View Full Version : Tourettes

31st Jan 2015, 08:38
Well had a couple of sleepless nights due neighbour.

Live in flat, my previous neighbour was very quiet, being of the green leaved illegal variety.

Quite a few nights now my new neighbour was a having an argument with someone into the early hours.
Then one night I sat up in bed and listened.
"snore, snore, SNORE,......WHAT THE F***, GET OFF, GO F*** yourself!"
Then silence for a few minutes
"snore, snore SNORE....ARGH, GET AWAY, GO F..., " Etc.

So is there such a thing as nightmare tourettes, because he's an example.
How common is this?

More importantly, what do I say that I am oblivious to?

joy ride
31st Jan 2015, 09:02
I know a man with Tourettes and he does shout out in his sleep. He is gentle but very witty, and his outbursts are not angry or hostile like your neighbour, but bizarre combinations of words. I cannot remember any in particular, but when awake he is constantly amusing with random his random outbursts, and when he nods off while watching TV his outbursts are similar.

When I saw your title, I thought it might be about another type of Tourette!


tony draper
31st Jan 2015, 09:16
It is a really weird condition, we had a young lad round here that would be walking along happy as larry then would just stop and shriek out obscenities at some happless bystander,I saved him getting his head stoved in once when he shrieked at the wrong bloke a shaven headed nine foot tall tattooed stranger who did not know him.

cockney steve
31st Jan 2015, 10:15
Many years ago, there was a documentary on TV, concerning a young schoolboy from Galashiels(a town in the West Scotland Borders)
I found it absolutely hilarious, whilst feeling very sorry for his family. Basically, the lad had odd physical tics, but mainly, he was totally uninhibited in speech.
His mother was concerned, as he was starting to pick up a lot of sexually -charged cusses.....At school, the kids were in a greenhouse, the supervising teacher knocked over a plant , breaking the pot. the Tourette's pupil shouted "clumsy cnut" -everyone carried on without missing a beat.
A fascinating condition which must be very wearing to live with.

joy ride
31st Jan 2015, 10:16
The fellow we know regularly did get get a hostile reaction to his outbursts, sad really because he loved making people laugh at his words.

tony draper
31st Jan 2015, 11:05
Makes one wonder as to what kind of crossed over wiring in the brain could cause this behavior,means there must be some kind of mechanism hard wired in there for shouting and swearing that in a normal brain lies quiescent, until such time as it is triggered by one dropping a hammer on one's toe and such.

joy ride
31st Jan 2015, 12:15
One time our friend suddenly turned to confront a spider plant and out of the blue blurted out "What's up with you, you insipid puss-filled cabbage". You had to be there, we were in stitches. He loved making people laugh with his outbursts, a real ham. He's in a very sad state nowadays.

31st Jan 2015, 12:32
Is it a male-only condition?

Don't think I have ever heard of a female sufferer.

31st Jan 2015, 13:25
Oh dear, I misread the thread title as Tourelles. I had read almost all of the first post, with increasing bewilderment, until I clicked. :8

You see, Tourelles in the Channel Islands are special staircases built on the outside of ancient houses for access to the upper floor. In earlier times, farmhouses were built to house the farm animals on the ground floor, and the family lived above them. Originally a simple external ladder was used, but in later years this was replaced by a permanent stone-built extension containing wooden stairs with half landings, usually U-shaped in plan. Such homes, much modernised internally, have become quite sought after nowadays in Guernsey - my daughter lives in one. :)

But on topic, vulcanised has never heard of a female Tourette's Syndrome sufferer. Well, it's a rather tenuous link, but some years ago there was a quite amusing US television series called "Ally McBeal", about lawyers. Several episodes had as a character a young woman with Tourette's, whose sudden outbursts of ripe cursing at inappropriate times were very entertaining. Not exactly a British Medical Association confirmation, but I guess that a glossy and expensive TV series like that would have been reasonably researched for matters of that nature ... ;)

31st Jan 2015, 14:27
Oh dear, I misread the thread title as Tourelles. And here I thought 'tourettes' were a kind
of tissue women wiped their private parts
with and bought 'em off a shelf at Woolies! :\

31st Jan 2015, 15:09
Gives an insight to what must be a rather tough time in ones life....sad, funny all at once. Warning bad words inside....


