Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Tic and Stim Confusion

So, I've been having another outbreak of Tourette's and Asperger's confusion that has become a little bit of an odd obsession the last couple of days.

I'm trying to work out how much of each thing is inside me - is it  Tourette's 100-0? Or 0-100 Asperger's?

I really can't tell. Both TS and AS share similar co-morbid conditions - OCD, ADD and various other flavours of behaviour, but they are also different, and this is where I've been going a little crackers.

Tics are in the provenance of Tourette's. Stims are autistic behaviours. Stims are things like flapping of hands, rocking back and forth - I've just been rocking back and forth just now while thinking about rocking back and forth. Tics are uncontrollable, only they are not...they satisfy an urge, wait so do stims, sometimes, but in a different way...

The only really consistent thing I pick up is that tics tend to be more centrally located down the centreline of the body, while stims are more symmetrical and found at the extremes. But even then I'm not sure about that. I do tic vocally, usually quiet little names or phrases of interest quietly burbled and usually taking on slight different, clipped forms, but the real yelling, and the most convulsive, violent, flappy tics come when I'm extremely upset or stressed by something I read or think about.

Then, at other times I think stimulating thoughts and my hands begin to flap and do a sort of clapping without moving thing.

Then sometimes my left foot has been arching within the shoes, and my left leg likes to do a sort of strange stretching thing, like a slightly demented cat.

So today, everytime by body has done something, I've tried to classify it - stim, or tic?

I've tried to classify me. Tourette's, Asperger's, or both?

For some reason this became very important, and I'm not sure why. Knowing what percentage of my behaviours is caused by one or the other doesn't change very much, they are all still there and nothing will ever change that.

Even as I write this, a tense bit of "Silent Witness" comes on, and my right arm bends over the top of my head, hand towards my left ear. At the same time, my left side tenses and pulls my body over like an anti-stretch.

Incredible thing, the brain, and body. I don't know how the heck anyone ever works it out.


All text copyright CreamCrackeredNature 03.01.17


  1. I've learnt so much about both from you, Si. I just wanted to applaud you taking the time to post about it. Does running help to control the tics and stims?

    1. Yes it does, as does doing anything that keeps me concentrating and distracted

  2. I agree with what Countryside Tales says Si. It is so good of you to talk about it - folk read your interesting posts and can only be influenced for the good when they read of the struggles you sometimes have.

  3. THank you, it's not meant to be all "look at me" I just thought I'd write about what my body was doing at a particular time by means of a change. Your appreciated is really great though!

  4. I'm also glad you share what happens to you it helps us understand other people who have the same. Keep on running, cycling and taking photos please

  5. Thanks for sharing.

    When I googled I was amazed to learn how many famous people, household names, there are with TS and/or AS.

    Good luck!

  6. Thank you all for your kind words, gosh I couldn't give up my outdoor life, keeps me going!

  7. I read an account many years ago from someone with Tourette's. They recounted that when they tried to suppress tics, a tension often built up that could only be relieved by engaging in their tic behaviors. Is that how it is for you, too?

    1. Never feels like that. There is not really any warning most of the time!