I am currently 20 years old. I have had symptoms since i was ~7 years old, but was not officially diagnosed until I was 12. I have no coprolalia(involuntary swearing). My only vocal tics are throat clearing/sharp exhaling. I am not currently taking any meds for tics, as side effects can be worse than symptoms.

Some of my other tics include

  • arm/leg tensing/flexing

  • wrist/elbow/jaw cracking

  • blinking

Ask me fucking anything!

EDIT: Fewer than 10% of Tourette's patients have coprolalia. Many people think of caprolalia and Tourette's as synonyms, but it is actually a very rare symptom of Tourette's syndrome.

EDIT: Seems lots of you have Tourette's as well, and I'm getting a little tired. Feel free to hijack.

EDIT: Thanks for the upvotes, this thread got pretty popular. I'll be heading to bed soon, hopefully people will continue answering questions in my absence.

Comments: 974 • Responses: 30  • Date: 

[deleted]270 karma

TIL a new word. Coprolalia, literally "shit talk".

swearis243 karma

That word belongs in a rap song, it even has "cop" in it.

BradyS8297 karma

Funny, I always thought it was pronounced cockprickolickalabia. TMYFK...

swearis465 karma

I'm not convinced you actually thought that.

interludes126 karma

What does it actually feel like right before you know a tic is coming on? Does it even have a feeling?

swearis236 karma

It's kind of like an itch. You can resist scratching it, but the longer you resist, the more uncomfortable it gets.

baumkramer85 karma

How long can you hold out normally?

swearis136 karma

If a tic is causing me pain(happens rarely), I can prevent it for a solid 1-1.5 mins. Otherwise, it's just too much of a hassle to keep them suppressed.

[deleted]64 karma

I started itching after you said that... I didn't last very long before I had to give in to it.

swearis177 karma

Yeah, and then the manual breathing kicks in.

lilacattak59 karma

Do you think that these tics have had any impact on your ability to make or maintain friendships? Romantic relationships?

Any funny related stories?

swearis199 karma

I'm pretty damned introverted, but I've never a problem making friends. I think my tics affect a person's initial impression of me, but not in an incredibly negative way.

Back in elementary/middle school, I used to have a winking tic. I winked at a girl who had a little crush on me and awkwardness ensued.

Indubitableness51 karma

I also have Tourette Syndrome.

I'm totally going to jump in and answer some questions in your AMA.

swearis39 karma

Please do, too many damn questions!

AdonisBucklar48 karma

You should clarify in an edit how fewer than 10% of us demonstrate coprolalia.

swearis31 karma

Good idea, done.

Corrupt_Reverend37 karma

Do you worry about any long-term health effects attributed to your tics? Likewise, have you experienced injury from your tics? (I recall watching a documentary that showed a kid that had to wear a neck brace because he would flail his head about)

Are the episodes stress/anxiety related, or are they completely random.

What areas of your life would you say have suffered due to your condition. Transversely, what are some aspects, if any, that you think are kind of cool or sort of "perks"?

I'm not familiar with the condition, so excuse my ignorance but, are the tics completely uncontrollable, or are you able to stop them if you try really really hard (as in, is it a psychological thing, or neurological?)

swearis48 karma

I injured my back wrestling in high school. I had a tic that jammed my scapula right into the injured region. Not only was it incredibly painful, it also prevented the injury from healing for a long time.

Severity of tics corresponds with stress, but it seems sort of like a chicken and egg scenario. Am i stressed because they are bad, or are they bad because i am stressed?

Middle school was pretty difficult, I was confused before I was diagnosed, luckily my parents were awesome. Teachers, on the other hand, were a nightmare. I had a few middle school teachers who thought of tourette's as "that swearing disease". As for perks, I'm gonna apply for some colleges soon(almost done with community college), and I plan on getting sympathy/minority points in college application/scholarship application essays.

It's not "completely" uncontrollable. I can feel them coming, and I have limited ability to prevent them, but it's difficult.

