Tourette’s syndrome & tic disorders – definition, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment

The DSM-5, or the 5th edition of the diagnostic
and statistical manual, lists three major types of tic disorders: Tourette’s syndrome,
which is the most well known, persistent motor or vocal tic disorder, and provisional tic
disorder. Individuals with these disorders all suffer
from tics, which are quick, nonrhythmic movements or vocalizations that happen over and over,
and are not caused by some other disorder like Huntington’s disease or substance abuse. For example, individuals might feel the urge
to spontaneously and repeatedly clap their hands, make a facial grimace, or grunt or
even perform hidden movements like moving the tongue. Although these movements might be appropriate
in some situations, the fact that they are repeated even in inappropriate situations
is why they are considered abnormal. In addition to having a tic, there are three
additional criteria that are used to help classify individuals into one of the three
types of tic disorders. Criteria A is the number of motor or vocal
tics, criteria B is the duration of the tic disorder, and criteria C is the age of the
person when he or she started having tics. For a diagnosis of tourette’s disorder,
an individual must have multiple motor tics, and at least one vocal tic, however, these
do not have to happen at the same time. The important thing here is that both motor
and verbal tics are present. The frequency of individual tics might change
over time, but they need to persist for at least one year. Finally, the tics must have started before
the age of 18, and in fact they most often appear between the ages of 4 and 6. Of the three types of tic disorders, Tourette’s
is considered to be the most severe. For a diagnosis of persistent motor or vocal
tic disorder, also called chronic tic disorder, an individual must have either a single or
multiple motor tics or vocal tics—but not both. Like Tourette’s the tics have to persist
for at least 1 year and must have started before the age of 18. Finally, for a diagnosis of provisional tic
disorder, an individual must have a single, or multiple, motor and/or verbal tics, but
they must be present for less than 1 year since their onset, and they appear before
the age of 18, Tics can be simple or complex. Simple tics are relatively short in duration,
lasting milliseconds, and can include behaviors like eye blinks, which would be motor, or
throat clearing, which would be verbal. Complex tics typically last longer, sometimes
over a second, and are usually a combination of simple tics, like shaking one’s head
while shrugging their shoulders. Complex motor tics can also include echopraxia,
which is a tic-like repetition of the movements of others, as well as copropraxia—tics involving
obscene gestures. Complex verbal tics can include echolalia,
which is repeating the last word or phrase that they heard from others, palilalia, which
is a repetition of a person’s own words or phrases, or coprolalia, which is saying
inappropriate words or obscenities. Tic disorders are often most severe before
puberty—between the ages of 10 and 12—and usually decrease in severity afterwards. Sometimes, individuals might notice a specific
feeling or urge that occurs before the onset of a tic—like an itch before reaching to
scratch. Tics also tend to become more common or more
severe during periods of anxiety, excitement, or exhaustion. There is no cure for tourette’s and other
tic disorders, but tics can be managed through a combination of therapy and medications. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help individuals
identify triggering events or feelings that precede tics, and habit reversal training
can help someone learn to do movement that are incompatible with the tics, like engaging
opposing muscle groups, which would be like smiling if the tic is a frown. Since tics tend to lessen when the person
is calm, reducing anxiety or depression can also help. There are also a number of medications that
can be used to control tics, but these are only used in the most severe cases. For example, antipsychotic medications such
as haldol and risperidone, and some epilepsy medications can be effective, although they
often cause unwanted side-effects. ADHD medication can also help some individuals
focus on, and therefore control, their tics. In some severe cases, botox injections to
the site of the tic can help to minimize their appearance. Alright, as a quick recap, tic disorders are
repetitive, non-voluntary movements or vocalizations that appear before the age of 18. These tics can be simple, for example barely
noticeable eye blinks, as well as complex, like compulsively producing really distracting
gestures. Thanks for watching, you can help support
us by donating on patreon, or subscribing to our channel, or telling your friends about
us on social media.


