Tapping, facial tics, and stuff like that.

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Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

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Joined: 27 Dec 2011
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Location: Hampstead, MD

26 May 2012, 10:23 pm

I've been wondering for a long time what would cause these. A little before I was 6 years old, I would do these weird facial movements and tap things and do other weird thing with my whole body. Most of them get worse if I think about them or if I become aware of them. Some of them will go away if I forget about them. It's pretty much my awareness that will "turn them on and off". I guess I should mention that I've been diagnosed with ADHD Inattentive Type. I'll make this like a list so it's easier to read.

One of the fist big ones was humming which I still do a little bit now, but not that much. I wouldn't do it that much in public, but at home I would softly hum so it would feel good in my throat. When I would sleep with my mom in bed (I was around 5 yrs) she would get annoyed and tell me to stop, but I told her I had to do it cause it felt good, and luckily I would fall asleep soon after that.

Another big one was facial movements. These I still do all the time.

One type was opening my mouth really wide so the corners of my lips would stretch. I did that all the time when I was 6, but not a lot now. People would ask me why I did it and I said it just felt good and it felt good on the corners of my lips then my mom would always ask me if I needed Chapstick and I would get so upset and tell her no.

I also move my nose up like a rabbit does and then stretch my upper lip down. When I was younger they would be 2 different movement that I would do separately, but now I just doing it all together.

I also open my eyes really wide. I sometimes roll my eyes up which I use to get in trouble for when I was younger because people thought I was doing it to them and one time my dad was yelling at me and I did it and he got really mad so I starting crying and tried to explain it to him and then I started doing it more.

One I do a lot is eye twitches like I'm winking. Sometimes when I doing it it starts like a chain with the winking, eyes opening wide, eye rolling, eye brow move up and down.

This is my biggest one. It has no pattern, I just do it till I feels good.

I tap my fingers all the time. Usually tapping each finger to my thumb.
I push on the sides of my finger nails mostly and sometime on the side of my finger. Well, it can pretty much be anywhere on my fingers, mostly my nails.

I tap on objects. Like if I touched something, sometime it gives me this weird feeling and I'll touch it till I feel good. Not like OCD and feel like something bad with happen. I can keep myself from doing it if I really need to, but I usually just do it even if it will look funny. When I was 6, I was touching this thing in the middle of a table and my aunt said to stop, but I had to touch the top of it a couple more times and she looked at me funny and I told her sometimes I need to touch thing a certain amount of times so it feel good.

I move my fingers kind of like they have that poppy feeling or like the bones from that joint are rubbing together.

If I move an object then sometimes that causes the same feeling. I'll have to move it certain ways a certain amount of times. Sometimes I'll go back to the object if I start to walk away.

If I become aware of my fingers touching something then I will softly tap whatever it is touching and slide my finger(s) on it.

Kind of like my fingers

If my clothes are placed uncomfortably or I have a some type of uncomfortable feeling somewhere on my body then that part of my body I'll have to tense that muscle over and over so I get that good feeling. It could be caused by objects touching me, my clothes, an itch, pretty much anything that causes the feeling.

There might be more, but I don't feel like going on. I also don't feel like spell checking so sorry if there's some mistakes.

Thank you.


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26 May 2012, 10:44 pm

I did (and do) a lot of stuff almost exactly like this. I have many compulsive movements, which nowadays are mostly on the small scale (eyelids, fingers, parts of my face, etc.) all small stuff that won't stop me from walking or something if I do it - as a kid I had ones that would literally stop me in my tracks and I had to cycle through the movements until it was done enough times or until it felt right to stop.

I have a lot of things where I must do them a certain number of times (either 3 or 7 - it seems ridiculous for them to be any other number and it actually distresses me a little bit on the inside when I hear about people doing things like this with different repetition numbers, especially 5 - as illogical as it is for me to feel that.) Also the repetitions may be in sets of numbers, as in, 3 sets of 7 or 3 of 3 or 7 of 7 or whatever - and they must all be done perfectly or it all starts over, but I still have to finish the improperly done cycle.

I'm pretty much constantly moving my fingers or doing something with them. There are things that have the OCD feeling you describe (in words similar to the ones I use when I describe it, even - things where you have to do it or you feel like "bad things will happen"), and there are things where it just feels good to do it.

Edit: adding an interesting one - if someone touches me I have to wipe the area afterward with my hand.


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27 May 2012, 2:40 am

I do very similar stuff,
lots of finger movements touching like the OP said.
facial lip folding movements and tongue stuff that looks really weird and people comment on.
teeth grinding, jaw clenching
and the numbers 3 and 7 are my favourite - i have managed to stop needing to do things a certain number of times.
I am 37 this year - its a good year for me

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27 May 2012, 3:09 am

A lot of that is me. 52 years old. My fingers have never taken a weekend off. Face busy, too. I now weave hammocks while listening to tunes. Most of my eccentric stimming looks like music grooving to my co-workers. Playing with string for a living. Only problem, life on a commune, I'm getting paid in string. Hopefully you'll do better.

ASQ: 45. RAADS-R: 229.
BAP: 132 aloof, 132 rigid, 104 pragmatic.
Aspie score: 173 / 200; NT score: 33 / 200.
EQ: 6.


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05 Jul 2013, 3:14 pm

My tics agitate me pretty much every few days. I was diagnosed with Tourettes/Tic disorder (not going into details; longer story).

I have this vocal tic where I grunt, but it sounds like someone's stomach and I wince my jaw too; this leaves me unable to talk until I finish doing it. My fingers are flicking and tapping constantly. I'm also not sure whether it's ADHD (diagnosed too by the way), it's a tic I haven't noticed, or I just play video games too much. The most funny tic I have is blurting out random words or 3 word bursts. Somehow, I'm always able to work it into the conversation.

I used to have the same eye tic you have, but it's gone now. Instead, I've started blinking excessively again, so much so, that it feels good and hurts all at the same time. Head jerking is another tic I have.

If I don't tick, I hear this dark roar in my ears, my body gets insanely tense, like you said, or my vision blurs. Suppressing your tics is usually not a good idea.

Shedding your shell can be hard.
Diagnosed Level 1 autism, Tourettes + ADHD + OCD age 9, recovering Borderline personality disorder (age 16)