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I'm hoping that my fellow forum readers may be able to provide me with some suggestions, or at least some encouragement. I'm a 45 year old male who has had tics (mostly facial, particularly eye blinking/twitching/wincing) for as long as I can remember. For reasons I cannot figure out, they began to worsen a year and a half ago, and have continued to worsen with each month. I have tried the following remedies, and only medication has had a meaningul benefit:

 

  1. Medications – Lorazepam, Clonidine, Haldol, Abilify, Seroquel (Lorazepam and Clonidine didn't work, Haldol caused too much depression; Abilify works but causes akathisia; Seroquel works to an extent)
  2. Supplements – Trancor, B-complex, among several others
  3. Fragrance-free laundry detergent, deodorant, soap, and hair mousse
  4. Dust mite resistant pillow cases
  5. Gluten free diet (with some cheating for the first 3 months, then 100% gluten free for the last 6 weeks)
  6. Acupuncture
  7. Relaxation/meditation sessions
  8. Regular aerobic exercise

The problem with the medication (other than side effects such as depression and impaired cognition) is that increased doses provide benefit for only a few weeks until the ever strengthening tics overpower the new dose.

 

I have racked my brain to figure out my triggers. The only ones I can figure out are stress and working at a computer. Unfortunately, these are an unavoidable part of my job, so about all I can do is take some deep breaths and small breaks

 

The good news is that I tic very minimally in front of others, so I blend in. However, as soon as I'm sitting at my desk the tics unleash with great furor, leaving me to feel powerless over my own body.

 

This condition is causing me to feel anxious and depressed, and I worry that if it continues to worsen, it will derail my career and rob me of the joy of living. Any words of wisdom that you may be able to share would be greatly appreciated.

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Hi Bill

have you ever tried going dairy free?

 

We have just had so many people with eye/facial tics here find that dairy was a major trigger

 

Stress and photosensitivity are frequently documented as tic triggers

 

Have you read our Helpful Threads pinned to the top of the board? (also linked below in my signature)

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Just on what you have put up, have you ever worked with a Naturopath or Environmental/Integrated Doctors. It's important to find help from other that can help to direct you. You mentioned fragrance free, but are they chemical free products. How about your diet, although gluten free, do you eat any other processed foods?

 

Sounds like you are starting to explore triggers but have not found what works for you yet. Don't get discouraged, you probably still have a long way to go to finding what works for you. Please don't give up, keep looking, follow the advice on this forum and read Sheila's book if you have not done so already.

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