Home Disorders Anxiety Disorders  

   Tourette's Syndrome Symptoms


Symptoms of Tourette's Syndrome disorder

Tourette's Syndrome symptoms typically appear before the age of 18 and the condition occurs in all ethnic groups with males affected 3 to 4 times more often than females. Although the symptoms of TS vary from person to person and range from very mild to severe, the majority of cases fall into the mild category. Associated conditions can include attentional problems, impulsiveness and learning disabilities.

Most people with TS lead productive lives and participate in all professions. Increased public understanding and tolerance of TS symptoms are of paramount importance to people with Tourette Syndrome.

Tourette's syndrome is commonly associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, behavior problems and learning disabilities.

In a minority of cases, the vocalizations can include socially inappropriate words and phrases - called coprolalia. These outbursts are neither intentional nor purposeful. Involuntary symptoms can include eye blinking, repeated throat clearing or sniffing, arm thrusting, kicking movements, shoulder shrugging or jumping.

Tourette's syndrome is a chronic tic disorder that is characterized by both motor and vocal tics, with onset in childhood.

Phonic or vocal tics

  • Throat clearing
  • Sniffing
  • Barking
  • Coughing
  • Yelling
  • Hiccuping
  • Belching
  • Animal sounds

Motor tics

  • Eye blinking
  • Sticking tongue out
  • Head turning
  • Shoulder jerking
  • Muscle tensing
  • Flexing fingers
  • Kicking

Other complex motor and vocal phenomena, which are much less common than simple tics, include coprolalia (involuntary and affectively inappropriate swearing), copropraxia (involuntary and affectively inappropriate use of obscene gestures), echolalia (involuntary repetition of speech of others), echopraxia (involuntary imitation of the actions of others), and palilalia (involuntary repetition of parts of the individual's own speech).

The first symptoms of TS are usually facial tics-commonly eye blinking. TS patients may utter strange and unacceptable sounds, words or phrases. It is not uncommon for a person with TS to continuously clear his or her throat, cough, sniff, grunt, yelp, bark or shout.

People with TS may involuntarily shout obscenities (coprolalia) or constantly repeat the words of other people (echolalia). They may touch other people excessively or repeat actions obsessively and unnecessarily. A few patients with severe TS demonstrate self-harming behaviors such as lip and cheek biting and head banging against hard objects. However, these behaviors are extremely rare.

Tourette's Syndrome - Overview

Symptoms of Tourette's Syndrome

Tourette's Syndrome Treatment

Picture of Tourette's Syndrome

Sometimes crying or laughing
are the only options left,
and laughing feels better right now.

Stay Connected with DG


Current Issue

Self Help Leaflets

Take the help of our self help leaflets or booklets.

The DG Magazine

All about living with depression

Most Read on Anxiety