31st Jan 2015, 15:10
The lady with Tourettes in Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigalo.

31st Jan 2015, 15:16
Is it a male-only condition?

Don't think I have ever heard of a female sufferer.

There's a certain lady who live in my neighbourhood, who when driving with the windows down shrieks like a goodun, some sublimely horrible words and phrases come out. It does seem to be more of a male affliction….


31st Jan 2015, 15:17
Years ago I got into a taxi in London for a short ride, but it was a rainy day and I had a heavy suitcase. I apologised to the driver that it was only a short ride, and he said : "No problem mate, I get my minimum fare as soon as you get in and then it's ..... it's fine with me." Perfectly pleasant and normal chap.

So we set off and I hear : "F###ing c####, f### the f###ing lot of them, bunch of f####ing .........etc etc."

So after a few minutes I asked if there was was problem he says : "No mate I'm as happy as a pig in shit ........." and then carries on cursing and swearing.

We get to my destination all of 3 minutes later, fare's about £4.50, I hand him a fiver, tell him to keep the change, he's polite and pleasant ......... never really worked if he was just being funny or had Tourettes.

tony draper
31st Jan 2015, 15:51
Wonder how soon after the development of language swearing appeared.
Quick! spear! freck! arse! dinosaur! eek! :rolleyes:

31st Jan 2015, 16:14
never really worked if

When ever I'm in a taxi in London it's either swearing or the occasional deep sigh from the driver. And no wonder......

31st Jan 2015, 16:23
YOU'RE ALL A BUNCH OF W****** (rhymes with bankers)!


I can't help myself. If only I could pretend... :ok:

31st Jan 2015, 16:50
Capetonian........"So we set off and I hear : "F###ing c####, f### the f###ing lot of them, bunch of f####ing .........etc etc."

That's how I react in London, so many traffic lights, start stop, start stop, getting in the right lane for a right turn. I imagine people driving in London (locals) need mental health care. One can shout out of ones driver window "You stupid bas***d"...... A blank stir is returned, um er I'll try the insult in Polish? Or maybe Russian or maybe French, Spanish?

Moral of this to all, don't drive in London. having said that and taking into account our friends across the pond. North Wales is a pleasure to drive around the historic countryside, offers may be made to buy a sheep from the locals (in remote valleys) avoid this!!!!! Once the 'hand shake' deal is finalised your legally bound (Welsh law) to take all vet costs as to your expense.

31st Jan 2015, 17:10
I avoid London like the plague and I haven't driven in the place for perhaps 10 or 15 years. I am delighted to pay a taxi or bus driver to do it, nobody could pay me enough to drive in that place, even going there sets my nerves on edge.

There are one or two things I enjoy of London. A walk along the Embankment on a fine day, a walk over Hampstead Heath, and the River Bus thingies that run between Greenwich and Charing Cross.

Most of all, I enjoy sitting on the train out of Euston or Waterloo and heading for more civilised places.

flying lid
31st Jan 2015, 17:53

Thomas coupling
31st Jan 2015, 18:17
Women with tourettes:

The woman who says 'biscuit' 900 times an hour: Listen to the Tourette¿s sufferer who breaks the taboo with humour | Daily Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2132412/The-woman-says-biscuit-900-times-hour-Listen-Tourette-s-sufferer-breaks-taboo-humour.html)

Went to Tourettes last year in France:

Tourrettes-sur-Loup visit, photos, travel info and hotels, by Provence Beyond (http://www.beyond.fr/villages/tourrettesloup.html)

Couldn't find any biscuits though?

31st Jan 2015, 18:28
Do the locals swear at you in Tourettes-sur-Loup?

There used to be a railway line from Nice to Draguignan via Grasse, Fayence, and Montaroux, which fell into disuse many years ago, I believe the viaducts were blown up to prevent the invading Germans from using it to gain access to the interior. Much of the rail bed remains and has been turned into a walking and cycling path. A couple of the viaducts are also intact but the one at Tourettes was destroyed and only the pillars remain.

