TOURETTE SYNDROME (TS)

The DSM IV TR number is 307.23. Go here for the diagnostic criteria: http://behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/touretteTR.htm.

Tourette is a tic or movement disorder (or even possibly a seizure disorder). The disorder is a neurologically based condition and not, in and of itself, a mental illness although it certainly has serious psychological, emotional and social implications, especially when there are co-morbid conditions. Basically, to receive this diagnosis one must exhibit two kinds of tics, physical, such as a head jerk or shoulder twitch and verbal, such as throat clearing or emitting a sound. And, the tics must have persisted for a minimum amount of time. A thorough listing of various physical and verbal tics can be found at the following site: http://members.tripod.com/~tourette13/handouts/symptoms-ts.html.

These criteria allow one to differentiate TS from other, more transient or temporary, tic disorders. TS is, however, more than a tic disorder, although if you don't tic, you don't have TS. There are, at times, other "auxiliary" aspects to TS such as Coprolalia, which is the erratic expression of obscenities or derogatory phrases. Rage Attacks, or sudden explosive and potentially destructive outbursts, are more likely in highly co-morbid situations as described in the following paragraph.

There are high co-morbid rates between TS and other neuro-bio disorders. One phrase that indicates this co-morbidity factor with TS is "The Terrible Triad." This refers to the high incidence of ADHD and OCD with TS. And, it is not all that uncommon for TS to also have BiPolar Disorder or some sort of mood dysregulation as another "first cousin." Clearly, TS can be a lot more complex than what most assume to be just tics and twitches.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Bi-Polar Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder

All material on this website ©2009 by Bridging the Chasm and Garry L. Earles, L.I.C.S.W.