Tics: The symptoms and manifestations of Tourettes

Perhaps the most prominent and easily noticeable symptom of Tourette’s lies in what is known as a “tic.” “Tics” are involuntary movements, speech, or other action that the person afflicted with the tic has no ability to control.

There are two types of tics, as we currently understand them. One is a simple tic. The other is a complex tic. A simple tic is very similar to how it sounds. It is usually a tic of the body that is sudden, brief, and repetitive. These tics are, for the most part, just annoying for a person afflicted with the Syndrome. Your child may feel foolish when these tics occur because they will feel as if he or she has no control over one part of his or her body and cannot stop the movement or action at all.

A very common simple tic is a blinking eye. The child’s eye will blink suddenly, rapidly, and repetitively. It can be disruptive as he or she will have difficulty keeping focus while the eye is blinking so rapidly – and it can be very distracting to someone watching the child. Other simple tics include involuntary facial expressions or twitches (cheeks and mouths are particularly susceptible), involuntary shoulder movement (such as a jerk at the shoulder socket over and over, a twinge in the muscles of the arm, shoulder, or forearm, etc), or an involuntary head movement (such as a sudden and repetitive jerk of the head to one side).

A simple tic may also include vocalizations, but it is unlikely that, in these types of tics, the words will be understandable or coherent. For the most part, they are sudden and repetitive grunting noises or other sounds that emanate from the throat or nasal passages. It can also be a clucking of the tongue.

Complex tics are different altogether. They are definitely much more distinct. They involve a coordinated pattern of movements or sounds that involve many more muscles than a simple tic will use. A physical complex motor tic can involve a face grimace, but will include involuntary body movement as well, such as shoulders jerking or arms waving. A complex tic can also appear to have some type of purpose, such as brushing up against objects, bending, appearing to listen carefully, jumping, or twisting, but it is important to remember that these actions are involuntary.

Almost all vocal tics are considered complex tics. Complex vocal tics can include words and/or phrases; these words or phrases can seem as though they are purposeful, but just as the physical tics are involuntary, it is important to remember that these verbal outbursts are completely involuntary. When viewing movies or television shows that have Tourette’s, they are often displaying people who experience complex verbal tics in the form of obscenities.

The most dramatic type of complex tic is a tic that involves motor movement that can result in self-harm. Many people suffering from Tourette’s Syndrome can develop a complex tic where the symptoms involve physical motor tics such as punching one’s self, tapping an object too hard repeatedly, banging the head against something, hitting the ground uncontrollably, picking at one’s self involuntarily, or any other number of physical actions which could cause damage. These tics can often result in severe physical pain, which can in turn increase stress levels and increase the severity of the tics. That is why it is especially important, when dealing with children, to try not to increase their day-to-day stress levels. By maintaining regular low day-to-day stress levels, it is possible to reduce the severity of symptoms that is child suffering from Tourette’s Syndrome episodes and involuntary actions.

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Printed from: http://www.endmytics.org/blog/info-on-tourettes/tics-the-symptoms-and-manifestations-of-tourettes/ .
© Mary Anderson 2017.