Life’s a Twitch: Tourette’s

Tourette’s…. What do you think about when you hear this word? Most people think about someone who randomly blurts out obscene profanity in outburst moments. However, this is not the case. Tourette’s is a neuropsychiatric disorder that includes some sort of motor or vocal tic, sometimes both. It is usually onset within childhood and can include constant throat clearing, rapid eye blinking and even slight jerks and repeated movements. There is no cure for this disorder but it can be suppressed temporarily as the person is growing. The disorder comes and goes as the changes in the brain take place. Some times it can be worse than others if there is a lot of anxiety or stress on the person. It’s like their brain is having a twitching fit and it shows through uncontrollable facial and vocal movements.

Most people will never notice the tics a person has as they are normally very discreet and tame. There are some in rare cases that are projected as what the media shows where a person can’t control randomly blurting out explicit profanity, this is called Coprolalia, but in most cases if it’s verbal it’s nothing more than random throat clearing or weird little squeaks. I have this exact problem and I don’t normally notice until someone either points it out to me or I can’t do it and my brain feels as if it will explode. It is a very unpleasant feeling. It’s like needing to sneeze or having the urge to scratch an itch. It’s just something you have to do. Like I know I have this feeling and want to do it to relive the tension in my brain but I do it without thinking most the time. If you have ever listened to any of my audio podcasts you can hear the random noises I make.

Usually they do not treat Tourette’s with medication. Depending on which tic a person has will depend which muscles are affects by this disorder. Motor tics are sudden and repetitive moments of the face or limbs whereas phonic tics are involuntary sounds through the throat and nose. Most children can’t control their tics but as they mature they can start to if they know they have it. It’s hard to suppress it as it can become uncomfortable and feel like your brain has ran a marathon but it is possible to do. Most believed in the past that it was a disorder that the person was unaware they were doing and that does happen a lot but the person knows that there is an urge there, they just don’t realize it’s a visible or auditory thing when they do it.

So the next time you are around someone who appears to blink too much, clear their throats way too often or maybe just make random noise that can me irritating. It’s not their fault. It’s no different if you have to sneeze and you let it out. It’s just that their brain is wired slightly different and they have more urges than the average person


  • comment-avatar
    Sandee 12 months

    Ive seen many ppl with this. To me they are ni different than the next person.

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