102: Good Morning. This past Thursday ...I heard you speak
about your life history as well as your thoughts about Tourrette, ADHD
etc....To me, it sounded like you were not a fan of medicine. I have
sat on the fence about the medicine issue for a long time. I have seem
the effects of meds on students. Some being visably positive, some not.
Personally, I have a son who is 10 and for many reasons, I beleive he
could be ADHD/PI. His behaviour is not an issue at all but focusing
is. He required the quiet space to accomplish alot. I also don't believe
that he is at Grade level and this concernes me as the years go on.
To have the assessment done, there is a 2 year waiting list. I am afraid
to make the decision of meds. I beleive that Ritalin is a methenfedamine
(I am sure that that is spelt wrong) and therefore am concerned about
giving it to him but on the other hand, am I not being a good mom if
I don't try? Sometimes these decisions seem easier as a teacher... Any
thoughts? Thank you so very much. C.M., ON, Canada.
96: My son was diagnosed with full blown TS and symptoms of
ADHD and OCD when he was 6 yrs old (now 7). He also experiences bouts
of rage and when he is emotionally "hurt" he will verbalize
the desire to do violent things. I don't really believe he would ever
do what he comes up with but...he is currently on Luvox and with the
more recent light shed on the possible conection with odd behaviors
and SSRI's I'm seriously reconsidering giving him the med. His rages
have greatly decreased since his diagnosis but I think that has more
to do with our acceptance of him and his natural developement than any
med (in the last 11 months he has been on Clonidine, Respiradol, Serequel
(2 wks), and now Luvox (in that order). We fired the first psychiatrist
we were with as we by this point had more knowledge of TS than he did
and now find ourselves on at least 3 different waiting list to get our
son some help. In the mean time I can no longer tell if the medication
he is on is doing anything or if it simply the wax and wanning of the
disorder and seriously the more I read about the medications he is/has
been on the more confused and frightened I get. The next suggested med
(via the pediatrition) is concerta in combination with luvox. But not
one physician has ever talked to my son about what he feels/experiences
so how do they know what is the disorder and what is his lack of understanding
and frustration with the disorder?
Please send me some feedback on the direction I should take now...I
feel like I'm drowning in confusion. Meds or no meds? that is the question.
64: This is my first time writing to you. I was diagnosed with Tourette's
when I was seven years old. It used to be real bad. I am now 12 and
everything is under control. I'm taking nine mg of orap a day. But the
problem is that I get tired really easily. Do you have any suggestions?
My e-mail address is protege5rulz..............(As you can see, I'm
in love with the Mazda Protege 5.) Thanks, N.W., ON, Canada.
62: My question is this, my son is most often a very sweet and loving
child, and as you understand he has his moments that include the rages,
however I am wonder(ing) if TS has some effect on the ability to make
the choice between right and wrong. Some times the choices my son makes
are very poor even though I know he knows he shouldn't have made that
choice....I am worried because for the last eight months his choices
are for a lack of a better word ridiculously wrong and inappropriate,
I will also let you know he is on risperidol 1.5.mg per day and when
he goes to his fathers every other weekend he is not always getting
this medication, then when he gets home by Sunday evening he is a handful
and very very angry and hurtful to his siblings and me. Is it a possibility
that the constant interruption of medication causing this inability
to make good choices or does it have to due directly with his TS. S.H.,
51: I'm a cardiologist and recently realized my 7yo sons ticks are
due to TS. His case is mild, exaggerated startle, throat clearing, humming,
and scratching, no ADHD or OCD Sx. (He's well adjusted and a good student).
There is no [family history] of tics just the usual mild nuerotics and
OCD's. At 10day old he had a bad case of RSV pneumonia and received
Ribavirin. Have you heard of any association there? (medline search=0).
do Clonidine and Guanafacine really suppress ticks (one article said
not)? or only ADHD and sleep disorders neither of which he has. D.
44: I am a 31 year female living in the UK.... my main question
to you is regarding fluoxetine. I am currently taking this drug to help
with PMT but various T.S. sites state this may help with attention problems
but can make tics worsen. Is there a connection, or is it just a coincidence.
D.F., Lancashire, U.K.
