Under Pressure

(that's me trying to copy Catherine's use of song titles as blog titles!)

I felt like writing a blog about suppressing tics, and how it feels to suppress. I can only do complete suppression for a few seconds, but I can keep a low level of suppression for a while longer. To suppress makes me feel tense and uncomfortable – tension in the area of the tic, tension in my whole body, and tension in my brain as I try to stop doing something my body is forcing me to do. I put a lot of effort into suppressing my tics every day. This is either suppressing by trying to stop the tic completely, or what I call disguising, which is, when I can feel which tic is coming, when I slow the tic down and try to transform it into something else, like brushing hair from my eyes with my elbow held a little higher than necessary, or bending down to check my shoelaces are tied a few too many times. Turning tics into socially acceptable nervous habits may be obvious to other people living with Tourette’s, but most people don’t suspect, or at least I like to think they don’t. Different touretters are able to achieve different levels of suppression, and there is only so far I am able to do so, but it is useful in some situations. Tics can be painful, take up time and get me into trouble, and so in some situations it is almost necessary to suppress, either for myself or for others. But still I have Tourette’s – if I am not ticcing I am not free.

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  • Here's another apt Queen song -

    Here's a bit of advice - supressing tics BAD! letting tics do their stuff GOOD!

    suppressing tics is isn't good, I think there's a point where you start to think that it's not worth the stress anymore and if anybody doesn't like your tics , well that's their problem, tough s%$t ! Your TS and tics are part of you, most of mine have stupid names, by suppressing tics you're storring up a load of problems. I had been suffering from hitting tics and I figured it out, it was probably because I was supressing the cop whilst my partner was around. Now my attitude is that if he doesn't like it he can lump it. The only time recently when I have supressed ws at Magpie's funeral.

  • Thanks for your reply! There are some situations where I feel I /have/ to suppress, which can be very stressful, but I'm tryin to work on feeling happy to let people to see/hear my tics without my worrying about it, but that;s hard work in iteself. Suppressing can make other things worse, so I am working on it!

  • Hi : )

    I liked your post about sharing supressing tics and think it would be great to share it to my facebook support group. You are welcome to join and post it yourself if you like or I can post it if you give me permission? You can look me up under Kay Peterson or the group name: Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, & Related Differences - Southern California

    Blessings,

    Kay

  • I don't use facebok much myself, but sure, you can repost it if you like :)

  • Hi Twitch,

    I have always been one for just letting the tics go freely about their business and not to suppress them (except when it's really needed I suppose, like in a church, meeting etc etc which then makes things 110 times worse!!) but recently, due to a real surge in the severity and frequency of my tics, I have been trying to suppress them especially whilst at work (I'm a Teaching Assistant for Early Years children) and this has led to extreme physical pain and emotional pain too. I mainly tic in my shoulders and neck area and my shoulders have the biggest mass of tight muscle that look really quite disturbing - I look like a body builder most of the time - which I get massaged as best they can every now and then, when pennies allow. I also have an internal body tic that i can only describe as looking like 'body popping' where I literally body wave from the inside (does that make sense?) but is super visible from the outside. Again, bloody difficult and painful to suppress and super obvious to see.

    My general philosophy - better out than in!!!

    Debbie x

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