Prescription medication is the most commonly used conventional approach for treating symptoms of Tourette's Syndrome, but in most cases, it can be avoided. Although drugs may sometimes be effective, they should be used as part of a broader treatment plan. Due to the frequent side effects of these drugs, people on prescription medication should be closely monitored.
As an incorrect choice of drugs may cause symptoms to become worse, it is strongly advised that you research these drugs thoroughly and make an informed decision.
Natural herbal and homeopathic remedies
As always, a holistic approach which addresses not only the Tourette’s but the individual in his or her social, educational, and family context is always the best approach. There are a number of herbal and homeopathic ingredients which may be of assistance without the negative side effects of prescription drugs. Discuss this option with your doctor, or consult a homeopath or naturopath for advice.
Counseling and psychotherapy
Counseling can assist a person with Tourette’s Syndrome, and help his or her family cope. It is important to make family members understand and help the person with Tourette’s, as well as manage the patient’s own stress over the condition if necessary. This can be effective in helping patients deal with low self-esteem or other feelings that have arisen as a result of the disorder.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Widely accepted as an evidence-based, cost-effective psychotherapy for many disorders, cognitive behavioral therapy has been used with children and adolescents to treat a variety of conditions with good success.
Coping techniques: habit reversal training (HRT)
Intended to increase tic awareness, develop a response strategy to the tic, and motivate the individual to keep a consistent and positive attitude to treatment. Controlled trials have demonstrated that HRT is an acceptable, tolerable, effective, and durable treatment for tics.
Coping techniques: relaxation
Exercise, yoga, or meditation, may be useful drug-free approaches to relieving the stress that may aggravate tics. Frequently, the tics subside with explanation, reassurance, and understanding of the condition in a supportive environment.
Special educational needs for children
It is important to inform the school when a child has Tourette’s syndrome and to ensure that teachers understand the condition. Although most children with Tourette’s disorder have average IQ, some may have special education needs as a result of associated disorders.
Other treatments include deep brain stimulation (DBS) and brain surgery, both of which are serious procedures and should be carefully considered, as they may pose a high risk to the patient.