What is Tourette’s Syndrome?

March 9, 2020
People with Tourette's syndrome get nervous tics. They also are at higher risk of suffering from anxiety and depression, as well as obsessive disorders.

Gille de la Tourette’s syndrome, or Tourette’s syndrome for short, is a well-known disorder. In fact, lots of people have teased or made fun of people with this condition. However, it’s very disabling for those that have it.

Tourette’s syndrome causes people to make repeated sounds and movements they can’t control. These are motor and vocal tics that appear from an injury to the nervous system.  Usually, it appears during childhood, between the ages of five and nine.

Scientists only discovered this condition relatively recently, around the 1980s. Also, it affects between 1 and 3% of the population. Although specialists don’t know why this happens, they do know it has to do with genetics.

Tourette’s syndrome is more than just a nervous disorder. In fact, it affects all aspects of life, especially in social aspects. Therefore, in this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about this disorder.

What is Tourette’s syndrome?

Most people think that Tourette’s syndrome as a condition that makes people insult others uncontrollably. However, this is only one of the possible symptoms. People with Tourette’s syndrome have tics that they can’t control. They can be repetitive movements, sounds or words. Therefore, some of these words might be insults. Additionally, it’s common for people with this condition to shrug their shoulders uncontrollably.

This condition is most common in men. Usually, symptoms appear before they’re fifteen years old. In fact, doctors are seeing the most cases now for the first time in six years. These tics can be more or less complex, and they can happen with different frequencies.

Some examples of tics are:

Also, it’s important to know that tics can change. In fact, sometimes they can even get worse. For example, they can get worse when people are under stress or are very tired. Normally, they get better when they become adults.

Another important aspect is that Tourette’s syndrome can be associated with other conditions. It’s common for these people to suffer attention deficit disorder and impulsivity. Also, there’s usually a family history of obsessive disorders or even the same syndrome.

Child with a tic from Tourette's syndrome

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How can you treat this condition?

Unfortunately, Tourette’s syndrome has no cure. However, certain medications help control tics. Also, there are more and more supportive therapies available.

Medical treatment depends on the person and the severity of his or her tics. Some patients don’t even need to take medication. The truth is, lots of people with this condition lead relatively normal lives.

For treatment, doctors sometimes prescribe medications that reduce dopamine levels in the brain. However, they can have lots of side effects, including weight gain. Also, it’s common to use antidepressants. They reduce anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Similarly, lots of people with Tourette’s syndrome also need to treat ADHD to improve concentration.

In addition to medication, therapy is one of the most important parts of treatment. Kids need to feel supported and work on their self-esteem. Also, the same goes for anxiety and obsessions, which therapy helps a lot.

Man with Tourette's syndrome

Check this out: Everything You Need to Know about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Conclusion

Tourette’s syndrome is a complex nervous disorder. These people suffer tics, both motor and vocal, continuously. The biggest problem with this syndrome is that it interferes with the patient’s social life. It’s important to know about this disease’s psychological effects. We can’t let these people continue to be mocked by society, and we need to erase the stigma. It’s our social responsibility.

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