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List of nervous tics: 13 Nervous Habits (a List of Nervous Tics and Signs of Anxiety)

13 Nervous Habits (a List of Nervous Tics and Signs of Anxiety)

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Want to learn how to stop fidgeting in a social setting?

Do you often show these signs of nervous habits like:

  • Leg shaking
  • Taping fingers
  • Ear touching obsession
  • Touching hair
  • Fidgety fingers
  • Biting your nails

If you display any sign of these anxiety habits, then you’ll want to check out the following list of nervous behaviors with a few simple ways to overcome them.

[See a list of 31 Bad Habits You Should Get Rid of Today]

Okay, let’s review this list of 13 nervous habits, tics, and signs of anxiety…

Table of Contents

1. Biting Your Fingernails

One of the most common nervous habits is biting your nails. You might not even realize that you do this because once it’s a habit, it will become repetitive and involuntary.

Although it might seem like a self-soothing behavior, it does nothing but cause ragged-looking nails which are susceptible to inflammation and paronychia.

Biting your nails may be an extension of thumb-sucking or even a learned behavior from other family members.

Some ways you can curb this bad nervous habit are to:

  • Keep hands clean and covered with gloves when possible.
  • Coat nails with an unpleasant-tasting substance in order to deter you from biting them. This makes the nail bitter and unpleasant to taste but is 100% safe for children and adults of all ages. The most popular product on the market is Mavala Stop!
  • Get a manicure regularly or cover your nails with polish to help your nails grow and encourage you to keep your nails looking healthy.
  • Reward yourself when you don’t bite your nails for a certain period of time.

[Get More Information on Stopping Nail Biting!]

Glancing down and looking away from people you’re talking to may be perceived as a lack of confidence, disrespect or rudeness. Eye contact is a sign of respect (in the west, at least).

If you’re anxious about making eye contact in social settings, here are some things that may help:

  • Instead of looking directly into someone’s eyes, look at the top of the person’s cheekbone, nose or their lips. They won’t even be able to tell that you’re not making eye contact because you’re still looking at their face.
  • When shaking hands and meeting someone for the first time, try to make eye contact. It’s only for a few seconds and there is no harm in testing this out with a stranger; you have nothing to lose.
  • Keep your phone away from you when conversing with someone so that it forces you to look up, be present and stay involved with the conversation.
  • Try to remind yourself to avoid looking down or away for long periods of time.

[How to improve interpersonal communication]

3. Smoking

Some people light a cigarette when they feel nervous but, as we are all aware of by now, nicotine is an addictive stimulant that actually makes you more nervous. Most smokers feed their bad habit by associating smoking to their breaks from work, which are the only times they can smoke and get away from stressful situations at the same time.

The problem is, this is only a short-term solution to stress. In order to kick your bad smoking habit, maybe it’s time to finally seek some professional help. Try getting hypnotized, pills, nicotine gum, vapor cigarettes or e-cigarettes.

Once you’ve kicked the habit, or reduced your smoking, it’s time to start working on finding another outlet for your stress.

Smoking is also one of the classic “bad habits” that people try to break.  If you want to take another shot at getting rid of this habit, then check out this 27-step strategy for changing your bad habits.

And here are a few products that can help you eliminate smoking:

  • NicoDerm CQ 21mg Step 1 Nicotine Patches
  • Rite Aid Nicotine Patches – Step 1 | 21 mg
  • GoodSense Nicotine Lozenge 4 mg

Nicotine is an addictive stimulant that actually makes you more nervous.

4. Grinding and Clenching Your Teeth

Some people, when nervous will experience bruxism, which is a condition in which you repetitively clench and grind your teeth.

This can happen while you sleep, or while you’re awake. Sleep bruxism usually only lasts for 30 seconds or less but can still have long-term complications.

Over time, if you continue to grind your teeth, it can result in worn-down, loose teeth, cracks, broken fillings, gum recession and headaches (which will actually make your stress worse).

Next time, when you notice yourself grinding your teeth, stop and take some deep breaths instead, and be aware of your facial muscles and surroundings. Stress and anxiety can trigger and exaggerate teeth grinding.

For nocturnal bruxism, seek help from your dentist who can do a bruxism evaluation and who can recommend a bruxism appliance you can wear at night.

