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Intrusive Thought Tics?

Cherry Layne

Cherry Layne

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Hello, this is my first post here so please forgive if I did anything incorrectly. I’m not entirely sure that this is the most relevant topic, but since it’s related to my intrusive thoughts, I thought here would be the best place.

I experienced a bout of this last year and it’s returned as of a few days ago, prompting my curiosity because I don’t understand it and am not entirely sure what it is.

I have been having quick, jerky movements happen (seemingly) involuntarily when a thought I don’t like pops into my head, almost like trying to block it out or overpower it. It can also be a response to a compulsion that conflicts with something else and creates inner tension. Things like jerking my head to one side, punching the air, kicking, or even my whole body convulsing. These are sometimes vocal too, sharply saying things like “Stop!” “No!” Or F***!” (I don’t curse, so this one greatly bothers me). The response is so quick I don’t even have time to process the thought that caused it, but I’ve already done the action and am left thinking “What did I just do?”. After looking online I have been unable to find any information on this or why it’s happening. Anyone seeing me do these things would think I had Tourette’s, but these aren’t the same, and are directly a response to anxiety and intrusive thoughts, yet I’ve never heard of anyone experiencing these things for those reasons. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this and has any advice on controlling it. It tends to get worse the more I think about it, so I’m trying to let it fade again like it has before, but it’s giving me a headache both literally and figuratively. Is this something common in OCD/anxiety disorders?
 
Memememememememe

Memememememememe

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I got the tic thing but not the vocal one and I haven't been able to stop it, I've never associated it with Tourette but I don't know, I guess the mental thing just comes out as a physical one.
 
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Elisante

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The same happens to me (though not as a response to intrusive thoughts but other emotions). The first time lasted two or three months and then the tics disappeared. They reappeared after two years , the obvious tics lasted for a month or so but they never disappeared completely. It's not Tourette's for sure. You seem to have a pretty serious case of whatever this is though. I mean, convulsing? Have you seen a neurologist?
 
Memememememememe

Memememememememe

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I forgot to mention mine is mostly other emotions too but intrusive thoughts too.
 
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Lizaje

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Definitely ask a doctor first. I've never heard such being connected to ocd, but I'm not a doctor.
 
Cherry Layne

Cherry Layne

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The same happens to me (though not as a response to intrusive thoughts but other emotions). The first time lasted two or three months and then the tics disappeared. They reappeared after two years , the obvious tics lasted for a month or so but they never disappeared completely. It's not Tourette's for sure. You seem to have a pretty serious case of whatever this is though. I mean, convulsing? Have you seen a neurologist?
No, I haven’t. It’s not too worrying as it is, but I will definitely look into it if it worsens or is persistent.
 
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bbeans2000

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This is something I experience fairly often! For me, it happens when I have to think through a painful experience. When the pain part of the thought comes where I am “injured”, I have to jerk my head as to envision the pain occurring, and also “clearing” the thought. I try and allow myself to feel and do these things without shaming myself for it, but I understand the frustration because it can become irritating.
 
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Lil T

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Similar to bbeans2000, I find I will audibly swear or speak aloud (though usually ideally under earshot) when I am reliving super embarrassing or uncomfortable memories. Nevertheless, if I'm having one of these thoughts around or near someone I reliably do this and if someone were paying enough attention, they'd probably wonder what the F I'm up to.

I wouldn't say I "jerk" my head or anything but I usually clinch my teeth and/or make a weird face. I get a pretty visceral reaction as well to conflict with others - especially if it's something online where I can't gauge their reaction and I know others can see it (if I've mistyped something, or didn't convey what I meant properly), or if in person it's getting very heated.

I think to some degree this is fairly normal, as we have a tendency to beat ourselves up over embarrassing or stupid shit that we've done/said/thought. Meditation has been helping me somewhat in this area, recognizing that I am just having a thought/memory of this and I don't have to dwell there if I don't want to.

I notice sometimes too that I almost feel like somehow people can perceive this too - like somehow they can 'read' my thoughts (or for example would know when I'm fibbing) even though I recognize this as completely ridiculous. I don't live in this space most of the time, but I often feel like people will recognize me for a fraud, even though I'm not really doing anything fraudulent in nature.
 
Cherry Layne

Cherry Layne

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Thanks for sharing! That sounds really similar to what I experience, in the same ways too, and it’s good to know I’m not the only one.
 
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TheHeartHasAVoice

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Hey there buddy,

It's all one mechanism of action. If you were to generalize all of what everyone said above you could simply say the following: Disturbing thought - > compulsion to act - > action.

Try not to over analyze these things. Try to keep your mind occupied and engaged in healthy activities.
 
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Lukem1992

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Sorry to hear that you're experiencing that.

I have Tourette's/ADD and experience intrusive thoughts and vocal tics, including swearing and really bizarre phrases.

Does it feel like yelling or jerking is your way of quickly compartmentalizing the thought? As if to bury it so you no longer have to endure it? That's kind of what it's like for me.

I find meditation has helped me control my thought processes and reaction to my thoughts. Though I still struggle this with this every day. I also find stress, caffeine (or any stimulant) also worsens it. If I am hungover from alcohol is when it is the most challenging.

Good luck!
 
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