View Full Version : What now?

09-29-09, 06:26 PM
I don't have Tourettes, or a diagnosis of it anyway, I'm 26 and have been diagnosed with ADHD-C since I was 7 (medicated), I have also been told that I have 'non specific' autistic spectrum disorder, I'm also an anomaly as I have XYY syndrome.

Anyway, I've just ran home from the local 24 hour shop and shut myself inside the house, in some sort of panicked frenzy. I was standing in the queue waiting to pay for my milk and magazine when I said a racist word quite loudly - sort of a yelp, like I was trying to say one word but another came out sounding quite like it and it was loud enough for everybody in the store to look at me with varying levels of distaste... I dropped the milk and magazine, clamping both hands to my mouth. The shop keeper wasn't even of this particular ethnicity that I uttered, but unsurprisingly, told me to leave the store.

I've been suffering from motor tics for months, the Doctors (I got a second opinion - I was worried) both said that all my tests were okay, and that it was probably medication related (I've been on the same meds for about 4 years) and would 'sort itself out'.

I've been in trouble with the motor tics, I accidentally smacked somebody in the face in a supermarket a while back (long story) and it got blown out of all proportion.

But now this? I don't know enough about what's going on with me at the minute anyway to fully understand, but I can tell you that I'm not a racist person, I went to court last year to help prosecute someone that had been racist towards a colleague. I HATE racism, yet I pretty much shouted a racist word out in the middle of my local store :confused:.
I wasn't even thinking about it, it just came out of my mouth.

I phoned my Doc and left a message on the surgery answerphone asking for the earliest availiable appointment, but aside from that... I'm stumped.

I know it's just one word, but these motor tics begun with one little spasm and now I'm struck down with innumerable tics every day.

Any thoughts for the man currently cowering on his living room floor wrapped in a blanket?


09-29-09, 09:40 PM
Don't be too disheartened, nobody here is going to think you are using the Michael Richards excuse!!

Tourtettes by its very nature is a dysfunction of the part of the brain that regulates involuntary, semi-involuntary and reflexive actions, like swatting a mosquito, coughing when your lungs start to itch, recoiling when somebody throws an object at you, or spitting when you are feeling nauseous or disguised. These are all things that you are only partially in control of, often compelled to do, and easily done and difficult to repress without significant effort or attention. They are hard to control because they are so vital to our evolution and survival.

The disorder of Tourettes is thought to be associated with this section of the brain either being heavily overactive, or simply misfiring, and thus 'creating' important functions that are of no particular use. People with tourettes often 'learn' new tics, or shift between clusters of them as some fall in and out of favour, so there is theory that this part of the brain is simply creating impulse/urge that it can not seem to find a way to apply to any existing reflex, so other parts of your brain 'invent' them to compensate and alleviate the pressure.

Coprophilia is one of these such ticks. Unlike standard motor ticks like grunting, this works on a few other levels it seems. The compulsion is not only to make a noise, but to actually offend. As such, the word that comes out of your mouth will be BY DEFINITION/CASE POINT offensive, by your own standards. The fact that a racist slur came out only indicates that you knew it was inappropriate and likley offended by it yourself. Put it this way, a KKK member with tourettes and coprophilia certainly wouldn't be saying anything racist as a motor tick, he would more likley be shouting out something along the lines of "I love jews" as that would bring about the heaviest condemnation from his peers.

In days gone by, when words were a little more sacred, people could get away with the S, F and C words or less. These days, with the bar unfortunately raised for verbal offence, racism is becoming a bigger and bigger feature of the coprophilia landscape. The only reason you said it, was because your brain decided it was one of the worst things you could say. I am so sorry for what you went through, I too am vigilantly anti-racist and I also know how it feels to be pained with that brush against your intentions, but if its any solice to yourself, this only really indicates your lack of racism. Hope that made sense!

Somebody like yourself will probably never get a TS diagnosis, its among the least understood and most ham fisted chapters in the big book of psychiatry, and thats saying something! Since nobody knows what causes it, like so many things, its categorised by how prevalent and noticeable it is. However that was undoubtedly a TS tick. TS, OCD, ADHD and aspergers/autism spectrum seem to all go hand in hand, I have seen overlaps and borrowed elements from just about all of them in each and the other.

Do you have any idea what caused it, or brought about the onset? I have some ticks myself, far too manageable to be tourettes diagnosable, but I found certain things could just make them explode. Once you work out what those are, you will be much better off.

Hope this helps.

09-30-09, 10:27 AM
I think you're right when you say: "Somebody like yourself will probably never get a TS diagnosis" - last time I saw a psychologist about the motor tics, he was almost afraid to say it out loud! He spent ages skirting around the issue, making clear references to what I understand to be TS, but not actually saying it. I found it quite amusing seeing how many different descriptions he could come up with.

