Tourettes Syndrome, Tics

Learn About Tourettes Syndrome, Tics

While there are a number of movement disorders that involve children, one of the best known and least understood is Tourette’s. This is a confusing and distressing condition involving involuntary vocal outbursts or uncontrollable physical movements called tics. In every case there is an irresistible urge to “satisfy” the tic by vocalizing or moving, often worsened by being in a “demand” solution such as school, homework, or chores. Any anxiety-provoking circumstances will also provoke tics, which in turn cause more anxiety and frustration resulting in more tics; for this reason tics often occur in “attacks”, spells, or paroxysms.

There is often a significant delay between when tics first occur and the diagnosis of Tourette’s is made. Early on in the illness, the signs and symptoms are confused with other conditions such as oppositional-defiant disorder, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, or even epilepsy, further complicating matters is that Tourette’s may well co-occur with these disorders, and others such as obsessive – compulsive disorder, various anxiety disorders and depression.

The good news is that a careful psychiatric evaluation will identify the Tourette’s and, if present, the co-occurring conditions as well. New and effective treatment are being researched and brought to market. The key to getting help is to suspect the illness in the first place then see your doctor.  

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