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Thread: Survival of the Fittest

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Default Survival of the Fittest

    By no means am I the fittest, but I certainly am aiming to survive the effects of my tourettes (love how tourettes has touter's as an autocorrect suggestion).

    I'm from Ottawa, I hate it here, too much noise and business and well, it's just the place I've lived in for 27 years.

    I've been diagnosed since last year. Had it all my life. Never understood what it was till I received the pseudo-diagnosis (rather, insult) from someone. "Who's tourettes person over there?" Not the very best of introductions, but hey, at least things all make sense now.

    It's still new to me, so I am hoping to learn more about things on this here forum.

    Really good time for me to hop in today as I'm stuck in the house with anxiety. Might as well join in on the conversations here and settle in the community.

    Regards,

    LuckyDuck

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
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    5,941

    Default Re: Survival of the Fittest

    Welcome to the Forum, LuckyDuck! Glad you've joined us and hope we can help to provide further insights into your exploration of your Tourette.

    Being in Ottawa, I'd like to invite you to come to the TSFC Ottawa Chapter meeting May 13 where I will be giving a presentation on Comprehensive Behavioural Intervention for Tics (CBIT) Info HERE

    Meet others in Ottawa in the TS community in person!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Survival of the Fittest

    Is CBIT along the same branch as CBT? I practice my own version of CBT to help with the tics.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Survival of the Fittest

    Good question, LD!

    CBIT is a comprehensive form of therapy that uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) principles along with strategies specific to Tourette tics.

    The program includes psychoeducation to acquaint the client with how triggering might affect tics, incorporates relaxation techniques then addresses tics using traditional Habit reversal Therapy techniques.

    Many adults who have lived with Tourette recognize many of the principles of CBIT because we figured out some of these strategies on our own over decades to manage our tics.

    A trained CBIT therapist can teach them to a client in a couple of months, so for a young person, they can start implementing their learned strategies to manage their tics early, strengthen the neural pathways of the brain and benefit from these learned tool for life.

    Our Forum contains considerable information on CBIT HERE.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Survival of the Fittest

    God I love it when I'm right.

    It does work! I hope to meet you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Austin Texas, USA
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    Default Re: Survival of the Fittest

    Hi LuckyDuck!

    I have a similar experience and I am also a new user. I was also recently diagnosed and after I started looking into the reality of TS a whole lot of things in my past started making more sense to me as well. People are different and we are just learning to categorize those differences and define them better. TS is a different shape of human with it's own advantages and drawbacks and I have learned that becoming aware of the characteristics often helps me to think about a lot of things.

    I'm also trying to use DBT, but in my case my psychologist and I are using it with anxiety. Good luck with that!

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Survival of the Fittest

    Welcome to LuckyDuck and Flutterguy; glad you found this forum!

    If I might ask, what took you two so long to be diagnosed? Is it because you just learned of Tourette Syndrome recently?

    Sometimes I'll see someone exhibiting what appears to be Tourette symptoms and wonder if I should ask them if they have Tourette. You know, spread the word, just in case there are people who have TS but perhaps have never heard of it. Or, they've heard of it but don't realize it might be what they're experiencing because they mistakenly believe that coprolalia is the defining symptom. I've met quite a few people who think that's what it's all about!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Survival of the Fittest

    Quote Originally Posted by Twidget
    "If I might ask, what took you two so long to be diagnosed? Is it because you just learned of Tourette Syndrome recently?"

    It's a combination of things.

    The first is because I was only familiar with the TS stereotype. I knew that I was a person with lots of strange mannerisms including the need to move my self around in specific ways. But I never had the verbal component (beyond some little occasional things like a sort of grunt under by breath or similar) or an actual urge to do or say something inappropriate.
    Second I come from a very ADHD family with a military background and my relatives on my mom's also have of mannerisms that would probably put them on the spectrum as well. So the weirdness just sort of blended into "just the way we are" and we did not think about it much.
    Third I actually unconsciously found ways of moderating my tics over the years without realizing what I was doing by sitting or standing in ways that put tension on my body so that it always felt "busy", or I just sort "shaped" my tics into things that looked like I was just flexing my joints a lot and that way I could hide most of my tics. After I started taking the adderall I have developed more obvious tics but I can live with the squinting (I don't really like the jaw clenching though, I need an alternate) because of the benefit for my attention.
    Fourth I actually thought I got over the ADHD because of the coping mechanisms that I developed as an undergrad so that encouraged me to not think about the other weirdness so much. It turned out that the ADHD was still there, I had just gotten really good at pulling out all the most critical information when it came to studying and interacting with information (which I think the TS actually benefited), but when I got to graduate school my coping mechanisms failed me when it came to organizing a research program and some of the more complex and touchy techniques used in molecular biology.


    But after the diagnosis when I did some reading a whole lot of things started coming together to complete the picture outside of the physical habits. Things like the intensity of experience. The constant mental simulations of social interactions so that I could know the best way of doing something (so I did obsess over the bad things in social situations even though I did not have the urge to say things). The way that I seem to have a bad filter that makes it harder to keep from "going too far" in some social situations by accident. The bottomless pit of rage that I had to learn to control. Other things. I never really left science, I just made myself the subject of my own study.
    Last edited by Steve; May 6, 2014 at 10:18 AM. Reason: format: quote

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Survival of the Fittest

    @Twiget
    Sometimes I'll see someone exhibiting what appears to be Tourette symptoms and wonder if I should ask them if they have Tourette. You know, spread the word, just in case there are people who have TS but perhaps have never heard of it. Or, they've heard of it but don't realize it might be what they're experiencing because they mistakenly believe that coprolalia is the defining symptom. I've met quite a few people who think that's what it's all about!
    After I while I realized that I had more to say here as well. It can get a bit complicated thinking about if other people we see have TS or any other possible sets of characteristics. One of the reasons that this is complicated is because brain science is basically right in the middle of figuring out what the diversity of human mental and behavioral types looks like. The things that we call Autism, Tourette's Syndrome, ADHD, OCD, Schizophrenia, various forms of psychopathy and sociopathy, ODD, and the many other forms of mental illness are often extreme ends of human behavior that blend with intensity into "normal". They can be caused by mutations that can immediately snap someone into a behavioral extreme, or they can be caused by life experience. The fact that society so easily adopts casual uses of things like "OCD" or "Autism" in referencing it's own behavior is evidence of this.

    I like to think about it in terms of character stereotypes in role playing games. Is a warrior better than an archer or a bard? Or are they differently advantaged or disadvantaged in different situations? Each of these conditions seem to have parts of cognition where we collectively perform better than average, or worse than average (even Schizophrenia is associated with advantages like being less vulnerable to some cognitive biases). So someone that looks like they might have TS could really fall on the spectrum if they got the necessary tests, but there is a point where all of this blends into average humanity that we collectively tend to use as a yardstick.

    This way of looking at things has let me talk to people with characteristics without making it seem like I was trying to apply a label to them that had some negative connotations, but it can be a tricky thing.
    Last edited by Flutterguy; May 6, 2014 at 04:18 PM.

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