Nervous TICS, those childish manias

They are compulsive muscle movements of short duration, sudden and very repetitive. They begin in childhood and can be considered as something normal or as a pathology. The average age of onset is seven years, but it can occur as young as two years. They occur more frequently in males and can persist into adulthood in some cases.

The causes of tics are unknown, but they tend to be aggravated under conditions of stress, anxiety, fatigue, and anger, as well as when something pleasant is anticipated. They tend to increase in the presence of family and close friends and when the sufferer is alone. They can be triggered by certain stimuli, such as someone else’s cough or gestures, or in the afternoon, due to tiredness.

They are reduced in the presence of strangers and during other non-anxiety-provoking, high-attention activities, such as playing a musical instrument.
The most frequent are: blinking or winking of the eyes, facial grimaces, contraction of the forehead or nose, repetitive coughing, etc.
It is important that parents monitor these behaviors of our children and that we consult a specialist whenever these manias or tics hinder their development.
A stress-free environment helps both to decrease the frequency of a tic and to accelerate its disappearance.

It is important that you consider a series of questions to help your child eliminate this behavior:

  • Make sure they are aware that they have a tic so they can stop it.
  • By recognizing it, you will notice the number of times you get to repeat it in the same day.
  • Ask him to observe how often he repeats it and how it affects his life.
  • Help him analyze what he has done just before and after the tic, to know what behaviors or situations cause it.

The following exercise can serve as a process for overcoming the habit:

  • Stand him in front of a mirror and ask him to do the tic movement voluntarily.
  • Tell him to do it slowly and describe out loud what this movement is like.
  • You need to focus on that movement, have it repeat, and stop immediately.
  • With this exercise, you will be doing awareness training so that you will come to anticipate it and react in time to avoid it when it occurs.

Leave a Reply