Since this thread is about Tourettes Syndrome rather than the place, let me bring it on track by saying that it's a [email protected]@@ing nice place, even if the locals aren't the most welcoming.

31st Jan 2015, 22:40
in the town where I lived, in my early teens, there was a chap with a tin leg (full length, non bending, tapered with a circular rubber cup on the bottom) who rode about the town on a bicycle. The bicycle had been modified to have only one pedal, the other being removed to let his tin leg swing without getting banged. Anyway, this chap used to let loose at anyone and everyone with the longest foulest stream of abuse you could imagine, much to our delight. Being young adolescents we used to clap and cheer and regularly got the disapproval of grown ups. He used to wave one arm around at the same time. Never saw him fall off his bicycle but he was a menace to other road users, many of which hooted and then got told the error of their ways in no uncertain terms. This was long before tourettes had been released into the public domain. I did wonder whether if the outbursts were related to whatever accident caused the loss of the leg.


Loose rivets
1st Feb 2015, 00:39
It has to be caused by multiple sentience, doesn't it? An undeveloped mind fighting to make itself known.

Just think of the claims some make of having several personalities. Different languages sometimes. Thirteen, I believe someone claimed. If they were attention-seeking cheats, they were blinkin' good at it.

1st Feb 2015, 01:47
I seem to recall it's got more to do with a suspected disorder of the limbic system - possibly a problem with how the brain uses neurochemicals like dopamine to suppress the sparks of thoughts we all have.

Possibly - it was a long time ago I read about it... :( :)

Loose rivets
1st Feb 2015, 02:10
The aggressive being in there seems to be autonomous - striking out against the will of the prime mind that assumes he or she should be alone in their skull.

Some of the outbursts are so random that it just seems like a tick firing groups of related cells but then we see a bad case where the determined secondary mind seems to battle the prime mind, struggling to escape some kind of neurological bondage. i.e. if it were a calm attempt to show itself the prime mind would sense it coming and subdue it. The punching, thrusting with aggressive shouting is all part of springing up on the sufferer.

I hasten to say that I've come to this conclusion simply by my own observations over a long period.

1st Feb 2015, 05:47
Tourette's Syndrome is complex and can take many forms. It affects both males and females but it is estimated that 60% or higher of those affected are male.

Most people identify it with involuntary swearing and profanities, but the majority of sufferers don't do this. Some sufferers can control the tics and vocalisations better than others. It is often exacerbated when sufferers are stressed or anxious.

It is a neurological disorder and there is a lot of information available on the web about it.

I recently worked with a brilliant civil engineer with Tourette's, very few people ever knew he suffered from it. Under stress he his tics would become obvious and he would groan or sigh.

It must be a very very difficult condition to for the sufferers to live with

1st Feb 2015, 08:06
Interesting about the engineer, Amelia. In Sydney there was (I read) a surgeon with Tourette's, who never had tics and vocalisations when he was operating.

1st Feb 2015, 09:28
There is also a famous pianist who is never affected by tics etc when playing the piano.

It appears concentration overrides Tourettes.

1st Feb 2015, 09:36
The story about the fellow with the tin leg reminds of when I was at school (schoolkids are very cruel) and there was a 'village idiot' who used to wander round aimlessly dribbling and muttering to himself. We used to ask him where the Post Office was, usually when we were within visual of it, and he'd start pointing and muttering and we'd pretend we couldn't hear him, and this would unleash a stream of foul invective.

When we got into trouble at school for doing this, I told my English teacher it was educational as I was learning new words.

joy ride
1st Feb 2015, 09:56
I read "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat" by Oliver Sachs, a look at some of the patients this phsychiatrist/psychologist knew, including one with Tourette's Syndrome.

It's "Popular Science" so easy to read and not too heavy, and does give a good insight to various mental conditions. I have to say that reading it gave me a bit more understanding of the brain, and also much greater tolerance for those with problems. Even those with exceptionally damage or faulty brains can be stimulated by something, you just have to figure out what. Recommended.