  1. I don’t think I have Tourettes but I used to open my mouth super wide for no reason and then I started doing it again. I also scream into my hand when I want to scream and after watching this video I’m scared that I have Tourettes. I have only done the screaming one for a month or 2. I also will move my top jaw back and forth. I do also have adhd and ocd which makes me even more worried that I have Tourettes but I doubt I do have Tourettes

  2. I just noticed it. It's been going on for a month. I'm under 18 n it happens when I'm stressed sometime excited. For physical : I shrug, stretch, blink, grimace, move my tounge on my teeth, clench my teeth, twitch backwards or forwards, n Bob my head, tap my foot, n shake. Vocal: Grunt, clear my throat, yawning EXCESIVLY, n I make this wierd noise when I pop my ears n grunt at the same time.
    I want to scream, yell, run, cry, cuddle, hurt something, break something, it's happening right now……… 😐

  3. I started getting physical tics when i was 13 and then i'd get more, some would leave while some stayed and now im 15 going 16 and its starting to get worse. My first tics were shoulder shrugging and head jerking and blinking weirdly and now i still have those apart from the blinking plus others such as rolling my eyes weirdly til it feels right, nose twitching (new), my left arm doing this weird fuckign thing which is extremely new (started happening an hour ago and its not stopping, happening every 5 mins) and i have a thing where i will take my right arm and fling it all the way out and bring it all the way in again. I also bob my head sometimes.
    I don't know if its worth it to see a doctor because i already have anxiety diagnosed and i dont want to get anyhting more diagnosed, but does anyone have any opinions or thoughts? No one really knows about this since i try to supress it but sometimes when people do see me do these things they just think im being weird and dont think much of it. I dont know what to do, i hope it doesnt get worse and that it stops soon.

  4. i make high pitched noises and my shoulder and leg jerks, i've had it for about 2 months and many people believe i'm faking for attention.

  5. I just turnd twelve in july and ive been havings these body jerks/shakes. I've developed it throughout the year. I also do other things like blink hard, copy facial expressions i see on tv until im satisfied, and making weird loud noises.
    The body jerk started as just a head jerk for a couple weeks, then turned into shoulder head and elbow jerks at the same time.
    What is this???

  6. I wouldn’t say the tics are entirely nonvoluntary; like you said, it’s like an itch, but you can’t exactly resist scratching an itch for very long, and the longer you do usually the more it itches. Also, much like an itch, it’s not always in the same place, so the tics change over time.

  7. I'd say my first tic was my hand/wrist twitching or flicking. Sometimes I'd toss my pencil across the room. My worst tic is hitting my leg with my fist.

  8. I'm not sure if I have this syndrome but every once in a while my right eye just starts blinking very fast and it lasts for like 5 seconds unless i try to stop it. Also sometimes I'll be doing something and i feel like a spark starts in my legs and goes all the way up to my head and shoulders and I shrug them in an instant. These don't happen all the time they happen every few weeks, and sometimes I go months without doing them, any ideas?

  9. My little brother moves his head to the left and upwards at the same time raises his eyebrows and his upper lip like 30 times a minute. He does it while playing Xbox only and that's basically all he does so idk if does or doesn't . It's super weird and he looks so stupid. I filmed him he got pissed and won't admit he does.

  10. It started in the beginning of 7th class when I was 12 with hitting. I developed snapping, shacking my head, screaming quiet, hitting myself and growling. Now I'm 14 and it is still present.

  11. I say hmpf and i twitch my nose and sometimes i do a neck twitch i blink my eyes realy hard sometimes and when i open them i look up realy fast and hard, i also squeeze my nose and i do something realy weird with my fingers AND i have the urge to say MEEP al the time and if i get a feeling in my troath i have to sing.
    My question is, what do i have.