But you can also purchase a mouth guard directly from Amazon. Here a few options:

  • Plackers Grind No More Dental Night Guard for Teeth Grinding
  • Neomen Mouth Guard for Teeth Grinding
  • DenTek Professional-Fit, Maximum Protection Dental Guard For Teeth Grinding

Another way to avoid grinding and clenching your teeth is to avoid drinking too much alcohol and avoid chewing gum; both are said to worsen the condition.

5. Rushed Speech

Another nervous habit that you may have experienced at one point or another is rushed speech. This can be harmful because talking really fast may paint you as the stereotypical salesperson.

Another harmful effect is that people won’t understand you because you lose your enunciation when you talk too quickly.

When speaking quickly, you may also disturb the flow of conversations because people will ask you to slow down or repeat what you just said. This could lead to frustration among the group.

If you experience rushed speech from time to time, here are some ways to help:

  • If you’re nervous, take a few deep breaths before answering a question or starting a presentation.
  • Practice what you have to say. Record yourself talking and listen. Make sure you are speaking slowly and enunciating every word.
  • If you need to talk fast to cover your topic in the appropriate amount of time, cut down your speech or notes.
  • Put some “Slow down!” reminders on your notes or cue cards.
  • If you know you have this nervous habit, why not set a reminder on your phone to go off every minute (on vibrate), which will help to remind you to slow down during conversations.

If this nervous habit sounds familiar, then check out this article to learn 11 ways to improve your interpersonal communication skills.

6. Sucking and Chewing on Pens or Pencils

This is another bad habit that may have started in your early childhood and may be hard to break when you’re an adult.

Pen and pencil chewing and sucking may seem harmless but there are reasons why you need to learn how to curb this bad habit. It’s unhygienic:

Pen and pencil chewing and sucking is unhygienic.

If you are used to grabbing a pen and putting it in your mouth, you may, one day grab someone else’s pen (and you don’t know where that’s been). Always remember that germs quickly spread from hands to mouths.

This bad habit is one that not only harms your teeth but also your reputation in the long run. You don’t want to be known as the person in the office that you can’t let borrow a pen.

Here are some ways to help you break this nervous habit:

  • Try using your keyboard or your phone to take notes instead of pens/pencils.
  • Choose to use pens with ends that are hard to chew, or pencils with big erasers.
  • Coat the ends with a bitter substance, cover it with tape, or cover it with something furry.
  • Keep healthy bite-sized snacks (carrots or celery sticks) near you.
  • Instead of chewing on your pen, eat something else to curb your oral fixation.

7. Tapping Your Foot

Tapping your foot is another nervous habit that can be caused by stress. This habit can be seen as a sign of irritation or impatience and may be annoying to others.

If you are trying to break this habit, if you have the option to stand up or remain standing during a conversation or presentation then choose to stand so that you won’t be tempted to tap your foot.

Another way to help you to stop tapping your foot is: when sitting, plant both of your feet firmly on the ground and check on them occasionally. If you have the urge to tap, hold your palms over your legs or try crossing your legs.

8. Twirling and Touching Your Hair

Playing with your hair isn’t always a sign of flirting, it can be known as a nervous habit and a self-soothing behavior. In some cases, hair pulling becomes so severe and can cause trichotillomania, which is the urge to constantly pull hair until it breaks.

Other types of hair playing, more common with women are: tucking hair behind the ears, twirling the hair and smoothing it down or patting the hair. If hair playing is getting a little obsessive and repetitive, it could be a sign of anxiety, stress or discomfort.

If you’re not sure if you have to be concerned, try being aware of the habit and count how many times you touch your hair during stressful situations (meetings, presentations, etc.).

If you notice it’s a problem, keep track and reward yourself every time your number reduces. For severe cases, seek professional help in the areas of stress management or anxiety.

9. Cracking Your Knuckles

This is a very common nervous habit used to relieve stress but there are downsides to cracking your knuckles. First of all, it can be very annoying to your family, friends, and coworkers. It can also have long-term effects like lower grip strength if you are cracking your knuckles too often.

Here are some ways to help your knuckles stay healthy:

  • Count how many times you crack your knuckles. Set up a reward system for when your knuckle cracking reduces in frequency.
  • Keep your hands busy or take up a new hobby.
  • When idle, wrap your hands to remind yourself not to crack your knuckles.
  • Hold a pen or pencil during stressful situations.
  • Remind yourself of the long-term damage that you may cause.

