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I think I have chronic tics?

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Hi everyone,

I thought I should share my story now as it is really starting to affect me physically and emotionally after having 'tic's for between 5-10 years now which I always assumed would stop them selves. However, at the age of 22, they are really affecting my lifestyle.


From as far back as I can remember, I have always been fidgety, whereby I would tense either side of my neck, twitch (clench) my buttox or raise my eyebrows (which all occurred at different times and varied in the amount I would do one or the other).


The main issue today is my raising of the eyebrows though, which is the main problem affecting my day to day life. I have this constant feeling I need to tense them together (in the middle) which I have no counteracted with (what is hard to explain) a twitch whereby I use the muscles above my ears to pull my skin/muscle back which provides the same satisfaction. This satisfaction I believe is to reduce the tension from the constant headache I have from the minute I wake up till the second I sleep.


This problem is affecting me physically as I believe this twitch of the raised eyebrows has reshaped my brow-bone whereby I dislike looking at myself in the mirror/pictures now because it looks like I have caused this facial change.


The next problem is the fact it is constantly causing me headaches and worry which has affected my university studies!


I did previously get referred to a neurological hospital many years ago which did not achieve any results, however a year ago I did get referred again for a botox injection in my forehead which unfortunately did not work, and due to my studies I did not follow it up.


I have since been back to the GP and been forwarded to get this procedure as the first time did not work properly (GP believed they didnt use enough/put it in the correct place).


I have used the internet to try find solutions which has recently resulted me in increasing my magnesium levels, however it has still not helped!


I do hope anyone has some advise for me or if anyone has been through the same could help me solve these tics (if they are even tics!)







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Hi Andy,


I would certainly say that they are tics you are experiencing. I can certainly relate to your exasperation, as my tics have affected my whole life. I used to have the eye brow raising tic and the buttock clenching tic, which often resulted in sharp knife like pain down there when I least expected it.


Have you pinpointed any triggers that might be making it worse? As you may know,people with tics and TS have come to realize that there are many triggers: environmental--such as molds or pollens, or other chemicals or food additives, psychological--such as anxiety, physical-- such as stomach issues, etc.


Anxiety is a big trigger for me and I even had to withdraw from college years ago because of my anxiety (and then the anxiety over the tics). I then went on Haldol and stayed on it for years but that caused many other problems and I wouldn’t recommend it.


Has it gotten worse since being at the university? If anxiety is a trigger maybe some short term anxiety meds would help. Anxiety meds like Valium and Zanax have helped me over the years, especially in times of extra stress and anxiety. They cause many side effects as well, but if used sparingly, could help you get through. But I recommend continuing to try natural means first. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has also helped me. Being aware of our thoughts and how they can trip us up is an indispensable tool and not only for those with tics, but for anyone. Have you tried exercising to release the tension?


I never wanted to go the Botox route. Knowing that if it worked it would only be temporary anyway and that I’d have to keep getting them, made me not want to do it.


My most annoying tic since childhood has always been an eye blinking tic. At times the urge is so strong that I feel like I can’t squeeze my eyes shut tightly enough. I mentioned to someone else on the forum that recently, after all of these years, (I’m 43 now) I’ve discovered that wearing tight swim goggles completely takes away the urge to squeeze them shut. Even after I take them off, the urge remains weak for awhile. The pressure seems to override the impulse in the nerves and muscles around my eyes. I don't know if it would help with the eye brow raising, but you never know. Now you probably don’t want to go to your classes with swim goggles on, but if it helps you as it has helped me, maybe you can wear them at home to get some relief. While in class you could apply pressure to your eyebrows with your palms. That helps relax the urge for me sometimes when I’m without the goggles.


Heat also helps relax the muscles of my eyes/face. I will often take a shower and just let the warm water hit my face for a few minutes. Or you could get one of those microwavable heating pads and drape it over your eye muscles a few times during the day. Maybe that will help a little.


Sometimes breaking up your routine can help. Tics have a mind of their own and they seem to feed on negative cycles. Then the anxiety takes over and begins making it all worse. For instance, if you normally wake up and start thinking about facing another day of all of this, instead, tear yourself out of bed and go for a run or a long walk or some other fun activity. If you normally eat the same things everyday, go and try some new things for a few days or a week.


Living with tics is always a difficult struggle. It’s finding a few tricks here and there to get you through another day. I know what you’re going through my friend. Hang in there and keep trying new things. Let me know if the goggles help. I’m dying to know if it helps anyone else or it’s just me.



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  • 3 weeks later...

My tics are made worse if I consume too much caffeine.. I can tell when I've had more than my usual dose of coffee. My daughters and I are also affected by artificial colors in food and drinks. Once we removed those from our diet, our tics declined dramatically. We could eventually allow some of them back into our diet, with moderation, and keep the effects to a minimum.

Read food labels for items such as Red #40, Yellow #6, etc.. any of those numbers..... Take those out of your diet completely for a few weeks and see if that helps.


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