  12. I always jerk my neck at random times and I make a really weird bird noises that kinda sound like I'm laughing really weirdly. Nobody thinks I have an issue but I know I do because I don't want to make the noises but it just happens someone please help I'm only 13:'(

  13. I got tics since the age of 9-10, i always make weird face grimaces and i keep straining it, jerk my head and strain my face, and when i blink i strain while blinking so hard that it starts to get painful. I make weird noises like duh, eh, hmpf. And i blink so hardly and look up with only my eyes so high that i start to look like some kind of a zombie, i never got bullied by it but it did annoy some people in my school, currently I'm 14 and not so well at explaining, but i still have tics and trust me, it is not fun 🙁

  14. I have to go to the doctor to get diagnosed for Tourette’s bc I have all the symptoms but I don’t wanna self diagnose (I’m 11 so I’m still young with this thing)

  15. I'm 12 I turned on 23 dec 2018 and I've started having a urge to move and if I do I'll make a weird nosies as i do it and I started to Clear my through in not my normal way i because of the fact I have the urge to do it before I did it in don't know if I have tic and also I can have slow tic's. my leg or arm or body part will start to feel like weird and the I'll have a strong urge to move that body part and I find that if I don't it make my body part feel wired and like my skin is slightly twitching and I find it really weird and I still have no idea if I have Tourette's

  16. I think I have chronic tic disorder. I'm 12 and I started noticing it when I was 9 I kept stretching out my nose and then it went away and when I turned 12 I had shoulder shrugs and the nose stretching came back and I have hard blinks and I roll my eyes. Help??

  17. I don’t exactly think I have Tourette’s but I would just start jerk and hum out of the blues. Just like , in the middle of summer and like just now. Just shake your shoulders from side to side but imagine it really fast for like 1/2 a second. Yeah a very intense exaggerated shiver and it’s very obvious. It’s kinda embarrassing when it happens in public. I’m 14 and I bearly know anything dude. Whaaatttt is happening if I don’t have Tourette’s??? Because I don’t think I do

  18. I have tics that make me lose control of my arms and a feeling of needing to bite myself. I’ve been having these for slightly less than a year and it’s really bothering me.

  19. Idk if I have a tic or something but it's like every second I get an itch or have to move my leg ,arm or hand it's a weird feeling and I don't like it

  20. What if you always hit your head and sometimes shake your head too. I always hit myself (mainly in the head), and sometimes hit my head doing to. I can’t control it, and it gets to the point where if I’m holding my phone, I’ll use that to smack myself over and over again. I’m younger then 18 too.

  21. i am 13 and i twitch my fingers alot, sometimes i do with ma neck or i even sometimes twitch my belly at night when am trying to sleep

  22. I wink my eye or move my cheek and I have had different ticks for 7 years. It is stressful and exhausting. It does not happen much but surfaces when I am stressed. It happens alot when I go to work as a sub and the kids comment on it and makes me insecure and embarrassed. I went to a neurologist recently and she said there is not a whole lot she can do but a psych would know more. She put me on this med but it is not working. I am tired of this and need to know how to stop as it interferes with my life

  23. I think I have one but my family says that I'm making it up. My first tic is that I jerk my head back and I also say echo and I crack my wrist and crack my jaw. help?

  24. I match the description of one of theese, why is my life so shitty?, first depression, then anxiety, and then THIS. It has been going on low key for a while but just got so much worse today, and the worse part. Is that my parents refuse to believe me. WHY DOES LIFE HATE Me

  25. I’m wondering if anyone knows what this is: in 6th grade I started getting “spasms” which happened almost every day but not all the time. Mostly at school. I would get distracted or something and then I’d get an urge and just spasm. I’ll breath in sharply, and then my entire body will jerk for less then a second, it’s not painful. Afterwards I’ll feel instantly relieved. I can suppress it, but most of the time I’m spaced out and not thinking. When I suppress it, I’ll get the urge to crack my neck or just spasm again. I do it more often some days then others. I’m now 14, and while it doesn’t happen every day, once every week I’ll spasm. It also kinda happens in cycles. Like today, during English I spasmed, and later in math I was doing it frequently, over and over. I think I’ll do it more if I’m thinking about it more. Also, over the summer it happens rarely, so maybe it’s some stress thing? I was wondering if it was some type of tic? Thank you if you can help

  26. Might be going to the doctors one monday for tics… I’m so anxious

    (also this vid make me tic really bad for some reason lol)

  27. Age 18 is an arbitrary cut off for a tourettes diagnosis as everyone matures at different rates. It's extremely unhelpful when trying to access information about tic disorders because most of the resources are geared towards parents who's child is experiencing tourettes like symptoms.