10. Touching Your Face

Another unhygienic nervous habit is face touching. Face touching may be seen as a self-pacifying gesture when a person is insecure or hiding something. When people get nervous, sometimes they will feel a need to scratch parts of their face.

If you have problems with this nervous habit, remember, before any meeting or presentation to check yourself in the mirror and assure yourself that nothing is wrong with your face and remind yourself that you won’t have a need to scratch or touch your face.

You can also try holding a pen or do something to keep your hands busy. Another way to curb this habit is to remind yourself that your hands are not clean all of the time and you may be spreading germs from your mouth, back to your hands, and then onto other people.

For worse cases (including chronic acne pickers), trim your fingernails regularly and definitely don’t use magnifying mirrors because that will make you want to touch your pimples even more.

11.  Fidgety Fingers

This annoying habit involves everything from tapping your fingers on the table and drumming your hands on your legs to playing with your wristwatch or bracelets and playing with the arm of a chair. This might appear to others that you are someone who is unfocused, bored or dealing with anxiety and stress.

Tips to help your fidgety fingers stay still:

  • Avoid wearing a wristwatch or bracelets when you’re going to an important meeting.
  • Keep your table free of items you can play with (pens, rubber bands, paper clips) or designate a place for them and call it your No-Touch zone.
  • If you like drumming your fingers, before any important meeting, visualize and imagine your fingers being wrapped with tape or gauze.


  Biting Your Lower Lip

Biting your lip is extremely common and, like hair playing, is often considered a sign of flirting. If lip-biting becomes excessive it can have harmful effects. It can cause dry, chapped lips, and bleeding lips due to exposure of the lips to the mouth’s digestive enzymes.

If lip biting becomes excessive it can have harmful effects.

To help you stop your lip biting, take deep breaths to calm yourself before any important meeting. Another great way that might help reduce lip biting is to use a good quality moisturizing lip balm or petroleum jelly. Try using flavored ones (make sure you’re not allergic) and use the taste as a reminder to stop biting your lip.

13.  Laughing or Giggling

Laughing or giggling might not seem like a big problem at first, but it can be embarrassing in certain social situations and you might not get taken seriously. Nervous laughter is a physical reaction to anxiety, and in order to stop your giggles, you will need to get help with your anxiety.

Here are some habit tips that you can try:

  • Identify what kind of situations set you off. Look for patterns. Is it certain people, sexes, people of authority or certain places?
  • Think of situations that you know you won’t laugh at. What’s the difference? Remember that you’re in control and are able to turn off the laughter when you need to.
  • When you feel like you’re on the verge of laughing or giggling, either dig your fingernails into your palms or focus on the most serious non-laughing matter you can think of.
  • Find outlets to release real laughter.

How to Deal with your Nervous Habits

Stress-related habits like the ones listed above can be embarrassing, stressful and even harmful for your social life and health. It’s important to work on yourself and learn some of the steps above on how to break nervous habits as some of them can have harmful long-term effects.

Once you try the tips we’ve listed above, and get outside help if needed, you will start to feel more comfortable in your own skin and slowly build up your confidence and feel more at ease in social situations.

Confidence breeds confidence, and simply feeling more at ease in social situations will help bolster that confidence in a positive cycle.

Also, if you feel like you struggle with a specific behavior that we just talked about, then check out our article on the step-by-step process to break a habit.

Finally, if you need help with building habits, then check out this nine-step blueprint that walks you through the entire process of creating lifelong habits.)

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Examples Of Anxiety Tics | Shoreline Recovery Center

Tics can be categorized as repetitive, fast muscle movements that result in sudden and challenging control of body jolts and sounds. Motor tics can present themselves in various ways incorporating a range of muscles within the body. Whereas vocal tics often manifest themselves through acts such as:

  • Sniffing
  • Grunting
  • Throat clearing
  • Repetitive sounds
  • Rapid blinking

Nervous tics, on the other, are involuntary movements or noises that occur in sudden bursts. Nervous tic is anxiety tics distinguished from nervous habits such as biting the skin around your fingernails or biting your lip until it bleeds; this can be a response to anxiety. If an individual begins to experience an anxiety tic, they may often urge to persist with the movement that they have simply no control over. Individuals can often suppress their movements for a certain amount of time, but that will often present the individual becoming highly overwhelmed. Numerous medics have stated that tics often develop in the early childhood years and are often more prevalent in boys than girls. 

