Depression and Tourette’s Syndrome


Depression is one of the most common mood disorders in the United States that affects all ages. There are several different kinds of depressive disorders including persistent depressive disorder, postpartum depression, psychotic depression, and seasonal affective disorder. Common signs and symptoms of all these forms of depression include feeling persistent sadness, hopelessness, and irritability. There is also a loss of interest and pleasure in hobbies, as well as restlessness, aches and pains, heachaches, cramps, digestive problems, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty concentrating. Not all people affected by depression experience the same symptoms, and some individuals may experience only a few of these symptoms while others experience multiple ( NIMH » Depression ). Causes behind depression may include changes within the brain, function and effect of neurotransmitters, and hormonal balance. Research has demonstrated that depression tends to be more common in individuals who have a family history of the mood disorder. Additionally, there can be multiple risk factors of depression including low self-esteem, traumatic or stressful events, family history of depression, having a past medical history of other mental health disorders, drug or alcohol abuse, serious to chronic physical illnesses, and certain medications’ side effects. Some prevention methods or treatments for depression can include healthy stress management strategies, medications such as antidepressants, and psychotherapy, all of which should be discussed beforehand with a medical professional (Depression (major depressive disorder) – Symptoms and causes). 

Tourette’s Syndrome is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes individuals to experience tics, which are sudden twitches, movements, or sounds that are done or made repetitively and can be difficult to voluntarily stop. Tics usually begin in children around the ages of five to ten, and the frequency and types of tics a person may experience could change a lot overtime. It has been commonly demonstrated that tics tend to decrease into adolescence and early adulthood, or may even completely disappear. Although a decline in tics in adulthood is common, some people may experience tics worsening into adulthood. Although there is no cure for Tourette’s syndrome, there are multiple methods to manage tics such as medication or behavioral therapy ( What is Tourette Syndrome? ). 

Many studies have found that there is an association between Tourette’s Syndrome and depression. One study had found that in a form of Tourette’s, Gilles de la Tourette’s syndrome (GTS), depression is common amongst these patients and is significantly associated with GTS patients, depending on factors such as tic severity, comorbidity with ADHD, and the presence of coexistent anxiety (Rizzo, Gulisano, Martino & Robertson, 2017). Another study had similar results, and found that screening for depression amongst patients with Tourette’s Syndrome was higher in adolescents, children, and adults with severe tics (Marwitz & Pringsheim, 2018). This association between Tourette’s syndrome and depression indicates that there is a need to emphasize the importance of routinely screening for depression amongst Tourette’s syndrome patients to implement appropriate screening. Additionally, it is important that patients with Tourette’s syndrome who have comorbidity of ADHD, anxiety, and severe tics, should receive proper care and treatment for these comorbidities and severe tics, so that the patient does not pose a greater threat of experiencing depression. Fortunately, such results from these two studies indicate that there is greater hope that future patients with Tourette’s syndrome will have better care that incorporates mental health. 

 

References

NIMH » Depression. (2021). Retrieved 13 April 2021, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml#part_145396

Depression (major depressive disorder) – Symptoms and causes. (2021).Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 13 April 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007

What is Tourette Syndrome?.(2021). CDC. Retrieved 13 April 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/tourette/facts.html

Marwitz, L., & Pringsheim, T. (2018). Clinical Utility of Screening for Anxiety and Depression in Children with Tourette Syndrome. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry = Journal de l’Academie canadienne de psychiatrie de l’enfant et de l’adolescent, 27(1), 15–21.

Rizzo, R., Gulisano, M., Martino, D., & Robertson, M. (2017). Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome, Depression, Depressive Illness, and Correlates in a Child and Adolescent Population. Journal Of Child And Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 27(3), 243-249. doi: 10.1089/cap.2016.0120

Depression. (2018). [Image]. Retrieved from https://i0.wp.com/digitallyliterate.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/180510-depression-al-1509_8b5188e45e5aed500291d9c30689f57f.focal-1000×500.jpg?fit=1000%2C500&ssl=1

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