Nutdip33 karma

Do you enjoy the club scene? I was a bouncer for a long while and had a few customers who had this sort of Tourette syndrome. They couldn't keep still and sort of "ticked" to the music and it just seemed as if they were bumping along to the tunes. They'd come out front to get some fresh air / smoke a cig...and they'd be doing the same thing which looked strange without the music. I became friends with one of the dudes. He said that it was the only place he could feel normal because of the relative confusion and loud music which hid his issue.

Indubitableness12 karma

Do you enjoy the club scene?

Fuck no!

swearis28 karma

Making physical contact with strangers? Fuuuuuuuuck that.

Lollapaloozer32 karma

If you were given the option to be freed of tourettes, for a price similiar to laser eye surgery - would you? Or is it something you're so used to as being part of you, you wouldn't bother?

swearis99 karma

It definitely affected the way I grew up, and in that way, is a part of who I am. However, I'm not one of those people who needs to feel like a unique snowflake. Tourette's is basically just a nuisance and it would be awesome if I could get rid of it.

Lollapaloozer26 karma

I'm glad to hear someone say they would get rid of their affliction in a way, as a lot of people use problems such as tourettes as a platform for attention, although I am sorry to hear it's affected you negatively

swearis84 karma

Forced optimism really bugs me. "____ made me a stronger person!", ugh.

GanymedeBlu3521 karma

I also have Tourettes but it's very mild. I've pretty outgrown all of my tics. I still crack my knuckles and wrists quite a bit and every once in a awhile can't get comfortable for shit when I sit down (like my pants or shorts don't feel right). Other than that my symptoms used to be quite recognizable when I was younger, now I'm 19 and most people would never have guessed I have em.

As for my question, did you ever take adderall, concerta, or risperdal to help mellow out your tics?

swearis15 karma

I've taken, risperdol, haldol, clonodine, etc. for tics, but gained a lot of weight as a result. It's kinda funny looking back at pictures of myself from when I was younger. I was a little chubby in 6th grade, had a 6 pack in 7th, back to a little chubby in 8th.

GanymedeBlu3513 karma

Shit I actually lost weight while on my meds. I read that you did wrestling in high school, did sports ever help with it? Played soccer and basketball and realized that all that activity significantly reduced my tics.

swearis20 karma

Exercise is great, I run ~5 miles nightly. When I'm unable to run, I notice a HUGE difference immediately.

alikaz15 karma

I know you don't have the swearing option enabled, but you may still know...if a child with tourettes (and the coprolalia issue) was to never learn or hear any swear words, what would the effect be? Would they just yell loudly instead of swearing??? Also, are you able to drive?

swearis8 karma

I can drive fine, upvote for "swearing option enabled"

Lots of people have vocal tics that involve saying words/phrases that aren't swears.

[deleted]14 karma

Do you associate with any other Tourette ppl?

swearis13 karma

I haven't really met any. There are many support groups, but none(that i know of) are close enough to be worth attending.

mallardwithaheadcold25 karma

A friend with Tourette's went to a convention when he was younger. He said it was the worst place for him cause he left with ideas for new tics. On the way out the door he started hitting his thigh until it was black and blue cause some other girl was doing it inside.

swearis14 karma

I met some guy with echolalia one time. A while later I realized i was mouthing the words to the show I was watching.

a_max8 karma

Do you think that has anything to do with the Tourette's? Do you find you have any proclivity to repeat others' actions?

swearis19 karma

I had to pause Matchstick Men several times to calm myself down. I have a verbal tic almost identical to the main character, and pretty much every time he did it, I had to as well.

I don't repeat the actions of others, but tics of others definitely set something off.

vineman14 karma

Hello from a fellow Tourette's sufferer! My father passed the genes down to myself and my sister, though her tics are extremely mild. I mostly have moderate facial tics, with an abdominal tic or two every once in a while. When I was 5 I had to be put on Haloperidol and Clonidine for a while because I was uncontrollably blinking to such an extent that I couldn't see properly!

My question:

  • I've found that barometric pressure can be a huge trigger, and as such before a storm I'll usually start experiencing a very sudden explosion of tics. Do you experience this as well?

swearis13 karma

This might be confirmation bias, but i always feel WAY better during rain storms.

battlemoose11 karma

do the tics happen in your sleep?

swearis18 karma

Nope, they can interfere when I am trying to get to sleep though.