Are tics a symptom of anxiety?

When an individual becomes anxious, they may begin experiencing various signs of tics which can include twitching of the:

  • Legs
  • Eyes
  • Arms
  • Spam in throat

These physical sensations that an individual may experience can at times last for a few days before disappearing. These tics are a symptom of anxiety when an individual becomes stressed, and their muscles tighten. When an individual becomes anxious, their body releases a chemical called adrenaline; anxiety triggers this specific chemical, also referred to as a hormone, like a flight or a fight reaction. For example, suppose an individual is walking alone at night and have to walk past a group of drunk individuals. In that case, the body will automatically begin pumping more oxygen and blood into your muscles and lungs, so safely walk past the group of individuals who have set off your anxiety which will be your fight mode, or change direction, which will be your flight mode. Medical professionals have stated that anxiety tics predominantly occur when the body is forced into survival mode. 

A range of anxiety disorders have tics among the main symptoms of that disorder. However, it should be stated that anxiety disorders, in general, are not the most common cause of tics. 

How anxiety causes tics

Anxiety disorders, in general, will automatically trigger the release of neurotransmitters which are used by the body to send vital messages to the individual’s muscles. When an individual begins experiencing anxiety, the release of the neurotransmitters will begin triggering muscles movement despite there being no need for it. As a result of these chemicals, your body will start to twitch or hyperventilate, another side effect of an anxiety disorder. 

Types of anxiety tics

Anxiety tics are split into two types and are preferred as complex and straightforward. Simple tics will generally only last a few seconds with, more often than not, muscles involvement which can be seen to include but is not limited to:

  • Blinks
  • Neck jerking
  • Throat clearing
  • Facial grimacing
  • Grunting
  • Sniffing

On the other hand, complex anxiety tics will generally last longer than simple tics and will more often than not engage multiple muscles at one time. Complex anxiety tics can be seen to include but are not limited to:

  • Squatting
  • Hand motions
  • Jumping
  • Repeatedly smelling an object
  • Repeatedly touching an object

Complex vocal anxiety tics can include but are not limited to:

  • Uttering complete sentences 
  • Uttering obscene words
  • Repeated speech
  • Repeating other individuals’ speech

When to seek help

Anxiety tics can take their toll on an individual’s body and mental state. They can quickly become embarrassing and uncomfortable. Due to tics being a generic symptom of anxiety, learning to manage your stress levels by learning meditation techniques can help your manage or treat your tics. 

If you find your anxiety disorder has begun to interfere with the happiness of your life, our San Diego mental health treatment services allow our clients like you to work closely with our medical professionals to create a customized treatment plan that works around you.

Our certified mental health staff has an outstanding reputation, alongside SHORELINE Recovery Center | Alcohol and Drug Rehab San Diego maintaining a five-star reputation for over 5 consecutive years.

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causes and treatment of nervous tics of the eye, lips and face

A nervous tic is, in fact, an involuntary contraction of muscles in the face of a stereotyped appearance, less often a muscle of the neck. This deviation is expressed in twitching in small attacks. Everyone has experienced uncontrollable muscle twitching at least once in their life. Such a stereotypical reduction of the eyelid occurs in case of severe mental or emotional overload.

Nervous tics of the eye or twitching of the mimic muscles are more common than others. In childhood, the risk group for the appearance of a nervous tic mainly includes boys. In this case, drug treatment is not required for either children or adults. However, in the case of the transition of a tick to the stage of a permanent phenomenon, it is necessary to begin treatment.


The main cause of nervous tics is a malfunction of the nervous system. Dysfunction involves sending inadequate impulses from the brain to the muscles, resulting in an uncontrolled, rapid contraction. At the same time, a person is not able to stop such a twitching by a strong-willed decision.

Nervous tics are classified according to their causes:

  • primary or psychogenic, also known as idiopathic,
  • secondary or symptomatic,
  • genetic or hereditary – damage to the structure of the cells of the nervous system.

