never held a diagnosis for ADHD but spent some time seeing a psychologist once a week for some other issues and we both did agree that I likely suffered both as a child and as an adult from ADHD and chose to seek some behavior modification options over medications. I am able to hide most of the tics in public, but sometimes I just have to do it and am embarrassed when I think someone sees it.

    Again, I do not have a diagnosis but I feel like I have finally been able to place a name to these tics. I feel like the term Mild Tourettes with some associated ADHD seems fairly reasonable. I am seeking some advice from this point. Am I on the right track? Do you believe that I am correct in my thought process? Should I seek out further counseling (I stopped)? What should I do from here? Does anyone else have a story similar to mine and how are you/did you cope? I also have a 1 year old daughter and am fearful that I could have passed it on to her. I know what to look for and will be watching closely. Any advice on that?

    Thanks for any advice and for listening.

    Jake

    ---------- Post added at 07:03 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:29 AM ----------

    I would also like to add that I feel like they are getting worse. I do work in a stressful job, have a 1 year old child and did move to a whole new city with the purchase of a new house a year ago so I am hoping that it is simply related to the stress and the tics will reduce over time. I look forward to discussing my issues with everyone here and thanks for welcoming me!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Ottawa, Canada
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    Default Re: Hi There (Thoughts)

    Hello Jake,

    Although we cannot provide a diagnosis here on the Forum, the progression of symptoms you have described might suggest Tourette as one possibility, but without seeking an evaluation by a medical professional with training in movement disorders and with a clinical interest in Tourette Syndrome, you will never know for sure.

    As you probably know, there is no diagnostic test for Tourette, so the diagnosis is made through interview, observation and a review of your medical history, while ruling out other possible medical issues. This can only be done by a medical professional with clinical experience with Tourette Syndrome.

    Why get a definitive diagnosis?

    • Mainly that you know exactly why you are doing the things you do; but in gaining that knowledge, you can address and deal with those feelings of >>>internal disgust/stress/sadness (to say a few)<<< that apppear to have frustrated you.
    • People who seek a diagnosis later in life report a feeling of a weight beight being lifted from their shoulders, and the baility to see life in a different perspective.
    • You may or may not choose any form of treatment for whatever symptoms you experience, because some or all may be adversely affecting your quality of life. However, you may find, at some point, that if indeed you needed help with dealing with some of the co-morbid conditions such as anxiety, depression, OCD or ADHD that these can more easily be treated than the actual motor or vocal tics...if your diagnosis happens to be Tourette.
    • If ever you need to explain your behaviours to someone, you can do so confidently and without reservation.
    • If you ever have children, if the diagnosis is Tourette, you would want to advise them of this genetic history, so it can be passed on to future generations for their information.


    I was diagnosed later in life, and can point to each of the above reasons from personal experience in the way my quality of life improved after obtaining a definitive diagnosis.

    Why have you hesitated to seek a competent diagnosis so far?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Hi There (Thoughts)

    Steve, I think I have not looked at getting a diagnosis because I don't want a label. I know I have tics. I know they frustrate me, but I have lived with them, and on occasion beat them so my thought is, I'll get rid of them again. It is becoming more apparent that this may not be the case anymore, if not by the fact that I am posting here, but for the mere fact that I am becoming quite frustrated as of late. I will most likely attempt to meet with a professional regarding this but I am afraid that I will be met with the answer of "just don't do it if it bothers you" or some other denial of what I know exists.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,939

    Default Re: Hi There (Thoughts)

    There is no such thing as a "label" in medicine, but rather knowlege of your situation so that you know how what your options are in order to deal with whatever the diagnosis might or might not be.

    Knowledge is power and at the moment, from what you have written, it sounds like you are missing some of that power.

    "just don't do it if it bothers you"
    would be an absurd statement from a competent medical professional. It would be like telling a person with Parkinson's or a person with depression to just snap out of it, if it bothers you.

    Jake, if you want to have total control over your life, your thoughts and your emotional responses to the movements and other behaviours you've described, then you owe it to yourself to get to the bottom of it by seeking a competent evaluation.

    I cannot stress the competent evaluation strongly enough, because many helath professionals just do not have adequate training nor understanding of movement disorders, let alone Tourette Syndrome.

    If you decide to pursue a competent evaluation, we can suggest some strategies that might help in finding someone in your geographic area that might be able to help.

    It's entirely up to you, if you want to know where you stand, and what your options might be.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    749

    Default Re: Hi There (Thoughts)

    Hi Jake,

    I would agree with Steve's advice.
    I also want to comment on your post:
    I would also like to add that I feel like they are getting worse. I do work in a stressful job, have a 1 year old child and did move to a whole new city with the purchase of a new house a year ago so I am hoping that it is simply related to the stress and the tics will reduce over time.
    Stress is a major trigger for your tics. Between the job, the new child and the move, it sounds like you are going through a very intense part of your life - one without a lot of sleep as well. While you are deciding if you should seek a competent evaluation, try decreasing your stress and increasing your sleep. Maybe a meditation class to relax the muscles that are tensing from the new tics, or more time with your favourite sport to get rid of some of your "tic" energy.

    These are a few strategies to help you out. If you do seek an evaluation, keeping a notebook of tics, frequency and severity will help your medical team in the future. You probably know that tics naturally wax and wane, so you may find they lessen on their own soon.

    Good luck. And if you want to find a medical professional who can help you, please call us at the TSFC National Ofice (Toll-free 1-800-361-3120).

    Additionally, if you are in the U.S. contact the Tourette Syndrome Association HERE

    Tina
    Last edited by Steve; January 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM. Reason: added TSA contact info
    Tina, Forum Moderator, TSFC Staff Liaison

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