loborojo wrote:As a teacher I have been under severe stress lately, to accomodate myself and having to live wiht 4 other teachers under the same roof, people I haven't actually chosen to live with. When I am under stress, my body reacts with tich, my muscles or nerves in my face start playing up, and now for 2 weeks my left eyelid is constantly twiching. It annoys me thorughout my sleep and waking up it is the first thing that happnes. It used to be my nostril or cheek or arm a year ago. how can I stop this???
lobo, have you ever had an EEG? By the way you describe them, these would not be considered "tics" in the sense of a tic associated with Tourette's Syndrome. Those would actually be muscular contractions or jerks.
Everybody has had these. However, these can also be a symptom of seizures. And because at least about 30% of autistics develop seizures, you may want to consider getting these checked out.
Changes in brain waves can often trigger seizure activity, such as while getting drowsy or when waking up. Ways in which you can help quell these motor jerks (medication aside) would be:
* Try and reduce your anxiety level throughout the day, such as via meditation, listening to soothing music, etc., because anxiety directly increases risk of these occurring more;
* Keep a balanced diet; missing nutrients necessary for aspects of cellular metabolism only adds stress on your entire system, keeping it from functioning at its peak;
* Whenever your eyelid starts twitching, I would recommend trying to wake yourself up more quickly. Get up, do something like jog in place. The faster you get out of that drowsy state, the sooner those may stop. Also, the less time you let them go on, the less chance they will have to get ingrained. If they are simple partial seizures, then you must realize that the brain doesn't know the difference between regular "learning" and a seizure. It will treat both the same, in that the more you activate a synaptic connection (in this case, motor neurons which cause the eyelid muscles to contract), the stronger that connection will become and the more easily it will be triggered. So in essence, try to distract yourself, because your brain is able to inhibit seizure activity that isn't too ingrained. Doing other motor activities, trying to wake yourself up, and things like music would all probably help the motor jerks stop.
I don't know how much you know about seizures. But I just want to assure you that this isn't something to totally freak out about, as though you're going to end up having grand mal seizures and losing consciousness or something, seizing on the floor. Seizures come in all shapes and forms, and many are very mild. It is even likely that epilepsy is a lot more common in people than is thought, but it is just the more severe forms which end up getting dxed.
I have very mild temporal lobe seizures, undxed and unmedicated. But I have used some of the above techniques to quell the severity and frequency of my seizures to much success. I would, however, recommend getting an EEG done for yourself; if these are seizures, it's always good at least to get them dxed. You can decide what you would personally prefer when it comes to medications.
I would recommend keeping an eye on them, continuing to take note of when they occur, how long they occur, and whether they are increasing or decreasing with frequency. Also, if they tend to go through any cycles of frequency or the length of time they occur. In addition, notice if any other things you try have an effect on reducing them; you may be able to invent some personal techniques yourself.
Btw, if you decide to get an EEG done, I would recommend requesting to have a 48-hour portable EEG test, rather than going into an office and having a brief EEG. If you don't have a continual abnormal EEG read, then they will need to catch a seizure in action, and if you don't usually have these when you're wide awake but usually just after waking, then they're not going to catch you having one in an office. It sounds like, if these are seizures and not just normal motor jerks that everyone has once in awhile, they may be centered around your right temporal lobe. In which case, the typical "strobe light" effect neurologists frequently use to produce seizure activity probably won't work on TLE. (For myself, my seizure triggers are actually auditory, not visual.)
Anyways, hope some of that might help, lobo.