Children’s causes of the development of primary nervous tic of the eye:

  • hyperactivity or lack of attention;
  • fears and phobias;
  • neuroses and anxiety.
  • Primary causes of eye twitching in adults:

    • constant stress and overexertion;
    • mobility of the nervous system;
    • chronic fatigue syndrome.

    At the same time, this type of tic disappears on its own if the root cause is excluded.

    Causes of a nervous tic of a secondary nature:

    • infection of the brain;
    • carbon monoxide poisoning;
    • taking pharmaceuticals – psychotropic or anticonvulsant;
    • violation of the blood circulation of the brain – stroke or atherosclerosis;
    • renal or hepatic insufficiency;
    • mental disorders – autism or schizophrenia and others;
    • trigeminal neuralgia;
    • birth injuries;
    • formation of tumors in the brain;
    • the presence of VVD.

    In childhood, the habit of making monotonous muscle movements is of great importance to alleviate the state of a particular disease. Subsequently, they begin to repeat themselves spontaneously.

    Genetic Tourette’s disease causes nervous tics mainly in children, against the background of the following factors:

    • autoimmune disorders;
    • stresses;
    • bad ecology;
    • infection with bacteria, such as streptococci and staphylococci;
    • lack of magnesium and pyridoxine.


    The most important symptom of a nervous tic of the eye is considered to be voluntary uncontrolled contraction of the muscles. Moreover, the more efforts a person makes to stop an attack of contractions, the stronger and more often the twitching begins. It is worth noting that there are a number of strong personalities that can delay the onset of an attack of twitching and weaken the degree of muscle contraction.

    Most often, symptoms appear after serious physical or mental stress against the background of overwork or deep conflict, as well as after psycho-emotional trauma.

    External signs of muscle contraction are always visible to surrounding people and are localized in the zone of formation of a nervous tic:

    • facial – twitching of the eye, eyelids, twitching of the eyebrow or nose, frequent blinking, self-opening of the mouth or movement of the lips;
    • head or neck – mechanical head turns or impulsive nodding;
    • voice – pronunciation of an unrelated set of words, syllables, sounds or grunts, howling and barking cough;
    • body – reflex movement of the abdominals, diaphragm, trembling of the muscles of the pelvis or buttocks;
    • limbs – uncontrollable clapping of hands or stomping and bouncing of feet;
    • vocal – smacking, foul language, shouting at emotions and coughing.

    In general, all nervous tics are noticed by others, while the patient himself rarely focuses on them. The development of the process of strengthening the manner of tic takes place over a rather long period of time.

    The hallmark of any tic is the lack of control by the patient himself. Symptoms come out at the moment of strong excitement or extreme fatigue. Very rarely, these states occur against the background of relaxation.

    Nerve contractions do not affect the performance and functioning of the nervous system and mental abilities of the patient. They are more likely to accompany mental and emotional disorders.

    The initial stage of a nervous tic is an increase in tension, which a person consciously wants to release. Then comes the moment of muscle contractions, which is accompanied by relief or a feeling similar to itching.

    Complicated twitches are outwardly similar to convulsions and are extremely rare.

    When a doctor’s appointment is needed

    In the case when attacks of a nervous tic become more frequent or cause discomfort, ranging from the ridicule of others to the internal states of the body, a person needs the help of a specialist. As a rule, these areas are diagnosed by neurologists or psychologists and psychotherapists.


    As part of the diagnosis, a distinction is made between nervous tics and motor acts of a pathological status, such as chorea, dystonia, and others. At the same time, differential diagnosis along the way finds out the cause of the development of tic muscle contractions, which allows you to build an effective treatment regimen.

    Diagnosis of tics practically does not use laboratory tests, except in a number of rare clinical diseases of a hereditary type. In this case, CT and MRI, EEG, blood tests for genetic mutations and hormone levels can be performed. Urine and blood tests can show drug intoxication, as well as kidney and liver failure.

    To collect anamnesis, neurologists conduct a thorough survey, during which they identify:

    • the time and circumstances of the attack;
    • attack duration;
    • presence of chronic diseases;
    • the ability to control the onset of an attack;
    • presence of tics in other family members.

    Next, there is an assessment of the adequacy of the functioning of motor and sensory activity, the degree of muscle tone and the intensity of reflexes.

    Imaging may include an ionogram for electrolytes in the blood, a complete blood count for inflammation and infection, and stool for helminths.