  28. sigh I have tic disorder then, Blinking,Head Jerking,Clearing My Throat. I have a broken leg too..They always stop me from concentrating. But I don't tic when making videos because I really concentrate

  29. I’ve recently (by that I mean within the past month so like it’s provisional) gotten this weird thing where I get this urge to blink and it goes into this uncontrollable grimace-like face scrunching for like a few seconds before subsiding and it happens randomly throughout the day. Not sure what to make of it yet.

  30. I'm on an ADHD medicine called Vyvanse and one of the possible side effects are tics, sometimes when I blink one of my eyes twitches instead and my dad keeps saying that when I struggle to talk and can't find the word I need I say "c'mon" in my language counts as a tic, me and my mom ignore it but it bothers me everyday, help(?)

    Edit: I also shiver alot but don't really pay attention to that

  31. when i was little i used to have head shakes, throat clearing, stomache pressing, sniffing with my nose, and a lot more. all this in my worst period of stress and anxity. all this have calmed down and i only have small tics now as such jaw adjustment. sorry for bad english, i am from Norway:)

  32. Mine started this year. I jerk my neck, hit my ankle on anything hard and I make this weird mouse noise. I'm 14. I think stress did this since I have ADHD.😬

  33. i have a tic for blinking, clearing my throat and breathing in really hard with my nose.

  34. it started when. was about 11 id have this weird feeling in my legs and id stretch them out to make it go away but it never went away until I fell asleep or got distracted. now ill raise my eyebrows and do the leg thing and sometimes my wrist and fingers. im turning 4 In a month and its been getting worse but it only happens when I see bugs ( ew) when im tired or excited and when im at school. Help ?

  35. I’ve always had tics. It started with some blink tic that I had very often, and then a while later I started making different tic movements. I also sometimes have vocalised tics

  36. Sometimes when i go to sleep or i move my shoulders and my hands jerk and move without my moving them. My eyes often go to the left or the right without my checking them. I blink a lot and my mouth get up often like I'm disgusted. What i have ?

  37. Hi. I keep widening and closing my eyes, and raising and lowering my eyebrows. Sometimes I look around or roll my eyes, too. Are these tics?

    Edit: I also crack and pop my knuckles a lot. Probably around 10 or 20 times an hour

  38. I think I have a tic disorder I jerk my head , roll my eyes and twitch my face it has got much worse recently though I’m 15. I’m not sure what to do cos I don’t won’t people to think I’m overreacting or making it up and my tics aren’t too noticeable so that’s why I’ve kept it so quiet

  39. I thibk i have tics and i repeatedly make the same sound with my throath like a cough or some kind and some repeated blink and some tongue movementp

  40. ive developed this habit of popping or moving my jaw, cracking my neck, tensing up my muscles, scrunching up my nose or my face. ive had a stressful few months where i was diagnosed with adhd and anxiety could this be a tic disorder or just like an adhd or anxiety thing

  41. So I have this twitch that I can't control where my lip, eyebrow or toe moves and idk if it's a tic or randomly I will twitch my eye and people in my class will say "why are you doing that" And I say "doing what" Then I say that I can't control that it just happens

  42. I know I don't have tics but does anyone know what or why I shake my leg and I always do that without thinking about it my mom also says I move a lot cause I can't sit still without shaking my legs or if I'm standing I have to tap my foot or somehow move… Help??