[deleted]10 karma

Is your Tourette's comorbid with anything? I've heard, for example, people with Asperger's sometimes have Tourette's as a comorbid diagnosis (I have Asperger's, so I've done a bit of reading, but only from that side of it).

swearis6 karma

I've been diagnosed with ADD, pretty sure I've outgrown it though.

duskyseasons3 karma

My ex had Tourette's and ADD. He's on reddit, so maybe he'll see this.

Did you ever take meds for your ADD? He always complained that they exacerbated his Tourette's.

swearis5 karma

I've taken Ritalin. It made my tics worse, but helped a lot with the ADD. edit:spelling

mossman858 karma

Did you watch the South Park episode?

swearis29 karma

Yeah, it was pretty mediocre IMO, south park stopped being funny many seasons ago. The TS episode wasn't painfully unfunny, like many of the recent episodes, but it was pretty meh. I don't find TS jokes offensive(usually), but some of them are just so lazy and unclever.

[deleted]8 karma

I am twenty one and was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome at the age of six. Many of my symptoms are the same as yours, my legs tense up along with my back muscles and I grind my jaw.

Nice to see I am not the only one! People need to realize not every one with the syndrome just spurts out swear words.

swearis10 karma

It's a lot more common than people think, they just don't recognize it without the swearing.

decemberwolf6 karma

I have it too, and it fucks me off to no end how everyone thinks that coprolalia is a prerequisite for tourettes. I twitch to no end, like some kind of addiction to stimulation of a muscle, sometimes giving me acid stomach if I happen upon a twitch involving my stomach and abdominal muscles.

so, brother, what is your most frustrating twitch? the one that never goes? for mine it will always be rolling my eyes. every goddamn minute of the day.

swearis14 karma

Blinking, easily. I've been blinking excessively every day since i was ~6 years old, my eye muscles are probably pretty ripped.

legodt5 karma

In everyday life, do people immediately take note of your tics or is it something that they just notice vaguely and never feel like bringing up?

Also, upvoting for the hilarious post title.

swearis8 karma

Dunno, ask them.

mlahstadon5 karma

Can you compare your compulsions (for lack of a better word) to habits that people have? I tend to chew on the skin on the edges of my fingers, and unconsciously crack my knuckles, and I'm trying to relate those habits to the tics you have. I think if I can relate those to your tics (however remote) I can better understand them.

swearis5 karma

When I chew on a pencil, I'm only half aware that I'm doing it. Tics are different, I feel them coming and I'm completely aware that they are happening.

madddhella4 karma

What did it take to get you officially diagnosed? Like, did your parents suspect something and bring you to a specialist, or is it something a regular doctor was able to notice? Does anyone else in your family have it?

I'm pretty sure my brother has a mild form of tourettes, but no one in the family takes me seriously when I bring it up. I think they just don't know enough about the illness. He's had facial tics, head tossing, frequent throat clearing, eye blinking, and sniffing since he was like 5 years old. I feel terrible because he was teased about it through all his school years. When he used to bring friends over, I'd hear them mocking his ticks sometimes :( ...he would try to stop for a while, and then burst into a quick succession of extra-violent throat-clearing/head-tossing/whatever.

A lot of the tics have gotten better over time, and I only see a couple of them with much frequency any more. I know it has impacted his confidence, but I don't think the tics are a serious impediment in his life in any other way. Would there be any benefit in trying to get him diagnosed at this age (20)?

swearis8 karma

A few doctors thought I was just nervous/acting out for attention, which is ridiculous, cause attention is the LAST thing I've ever wanted. We changed doctors a few times and eventually one of them picked up on it, it made so much sense when I actually learned about "real" Tourette's.

madddhella5 karma

So your parents were actively switching doctors, looking for someone to provide the right diagnosis?

Is there any benefit to being officially diagnosed, or was it just a relief to know why the tics were happening?

swearis5 karma

I was ~12 when I was diagnosed, it helped me communicate with future doctors. It also prompted me to do some research and learn how to help myself.

RationalArgumentMan4 karma

Have you ever smoked cannabis, and if so did you enjoy it?

swearis11 karma

I'm not too huge on pot, it definitely does reduce tics, I just find pot sorta boring.