    Treatment is based on eliminating the root cause of the tic by minimizing exposure to the irritant. Sometimes you just need to give your body enough rest.

    There are special exercises for stopping an attack of a nervous tic:

    • relaxation with eyes closed for 15 minutes;
    • cotton pads moistened with warm water should be applied to the eyelids;
    • open your eyes wide, and then close them for a couple of seconds;
    • slight pressure on the middle of the superciliary arch of the twitching eye;
    • intensive 15-second blinking and relaxation with closed eyes for two minutes.

    Medicines are used from the group of relaxing drugs in the primary form, the secondary form is anti-anxiety drugs. Medicines are used in conjunction with herbal teas based on mint and lemon balm.


    Prophylaxis for the appearance of a nervous tic includes:

    • healthy lifestyle;
    • proper and balanced nutrition;
    • stop smoking, alcohol and drugs;
    • rational compilation of daily routines – rest, sleep and work.

    How to make an appointment with JSC “Medicina” (clinic of Academician Roitberg)

    by filling out the online registration form on the website, as well as with the administrators of the clinic at the address: Moscow, 2nd Tverskoy-Yamskoy pereulok, 10.

    Facial nervous tics

    Facial nervous tics – the causes of occurrence, in which diseases it occurs, diagnosis and methods of treatment.

    Tics, or hyperkinesias, are repetitive, involuntary, short stereotyped movements that are outwardly similar to controlled actions. Most often, tics affect the muscles of the face, which is accompanied by blinking, wrinkling of the forehead, swelling of the wings of the nose, licking of the lips and various grimaces.

    Varieties of ticks

    In various diseases, hyperkinesis can be either the only neurological manifestation (primary forms), or serve as a symptom of other disorders of the nervous system.

    Among the organic (i.e., caused by damage to the brain structure), hyperkinetic syndromes are distinguished with a predominant involvement of facial muscles, oral (oral) hyperkinesis, facial hemispasm (unilateral involuntary contraction of the facial muscles), postparalytic contracture of the facial muscles (the result of neuropathy of the facial nerve with incomplete recovery muscle function). This group also includes facial hyperkinesis, which are combined or occur against the background of other hyperkinesis and neurological syndromes. With organic hyperkinesis, not mimic, but other muscles may be involved in the process: oculomotor, masticatory, cervical.

    In the group of inorganic tics, psychogenic or neuropathic hyperkinesis and stereotypes are distinguished (sustained aimless repetition of movements, words or phrases).

    Possible causes and diseases in which tics occur

    Most often, tics begin in childhood and adolescence. Boys are affected 2-4 times more often than girls.

    The triggering factor for the development of hyperkinesis can be perinatal injuries, infections (viral encephalitis, lethargic encephalitis, HIV, tuberculosis, syphilis, etc.), tumors, vascular lesions, psychological disorders and drugs.

    Tics involving facial muscles can affect different areas of the face. For example, blepharospasm (involuntary contraction of the circular muscle of the eye) is characterized by increased blinking and squinting of the eyes. The onset of the disease usually occurs gradually, with an initial sensation of irritation or dryness of the eyes followed by blinking, prolonged squinting and closing of the eyes, especially in bright light. In an unusual environment, involuntary movements may disappear. This kind of tick occurs in organic diseases of the brain (Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, etc. ), as well as in vascular, inflammatory, metabolic and toxic lesions of the nervous system. A provoking factor can be long-term or short-term effects on the face during dental procedures, injuries, operations, inflammatory eye diseases, sinusitis.

    In addition, there was a connection between the appearance of tics and occupational hazards (prolonged eye strain and facial muscles).

    Sometimes a tic can be mistaken for benign myokymia of the eyelids – transient twitching of the circular muscle of the eyes during overwork, excitement, increased consumption of coffee or smoking – which does not require treatment.

    If the muscles of the mouth, tongue and jaws are involved in tics, such disorders are called oral hyperkinesias. As a rule, their occurrence is due to the use of neuroleptics, hormonal drugs, dopamine receptor blockers. However, tics in the facial area can occur with age (in older people after 60-70 years) without taking antipsychotics. Violent movements in this case usually begin with the muscles of the tongue, the cheeks and lower jaw may be involved. Barely perceptible movements of the tongue eventually turn into irregular, but frequent movements of the tongue, lips and lower jaw – licking, sucking, chewing. During eating, talking, dyskinesia stops.

