Nervous Twitches

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about nervous twitching:

My husband has this thing with his hands he does 24-7 and it’s driving me nuts!!!! He’s done it since he was a child, now 41. He always has to be moving his fingers, His pointer and middle and thumb knock together over and over for hours without getting tired; sometimes all his fingers knock together, and sometimes both hands are going and the thing is, most of the time he doesn’t realize he is doing it. He can be in an important meeting and not notice what he is doing, yet everyone is looking at him! Can You tell me why He does this what’s wrong???

Signed, Going Nuts

Dear Going Nuts:

Our focus and expertise is workplace communication, not medical as our disclaimer states. Your husband has told you he has had this twitching behavior since he is a child. That is an indicator it might be a nervous disorder, what has been labeled Tourette Syndrome. There are many sources that describe this kind of behavior, such as: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tourette/detail_tourette.htm I suggest that you and your husband see a neurologist for a diagnosis. You likely will find, as this and other sites, state “some people can sometimes suppress, camouflage, or otherwise manage their tics in an effort to minimize their impact on functioning. However, people with TS often report a substantial buildup in tension when suppressing their tics to the point where they feel that the tic must be expressed. Tics in response to an environmental trigger can appear to be voluntary or purposeful but are not.”

A medical specialist might prescribe something that will help your husband manage this behavior or at least enable you both to better accept what can’t be changed. You do not mention his employment, and therefore I assume he is able to work. So count your blessings and support him emotionally. That is what matters. Please keep me posted on what you learn. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and that applies to families.

William Gorden