  43. I know people hate this question but do I have tourettes? I say things like hmm, no, c*nt b*tch or I f*cked your mom or I just yell random things but i can usually suppress these but they turn into a movement. Some movements I have are the middle finger, smacking my face, neck stretching, sticking toungue, out turning head. I also throw things by accident. I can sense some tics but some just come out. My tics also change so I get new ones and lose the old ones. Do you think I have tourettes please answer and be honest. I'm 13 and I think I've had symptoms since I was about 10 or 11

  44. I also suffer from a tic disorder I just started uploading video of me and my friends (who also have a TD) we hope it will spread awareness and of what ours and other peoples life’s are like on the daily and our struggles to the few people that see this we would really appreciate it if you checked out our channel and share it so people can understand thank you xxxx

  45. Me: twitching my neck and making weird faces
    Mom: Stop faking for attention. If you keep joking like that you could seriously get hurt


  46. I have a multi-tic disorder, I hate my head because it’s big enough all ready but my tick makes me move my head and it cracks ;-;

  47. I might have Tourette’s..?

    Motor: Jerking limbs, twitching head, cracking fingers and toes, hitting forehead
    Vocal: blowing raspberries, coughing, clearing throat, grunting and gritting teeth

    Started at age 5 (7 years with tics) and has started to become more frequent.

  48. i have had maaaaaaany motor tics for about over five years. simple and complex (mainly complex). i have occasionally also had a motor tic (repeating words) but idk if that’s just my ocd. they happen just 24/7, i don’t have to be anxious. they started before age 18 – probably around 11?? theyve just got super worse as the years go by

  49. Great job on the explanation … One thing though you need to add for medication is cannabis. There is a video of a man on YouTube who has the worst Tourette’s case I have ever seen in my life …he literally cannot do anything because he’s ticking Nonstop ..vocal and motor. As soon as he smoked a joint ,20 minutes later, he was COMPLETELY better… Cannabis is natural and does not have the horrible side effects that all the antidepressants and Antipsychotics cause…Please ,if you have Tourette’s ,or know someone with it ,you don’t understand how much this medication helps… please vote to legalize.. there are still states that are illegal unfortunately, and I live in one… I feel patients ( like myself) should be able to treat themselves w what works.. and is less harmful… Much safer than pharmaceuticals. If I could go back ,I would have just started with cannabis ,and never have gotten addicted to benzo’s for my Tourette’s… The with drawl is so bad I can’t even explain how horrible it is ,but I’ve been on it for almost 10 years straight, so I will probably be on it forever. But it’s better than dealing with Tourette’s

  50. Hey, could someone help me out here? For me, I sometimes have the sudden urge to shake my head really fast while squinting my eyes, or try cracking my fingers when have already been cracked, and sometimes clench my fists really tight and kind of shake my head and arms really quickly. Does this mean anything? Also I don’t have any vocal tics and I am 12 years old. I haven’t really noticed these things before but now I do because I have these tics more often.

  51. I have a question. I hit my head for no reason (kinda like a reflex) i blink alot and my eyes just wander around time to time. Can that be a symptom of tic disorder/torretts?

  52. i jerk my head towards my shoulder when i think/see something that makes me uncomfortable. ex: if i think about getting into a car crash, i’ll jerk my head to the side. help please!! i don’t know if it’s a tic disorder or not.

  53. Here's what I don't understand. I have autism. I have Asperger's Syndrome which puts me on the "autism spectrum disorder". Why are other disorders such as this not a "spectrum"? I have noted people in my life with Tourette's and they all share the same symptoms, but with differing degrees of severity, which would make it a spectrum disorder.

    For example, my brother in law has ticks everyone has overlooked but are extremely distracting to me, almost excruciating to ignore or block out (because of my Asperger's). He has ADHD, has to clear his throat and/or cough constantly (100% vocalized), has to do a big nasty hocking every now and then (not hocking up anything), SCREAMS TO THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS when he sneezes, and other ticks related to this activity. On his bad days, this is at least every 30 seconds, all day long. He then does other abnormal things like burps as loud as he can and sometimes farts loudly in front of us. He thinks that is funny without realizing how truly repulsive some of this behavior is.

