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Tourette syndrome
Important!
If a person suspects that he / she or a loved one is suffering from Tourette Syndrome, it is important to remember that the condition is treatable and seek the help of a professional as soon as possible.

GENERAL

WHAT IS TOURETT syndrome?

Tourette syndrome is a hereditary neurological disorder that begins in childhood and is characterized by various physical "tics" (involuntary movements, eg face pulling or arm tugging) and verbal "tics" (involuntary sounds).

The disorder was previously considered a strange and bizarre condition, mostly because it was associated with uncontrolled swearing or obscene words. In reality, the curse only occurs in a very small percentage of people with Tourette syndrome.

Extreme cases in adults are very rare, and the disorder does not affect intelligence or life expectancy. A large percentage of the symptoms also gradually disappear as children get older and go through their teens.

There is no clear agreement between experts on the causes of Tourette's syndrome, and treatment varies from child to child. In most cases, medication and a therapeutic process involving the parents are used.

SYMPTOMS

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF TOURETTE SYNDROME?

The following symptoms are indicative, based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM – 5), which is widely accepted as the most authoritative source worldwide. Please note Please note that an official diagnosis may only be made by a qualified person.

A pattern of behavior that lasts for at least one year and includes the following:

  1. Several physical "tics", and at least one or more verbal "tic" (sound).
  2. These "tics" must be uninterrupted for more than three months.

The behavior should start before the age of 18 and not be the result of any other medical condition.

THERAPY

TREATMENT OF TOURETS Syndrome

  1. Who should diagnose my child?
    Any psychiatrist or psychologist who specializes in working with behavioral disorders in children.
  2. Will my child need to take medication?
    It is not always necessary, and depends on child to child. Sometimes good results can be achieved with the help of medication, especially to control physical tics. In general, therapy is strongly recommended to treat the problem psychotherapeutically.
  3. What does treatment for a child with Tourette syndrome entail?
    Along with medication, certain forms of psychotherapy, especially behavioral therapy, are indicated in the treatment.
  4. Can my child be cured?
    There is not really a cure for Tourette's syndrome, but treatment focuses on controlling impulsive behavior and especially physical tics that may interfere with interpersonal functioning. If the physical draws do not appear too severe, treatment is sometimes unnecessary.

NOTES

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  • RSG Potgooi

    RSG Potgooi

    What are a parent's options with therapy for children? What happens in therapy, and how can it benefit the child and parents? With the increasing number of children experiencing anxiety and depression, this episode is a MUST.

EMERGENCY MEASURES

If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health problems, we suggest the following options:
  1. call your GP (if available);
  2. go to your nearest hospital emergency room;
  3. call one of the following emergency numbers: SADAG (the South African Depression and Anxiety Group) 24-hour helpline: 0800 12 13 14 or suicide crisis line: 0800 567 567; or
  4. contact Wie is ek?