43: My questions is do you know anything about treating TS with
the amino acid Tryptophan? If there's anything I could contribute to
your site in terms of info or just keeping it updated I'd be glad to
volunteer to help. Keep up the great work...and maybe someday I can
get you to come to Costa Rica and do some lecturing...well it never
hurts to dream LOL! B.M., Costa Rica
40: ONE OF MY MAJOR CONCERNS....HAS BEEN MEDICATION. C. HAS BEEN
ON MEDICATION SINCE HE WAS DIAGNOSED...ACTUALLY QUITE A FEW DIFFERENT
ONES AND TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH, LATELY I AM THINKING THAT I DON'T EVEN
REALLY KNOW MY "TRUE" SON ...ONLY THE MEDICATED ONE. AFTER
LISTENING TO YOU ALL DAY SATURDAY....I FEEL LIKE I AM GIVING C. A DOUBLE
STANDARD WHEN I SAY "BE YOURSELF AND BE PROUD OF YOUR TOURETTE
SYNDROME...BUT HERE TAKE YOUR PILLS SO THAT YOU DON'T HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS
OF IT " ! I REALIZE THAT THERE ARE CASES WHERE MEDICATION IS A
MUST AND IF IT IS WORKING GREAT...BUT THINGS ARE PRETTY BAD FOR C. RIGHT
NOW AND HIS SELF ESTEEM IS AT AN ALL TIME LOW . I SPOKE WITH HIM THIS
MORNING AND TOLD HIM HOW YOU FELT WHEN YOU WERE ON MEDICATION AND HE
SAID HE FEELS THE SAME WAY....I AM GOING TO TRY AND GO DRUG FREE AND
SEE WHERE IT TAKES US....WHO KNOWS, I MAY BE BACK HERE SOME DAY BUT
FOR NOW I THINK IT IS WORTH THE EFFORT TO SEE MY "TRUE" CHILD
AND NOT THE ONE I HAVE MEDICATED TO SUIT SOCIETY!! T.D., NS, Canada.
36: Our 8 year old son has ADHD and his doctor suggested Concerta
but my wife's brother has TS. The manufacturer of Concerta warns against
giving Concerta to people with a history of TS but our pediatrician
is not concerned. Have you have any knowledge of this issue or do you
known anyone who would? Thanks. M.G., New Hampshire, USA
31: My son is on clonidine and has been for almost two years. It
seems to me he is becoming more and more irritable and prone to tantrums
over trivialities (brushing teeth, foods, etc.) He is almost twelve.
Is there much evidence that this drug exacerbates irritability? We are
already familiar with the drowsiness and weight gain side effects. It's
mostly at home that he becomes nasty and irascible. Thank you for the
help and inspiration. You have helped me and K. more than any doctor
we have seen.
24: I am a female from Singapore and I am 29 years old. I have been
diagnosed with TS since I was 8 years old. Since then I have been on
Haloperidol, now about 4.5mg per day. What are the side effects of taking
Haloperidol for life in the long run? What is the link between Parkinson's
disease and TS? Please help because in Singapore there is so little
knowledge and awareness of TS. I saw ten doctors before I was fianlly
diagnosed. C.G., Singapore.
11: Thank-you Duncan for your response to my question
concerning our son's sleep disorder. You mentioned quite a few useful
things. I had wondered about behavior modification for TS. But the pediatric
neurologist that Chase our son sees says that there really is no way
to turn the motor off in Chase's brain so easily. I had mentioned to
the doctor the idea of getting an aquarium for our son's bedroom in
hopes to help relax him at bedtime. He said that we could try but not
to hang our hopes on it.
the sleep clinics familiar with treating a sleep disorder associated
with TS? [Our neurologist] has had to remind me of the physialogical
nature of this disorder on more than one occassion. Reminding me of
an actual problem with neurotransmitters and the tics not being emotionally
induced.....[Our neurologist] is also very conservative with the meds.
He doesn't want Chase treated for his tics unless he is hurting himself
or unable to be productive. And none of those have occurred so presently
he only takes something for bedtime. We too would like to keep him on
little meds as possible or none at all.
God Bless you and the ministry that you offer to us folks. You have
a gift. Don't give it up. Sincerely, S.H., Texas, USA.
9: I read your article and response to the question of meds. I found
it very informative. My question is: What about meds. for something
like a sleep disorder. The inability to sleep through the whole night
or not all on some nights. My husband and I are going through these
night wakenings with our 8 year old son. It just wouldn't seem to stop.
Our neurologist, a pediatric neurologist prescribed clonidine for him.
One quarter at first and now we are up to a half tablet. Have we seen
any benifits? I don't know. The frequency of the night wakenings has
lessened. But I find myself going to sleep at night praying that the
med. won't have an adverse affect on him while we are asleep and unable
to notice. Hope you can help us out? S.H., Texas, USA.
5: I really enjoyed your web site. I have not been diagnosed with
TS but feel that I may have it. I do a small tick (like a head jerk)
,eye blinking and I find that I tap my teeth alot along with a couple
of other things. I have requested a physicans list from TSA but have
not received it yet. Do you or have you ever heard of anyone having
a yawn? Is this a form of a tick? Also do you take any drugs to help
you with TS? If you do are they worth the side affects? If you could
please respond as you are the only person I know with TS. Thanks L,