What are Tics?
Tics are sudden, rapid, nonrhythmic movements or vocalizations. Common tics include blinking, eye rolling, facial grimacing, head jerking, sniffing, grunting, and coughing. When both motor and vocal tics are present, a diagnosis of Tourette's Disorder may be warranted pending a neurology evaluation.
Tourette's Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that usually begins in childhood and becomes more evident as youth transition into adolescence. Although Tourette's was originally thought to be rare, it is estimated that 1 in every 160 youth has Tourette's Disorder. Some tics may last only for a short time while others may persist into adulthood. Although tics may not be frequent or intensive enough to warrant intervention for many individuals, there are treatment options available to help manage tics.
Bay Area Anxiety Solutions clinic specializes in the assessment and treatment of tic disorders in both youth and adults. Clinicians use the Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics, or CBIT, an approach recommended by the Tourette Association of America. CBIT involves helping people become more aware of environmental variables that makes their tics worse and then developing strategies to cope with those variables. CBIT also includes Habit Reversal Training, a treatment package designed to increase awareness of tic signals, develop management techniques, and effectively implement those techniques. Research shows that CBIT is as effective as medication but has the advantage of not inducing side effects.