Tourette Syndrome is a condition of the nervous system that causes people to have tics. Tics are sudden twitches, movements or sounds that people do repeatedly. For example, a person might keep blinking over and over, or may unwillingly make a throat-clearing sound. Even when a person wants to stop the tic, they may notice an urge to do it. There are vocal and motor tics, simple and complex tics. Stress and anxiety can make tics worse.
In addition to medication, Tourette Syndrome can be helped by CBIT or Comprehensive Behavioural Intervention for Tics. It is a therapy that teaches people to change their behaviours over time and tic less by gaining awareness, engaging in habit reversal training, as well as managing their stress. It is not a cure but rather, a tool to help people manage their tics and improve their quality of life.
Trichotillomania or hair-pulling disorder is a disorder where individuals feel the recurrent urge to pull their hair from their scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows or other areas of their body despite trying to stop. It can be quite debilitating and usually begins in childhood or adolescence. Treatment for trichotillomania involves a combination of Habit Reversal Training and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
If Tics, Tourettes or Trichotillomania are adversely affecting you or your child or adolescent, contact me today to make an appointment.