    One day I asked him were his sinuses constantly draining, because he may have a that disorder where mucus is constantly being produced and runs down your throat, but he said no there was no problem. He almost seemed offended at the question, which THEN turned on the light bulb for me. It's NOT his sinuses, it's a TICK.

    He also shares other traits like talking way too loud when he gets enthusiastic or loud, and he's easily agitated (not mentioned anywhere in stuff like this but I've seen it in every one of them), which then brings on all the ticks.

    That being said, all these people had distinctive varying degrees of severity, yet had ALL of the symptoms mentioned for Tourette's and not just "tick disorder".

  54. I don’t think I have Tourettes as I’m pretty sure I have no vocal tics?? But I jerk my head to the side and it comes and goes sometimes I will only do it a couple time’s a day and other I do it a lot. And I shrug my shoulders sometimes involuntary and also sometimes have random facial movements

  55. Well, I will shudder, jerk my head left/right, shake my head, punch my head, rap my knuckles on my head, occasionally say, "Help", shake my head for a minute, then begin to essentially "clap" my wrists together, and my upper lip will curl up and my head will jerk to the right. I hate this. Please help.

  56. Oof i have some tics i think OOF… i keep blinking my eyes, scratching my teeth and shaking my head…and im 11 – BUT I HAVE GONE THROUGH PUBERTY ;-; ….

    How do I tell my parents i have tics..?

    im litterally having a tic right now xD

  57. Lol, I figured I had motor tic disorder. I told my mom not to take me to the doctor cause I can handle it, and don't need meds. Although, I'm worried that it could be developing into tourettes.

  58. Me and my brother have told my mom that I have Tourette’s but my mom doesn’t believe me, she thinks that I’m doing it for no reason

  59. Me and my brother have told my mom that I have Tourette’s but my mom doesn’t believe me, she thinks that I’m doing it for no reason

  60. Me and my brother have told my mom that I have Tourette’s but my mom doesn’t believe me, she thinks that I’m doing it for no reason

  61. I’m having a tic writing this so sorry if I spell anything wrong (my neck really hurts rn due to my tics) how do I tell my parents I have tics?

  62. OK so I've been having different tic-like-things for almost all my life. Usually it's coughing/grunting, I can hold it in but if I do I feel like I have to (but it isn't like a normal cough feeling). I don't know if it's actually a tic or not though.

  63. I Blink my eyes shut for 3-4 seconds in regular intervals, move my neck weirdly, Scrunch my nose, heap up my eyebrows, Twist my shoulder muscle, slap my lap with hand etc.

  64. I just blink my eyes hardcore, and do that weird movement with my nose. And I am really lucky that i don't have any super bad synthoms.

  65. I found out when I was little I was diagnosed with Tourette's so I came to learn more about it. When I was little, I would always fling my head back randomly and sometimes popping my neck. After this continues for a couple of years, my mom brought me to a neurologist and that's where I was diagnosed. Some of my other ticks include reading some up to ten times over even though I know what it says and always doing something 3, 7, 13, 17 times in that sort of pattern until I have done something( like scratch my ears) 237 times. This paired with OCD would cause me to scratch both ears 237 times.

  66. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who gets tics I have them vocal and motor. I always jerk around in my seat at school and squeak and squeal around my friends. I also repeat the last word I say often. I also clap when I get excited and slam my hands on the table a lot and yell. It’s nice to know I’m not alone

  67. I have a tic where I flex a tendon in my elbow, along with one where I shake my ankle and leg. It has been like this for 4 months.

  68. When I was younger, I'd have motor and vocal tics. Now that I'm an adult, the vocal tics are gone but the motor tics are still there. Is this still Tourettes?

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