1st Feb 2015, 11:00
I quite often used to see a young man at one of our local beaches, who suffered from Tourettes. He never managed to come out with any sustained phrases or swearing bouts, it seemed like it was just a yell that he strangled - all done with a toss of his head at the same time.

The yell came out like a loud fox yelp - and accompanied with the jerk of the head, he certainly gained his share of attention.
However, everyone seemed to realise he was suffering from some condition that he had trouble controlling, and he never really bothered anyone. There were the initial startled looks, of course, from passers-by who had their first encounter with him.

It seemed all the sadder, because he always came on his own and never appeared to have, or bring any friends - and he was also quite good-looking and had a very good physique.
I'd imagine it would be difficult to start and continue a relationship, for someone with a condition like that.

Loose rivets
1st Feb 2015, 11:50
Indeed. But some suffers do form lasting relationships.

a surgeon with Tourette's, who never had tics and vocalisations when he was operating.

There is also a famous pianist who is never affected by tics etc when playing the piano.

It appears concentration overrides Tourettes.

Or perhaps, the other mind realizes the seriousness of the situation, or even finds it absorbing.

1st Feb 2015, 11:59
Yes, that is sad.
I wish I knew more.

In an attempt to lighten things up a bit...

A car has driven into a 'Disabled' parking space and the driver's gotten out and started to walk away.
The parking inspector approached him and said..
"Excuse me sir, you've just parked in a designated 'Disabled' zone without the appropriate sticker on your windscreen - do you have a disability, sir?"

The driver's responded, "Yeah, Tourettes, - now F*CK OFF !"

1st Feb 2015, 12:05
This thread has set me wondering, with those references to a surgeon, a famous pianist, and a brilliant civil engineer all affected by Tourette's, but able to exert control when concentrating. This raises two thoughts in my mind: Is it a condition which is more likely to affect high-intellect talented people? And is it related in any way to the speech defect of stammering?
Both conditions are I believe neurological to some extent.

One of my colleagues in our consulting engineering office was very much a high-flyer, with a bad stammer which was worst when he was joining in our general social chit-chat. But when under the mental pressure of design projects with tight deadlines, or a phone call from an important client, he became transformed, and his vocal dexterity matched the swift workings of his quicksilver mind. He knew this, but was unable to self-control the effect, the pressure had to be genuine and external - he couldn't eliminate his stammer by trying to fool himself!

Loose rivets
1st Feb 2015, 12:16
One trick stammerers used to be taught was to clench a fist and shake the arm in time with the words they wanted to get out. It showed considerable promise but I've not heard of it for years.

I read "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat" by Oliver Sachs, a look at some of the patients this phsychiatrist/psychologist knew, including one with Tourette's Syndrome.

It was required reading in our house - with one son becoming a professor of experimental psychology and a daughter who was on the front line in north London, with 'clients' that worried me tremendously in terms of her safety.

Oliver Sachs is a charming and enthusiastic man who has tackled a broad spectrum of psychological issues. However, he has been on the receiving end of a lot of flack from certain academics in associated fields. I supposed getting books out and programs on the air takes more time than would be allowed if one was a dedicated researcher.

What I haven't seen is a fMRI of a Tourettes sufferer. I imagine it could be very revealing.

.< A little dot to keep that damn edit thing away from my ramblings

joy ride
1st Feb 2015, 12:45
Rob, it makes sense to me that Sachs has attracted flak for "selling out", but for me as a casually interested by-stander there is no way I could find time to read up more fully and become more deeply aware!

What I did learn from his book (I am unaware of his broadcasts) has, in my opinion, improved me as a person, something which the academics might not consider!

1st Feb 2015, 15:46
Cape..... "a walk over Hampstead Heath" Be careful, very very careful on Hampstead Heath especially at night time. People claiming to be music stars driving black range rovers are to be avoided. If you know what I mean?

1st Feb 2015, 17:48
'Lets go outside' for a 'careless whisper' and when I'm driving I'll take care I'm not 'spinning the wheel'

2nd Feb 2015, 00:05
I read "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat" by Oliver Sachs, a look at some of the patients this phsychiatrist/psychologist knew, including one with Tourette's Syndrome.

