From when my Tourette’s started it has been a rocky road. I have faced challenge after challenge which is still on going!
When I was first diagnosed, my neurologist was medication focused and did not want to explore any other avenues! I have tried several anti psychotics, blood pressure medication and benzodiazepines as there is currently no specific medication for Tourette’s! The medication I have tried are Haloperido, clonidine and rectal diazepam for (Tic attacks/seizures). These medications sedated me to the point were I struggled to performing daily tasks and with my sports/exercise. I also had bad reactions/side effects to these medications making me have further problems! These did not have much effect to my Tourette’s either, they just knocked me off my feet making me too sedated to tic. ( or to do anything!)
I was determined to find ways to counteract my Tourette’s using natural practices as I was anti medication at this point and wanted to find a natural way to suppress my tics! I first started CBT which I did not find benifital either due to my severe ocd‘s which was effecting my Tourette’s which was making it a vicious cycle. I then started psychotherapy which surprising did help! a lot of my tic were anxiety and stress related so talking therapies was helpful in terms of cleansing my head and having support with daily problems I was struggling with.
From the therapies it was clear that my Tourette’s was being managed by OCDs and my obsessions for exercise was giving me the control I needed to suppress my tics for periods of time. This was combined with diet and strict exercise routine. I have to train atleast 4-6 times a week, doing high intensity training! Weight training mixed with HIIT and general cardio training. I’ve always had a passion for sports and exercise so I feel like this is a great way to suppress my tics and give me the strong mental well-being which will get me through anything I came across.
My diet has consisted of mostly Meat/Fish and vegetables, I tend to stay away from carbohydrayes, caffeine and sugars as they stimulate energy levels which then effect my tics! I’ve always managed to train on just a high protein diet with the occasional carbs (mostly when having a cheat day) However chocolate seems to sneak into my diet most days which cannot be helped haha!
By controlling my diet and continuous exercise, this has aloud me to be able to focus and suppress my tics for periods of the day!
It allows to focus when driving and while at work in the presence of patients or when kept busy! In aid of this to ensure I don’t tic while driving I have a particular music play list which I need to listen to, to gain the optimum amount of focus! This is made from multiple genres of music but are particular songs! (I had to spend a lot of time/research finding the particular songs which enhanced my focus levels).
This is the same while training in the gym, without music It makes me twice as hard for me to focus! Music is calming factor to keep my tics suppressed when focus levels could be lost for whatever reason! So I have to listen to a particular playlist like when I’m driving to give me optimal focus levels!
Since Covid 19 came along it has caused me more problems than I hoped with gyms shutting down, restrictions to daily life and changes to my routine, effecting my OCDs! This caused me to have tic attacks very frequently once again like when I was at college/uni! I was having Ambalances attend my home quite often due to the severity of the attacks and the damage/injuries I was causing to myself! After a lot of encouragement I agreed to start an anti depressant called Citalopram which would be used to help control my OCD traits and to minimise the amount/the severity of my tic attacks. After being on the medication over a year it has really helped with my OCD’s and making it easier to have change in my life! It has also benefitted my mood in general and had took off so much tension. My tic attacks have certainly been less severe and have been able To manage them a lot easier! I have also had to side effects which is great!
Now that we are back to some kind of normality and most restristions have been listen, my management of my Tourette’s are at its best it’s ever been! Combined from the experience I have learnt since my Tourette’s started, exercise routine/diet/music and the one medication i take. This allows me to be able to work/drive and perform daily tasks while suppressing my tics!
Thanks for reading!