He was also fairly dismissive, seen as I'm 26 and these 'symptoms' have only just reared their heads very recently, over the last few months.

I have to admit though, I am feeling quite down over the whole thing. I became alienated and ostracised when the motor tics became noticeable, and now I've got that dark feeling where I guess I'll be the subject of ridicule and abuse for appearing to be abusive and racist myself? Gutted.

Anyway, I appreciate your reply.


09-30-09, 05:51 PM
Heh, just re-read your post hereditary and realised that I posted my reply before I had finished it... It's only taken me almost 8 hours to realise... oops.

Anyway, I'm not sure what caused it, or brought on its onset. I wasn't thinking about that word, or anything on the subject of race or ethnicity.
I made my housemate flinch this afternoon when he was standing next to me in the kitchen as I let out a yelp that sounded like I had just been punched in the gut.
He let out a little 'aargh' in response to my initial yelp, and I let out another very similar yelp to my first in retaliation...

So, I guess that time, the second one was influenced by his reaction, which was a little shocked 'aargh', but other than that. I don't know what may influence them.
I'll have to try and keep tabs on it.


10-01-09, 03:00 AM
Well I found there were two predominant things that caused me to tic - an absence of either of these, as rare as that is, and I can (have) literally gone weeks without ticking once - not theoretically possible for TS I know but hey, its a made up word for a poorly understood condition so **** theoretically possible.

The first of these is what I like to call "brain pollution". Caffine, refined sugar, preservatives, artificial colors and flavours, and especially strange and harsh-pseudo drugs like herbal extracts, "natural remedies" and health food supplements. I once smoked a herbal cigarette and it brought about the most severe episode of ticks in my life - lasting several days. Ironically I find 'hard drugs' like weed and methylphenidate can reduce my tics to practically nothing, so go figure. I have yet to try street stimulants but now that I have a DX I have no reason to either, I am not interested in recreational use.

The second of these things is what I like to call "brain baggage". This refers to stress, lack of sleep, concern, anxiety, and the all important mother of all tic inducers - self awareness of the fact that I tic. This can be harder to avoid, the self-feeding spiral of tics resulting in more tics can be devastating.

Try to find what is triggering them, and cut it out of your life. You may be assembled a little differently than myself so there is a chance what works for me might have no impact on you - but its worth a try, fluctuation = variables = control.

best of luck mate

10-02-09, 02:04 AM
Coprophilia is one of these such ticks.

I believe the word you are looking for is 'coprolalia'. I think you'll find 'coprophilia' has an entirely different meaning ;)

Logic, I'm no expert on your situation, but it certainly sounds as though it's something that is bothering you. I would suggest getting a second opinion but it sounds as though you're one step ahead! I know there are some kinds of movement disorders that can be medication-induced, I've heard of them being fixed up by a change in medication. Then again, your doctor is clearly aware of what's happening and is presumably keeping an eye on it. Maybe it would be worth seeing someone that specialises in the area - a neurologist or neuropsychiatrist?

It could be something other than TS, I understand tics really should have been present since childhood for it to be TS. You said that you accidentally hit someone in the supermarket? Did you know they were there when you ticked and couldn't help it, or was it an accident as you didn't realise they were there? I understand there to be a certain ability to suppress a tic (at least for a while), so if you really have no control over it maybe it could be something else? Again, I claim to be no expert, I only know what I've read and how I am with my simple motor tics (confined to my face/neck though).

Anyway, best of luck figuring it all out. Try not to get too stressed about it, if there's one thing I do know (as hereditary said) stress and constantly being aware of tics can definitely make tics worse!

10-04-09, 01:16 PM
Maybe it would be worth seeing someone that specialises in the area - a neurologist or neuropsychiatrist?

I'm relying on the NHS... so probably not in my lifetime :rolleyes:. I got told a short while back, that the only way to get help in the here and now, was to 'go into crisis'. Don't fancy pretending to do that though, seems a bit much just to get some help.

You said that you accidentally hit someone in the supermarket? Did you know they were there when you ticked and couldn't help it, or was it an accident as you didn't realise they were there?

Total accident, I knew there was somebody nearby (didn't realise they were quite that close though), my arm flicked back like I was swatting a fly away from me and I hit them in the face. I felt so bad about it. Still do.
It got blown up all out of proportion and I spent two nights in jail :( and a further month on a locked ward for 'assessment and observation' - seriously long story.

And you're right, it is bothering me. I'm a giant accident waiting to happen.