An excellent read, that book :)

(Another book in a similar vein is "Madness Explained: Psychosis and Human Nature" (ISBN 0140275401), written by an NHS clinical psychologist in plain English)

2nd Feb 2015, 01:14
The mind is a very funny thing. Whilst not having Tourettes I have been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, which has regularly got me into trouble. I have been assessed as having a high IQ and a very logical mind. I seem to be totally unable to defer to a superior and will "blurt" out my thoughts, whilst knowing in the back of my mind that it will cause me grief.

Once told a senior manager - three levels up from me, that his solution to a problem was "Stupid", going on to give him my opinion. It was during a round-table discussion with others there. He turned white and left the room. I was persuaded to leave the company shortly after.

There can be a definite discontinuity between different parts of the brain. After some meetings, on reflection, I seriously wonder why I said something. I seemed to know at the time that it would cause problems but, perhaps like Tourettes, a different part of the brain has taken over. A part no longer under my conscious control.

On eyre
2nd Feb 2015, 06:18
Alisoncc - know what you mean - alcohol sometimes causes similar symptoms.

2nd Feb 2015, 11:42
A part no longer under my conscious control.

I believe we all have this, but it varies from insignificant to major depending on the person, what you've just eaten, and as has been said, drunk. Or illicit drugs taken, but I don't know nuffin' about that.

My father-in-law, five years into a post-stroke "illness" which would eventually result in coma and death, and having said very little for months and months, suddenly denounced someone who was present, speaking clearly and rationally for ten minutes. When asked by his wife to explain, he said he'd been saving it up and it needed saying (which it did). I do believe part of his brain had overridden the rest.

A very interesting subject.

2nd Feb 2015, 12:42
Heard an interesting one in University days during a Psychology course.
A young woman who hadn't spoken in years suddenly went back into normal speech and response.
When asked by the shrink why she had not spoken for years, she came up with the reply.

"Well, I had nothing to say."

2nd Feb 2015, 12:46
A young woman ................. came up with the reply.

"Well, I had nothing to say."You're sure she was a woman?

2nd Feb 2015, 13:35
I'm married to a tourettes sufferer.

although for the majority of his life he didn't realise that's what he actually has.

he has occasional muscle spasms, not always that noticeable but when we were dating it took me a long time to realise that he wasn't trying to shrug me off his arm.

He also has audible "tics' and these change over time. He has some control over them, if he latches onto one that is particularly irksome to me, I let him know and he finds another to fixate on.

Like many sufferers he has some control over both the muscular and audible tics. He has a PPL and excellent fine motor control. He can dampen the audible tics but eventually they have to be released. He describes it as a compulsion like a sneeze. You can feel the pressure building up.

His audible tic du jour is a little "nose snort" that sounds like someone with a bad cold sniffing, thus is is "socially acceptable" and barely noticeable to other people.

I bet that most of you know someone with tourettes, you just don't know they have it.

Tourettes itself often comes with other related conditions. My other half also suffers from a sleep disorder usually grown out of in childhood but apparently not so rare in tourettes sufferers as it is in other adults

2nd Feb 2015, 14:02
I have a cousin with Tourettes. Most interesting at the Thanksgiving table, to say the least. "Pass the goddamn f***ing Turkey, you ass***e. Sorry. F*** it. Fu**ing sh**."

2nd Feb 2015, 14:50
alisoncc.... " Tourettes, a different part of the brain has taken over. A part no longer under my conscious control."

I'll try that on the mods if I ever get a warning:ok:

2nd Feb 2015, 21:18
I wonder if this is all connected to those instances when you just know you are going to knock something over, then it happens. A sort of uncontrollable will.
With Tourettes it's speech, perhaps the person thinks bad thoughts, but just can't stop themselves saying.

2nd Feb 2015, 21:30
Guy puts his car in a disabled bay at Tescos. Security guard comes over, wants to know if he's disabled as he looks fit.

"Course I'm disabled, you f*cking w*nker" says the guy parking, "I got f*cking sh*tty Tourettes, you stupid f*ckwit !"