    A variety of organic hyperkinesis is facial hemispasm (as an independent disease and due to compression of the facial nerve). It is manifested by a series of short, quick twitches, mostly around the eye.

    This is characterized by squinting or squinting of the eye, raising the cheek and corner of the mouth up. During the day there are hundreds of seizures. Arbitrary squinting sometimes provokes hyperkinesis, just like emotional stress.

    Facial tics are most often a manifestation of hyperkinesis and neurological syndromes, which are more common in terms of muscle coverage. These include the well-known Tourette’s syndrome, which is characterized by motor and vocal tics, attention deficit and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In boys, tics are more often associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and in girls, with obsessive-compulsive disorders. The first symptoms appear at 3-7 years of age and consist of limited facial tics and twitching of the shoulders. Then the muscles of the upper and lower extremities are covered. Typically, the maximum severity of the disease occurs in adolescence. With age, tics decrease or disappear, and if they persist, they rarely lead to disability.

    Generalized tics include drug dyskinesia caused by taking antidepressants, levodopa (in the treatment of parkinsonism). Signs of dyskinesia occur, as a rule, 2-12 weeks after the start of treatment with antipsychotics and cover not only the muscles of the face, but also the body.

    Among fairly frequent generalized tics, choreic hyperkinesias are noted (with Huntington’s chorea, benign hereditary chorea and Sydenham’s chorea). The first two diseases are hereditary in nature. Sydenham’s chorea occurs as a complication of streptococcal infection and is an isolated neurological manifestation of rheumatism. Tics are usually symmetrical, with rapid twitches in the face, trunk, and extremities. Tics first cover one muscle group, then move to another; on the background of stress, they increase, and during sleep they disappear.

    Separately, mention should be made of facial hyperkinesis of an epileptic nature, during which repetitive, rhythmic and rapid twitching of the eyelids is noted. They can be combined with hand twitches. Each attack is accompanied by at least three successive eyelid contractions.

    A fairly large group of facial hyperkinesis is represented by tics on the basis of neurosis, which cause psychological factors – fear, emotional shock, psychotrauma.

    A person is aware of neurotic tics, but the inability to control violent movements causes discomfort. An interesting activity can distract, but with excitement and overwork, tics resume. A conscious delay in tics often leads to an increase in internal tension and a response in the form of a headache, irritability and aggressiveness. The psychogenic nature of hyperkinesis may be indicated by: an acute onset, inconstancy of hyperkinesis with remissions and exacerbations, lack of response to standard therapy, and the presence of a possible benefit that the patient seeks to derive from the disease.

    Which doctors should I contact?

    When tics appear in adults, an examination is necessary
    neurologist. If a child has tics, urgent consultation is necessary.
    a pediatrician and then a pediatric neurologist. If a hereditary nature of the disease is suspected, a genetic consultation is necessary.

    Diagnostics and examinations

    When tics appear at any age, the neurologist evaluates the psychosomatic status and clinical picture of the disease, revealing the relationship with other symptoms, the presence of previous injuries and diseases. A biochemical blood test is necessary for the diagnosis of hyperkinesis of dysmetabolic and toxic etiology.


    Tics, or hyperkinesis, are in most cases a consequence of various diseases.

    For each diagnosis, the doctor recommends individual treatment using drug therapy and psychotherapy sessions. Such exercises do not contribute to the reduction of tics, but they allow to influence the accompanying mental disorders, primarily the obsessive-compulsive disorder syndrome, and improve the social adaptation of patients. Relaxation techniques allow you to remove the accumulated internal tension, which exacerbates pathological movements. Special techniques that make it possible to control tics (for example, due to competing movement) are very helpful.

    What to do if symptoms appear?

    Tics of any origin are not only a manifestation of an organic disease, they can be caused by emotional overload, and in children – spending a long time at the computer and TV. With a previous injury or taking new drugs, the appearance of tics is a serious reason to see a doctor.


    1. Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Materials of the II National Congress. – M., 2011.
    2. Munasipova SE Tic hyperkinesis: clinical, laboratory and neuroimaging heterogeneity. Dissertation for the degree of Cand. honey. Sciences. – 2015.


    The information in this section should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment.