Psychogenic Movement, Tic Disorders and Twitches

What is Psychogenic Movement?
“Psychogenic movement is an unwanted muscle movement such as a spasm or tremor that is caused by an underlying psychological condition. Psychogenic movement can involve any part of the body and resemble the same muscle movements that occur with a biological condition or structural abnormality. Most psychogenic movement is involuntary—done without being consciously initiated by the individual. Psychogenic movement may develop as part of a conversion disorder (in which a psychological event causes physical symptoms with no known medical cause). It also may result from a somatoform disorder (characterized predominantly by multi-system symptoms that are associated with distress and/or dysfunction), factitious disorder (an illness that simulates symptoms for psychological reasons), or malingering (not characterized as a psychiatric disorder but where illness is pretended as a way to achieve a secondary goal such as the acquisition of drugs or disability benefits). Unlike movement disorders caused by biological or structural conditions, psychogenic movement disorders commonly develop suddenly, progress rapidly to maximum severity, may increase in intensity, and come and go with complete or partial remissions. The movement may be less when the person is distracted, and the severity of symptoms varies among individuals. The course of the psychological condition may be short-lived or lead to chronic disability.”
Body Language vs. Micro-Expressions Debunking the myths of “micro-expressions”
“Causes of Twitching
Often twitches can be caused by some kind of damage to the nervous system, either congenital or from trauma or disease. However other twitches can be caused by underlying physical or even psychological conditions, such as Tourettes syndrome. In a person with Tourettes syndrome uncontrollable tics or twitches are often seen, which are worsened when the person suffering from Tourettes is under stress. Similarly, repetitive motions such as tics and twitches of the hands and face can accompany other conditions such as Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. There are twitches that can be caused by unknown psychological or emotional problems, and then there are the twitches that have simple physiological causes such as too much caffeine or a reaction to certain medications.”

Tic Disorders and Twitches
“Tics. There are two types of tics — motor tics and vocal tics. These short-lasting sudden movements (motor tics) or uttered sounds (vocal tics) occur suddenly during what is otherwise normal behavior. Tics are often repetitive, with numerous successive occurrences of the same action. For instance, someone with a tic might blink his eyes multiple times or twitch her nose repeatedly.”

Muscle twitching
Autoimmune disorders, such as Isaac syndrome
Drug overdose (caffeine, amphetamines, or other stimulants)
Lack of sleep
Drug side effect (such as from diuretics, corticosteroids, or estrogens)
Exercise (twitching is seen after exercise)
Lack of nutrients in the diet (deficiency)
Medical conditions that cause metabolic disorders, including low potassium, and kidney disease/uremia
Twitches not caused by disease or disorders (benign twitches), often affecting the eyelids, calf, or thumb. These twitches are normal and quite common, and are often triggered by stress or anxiety. These twitches can come and go, and usually do not last for more than a few days.”

functional jerks and twitches

“What Do Fasciculations or Muscle Twitching Mean?
Q: Many people who have muscle twitching worry that they have ALS since it’s often associated with the disease. If a person has muscle twitches a lot, or even daily, could it be the beginning of ALS?”



Autism related links

“A hug machine, also known as a hug box, a squeeze machine, or a squeeze box, is a deep-pressure device designed to calm hypersensitive persons, usually individuals with autism spectrum disorders. The therapeutic, stress-relieving device was invented by Temple Grandin while she was attending college.[1][2]
Autism and autism-spectrum disorders have profound effects upon both social interactions and sensitivity to sensory stimulation in persons with such conditions, often making it uncomfortable or impractical for them to turn to other human beings for comfort. Grandin solved this by designing the hug machine so both she and others could turn to it for sensory relief, when needed or simply desired.”


“The term autism spectrum or autism spectrum disorder describes a range of conditions classified as neurodevelopmental disorders in the fifth and most recent revision of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) published in 2013. Individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder must present two types of symptoms:
Deficits in social communication and social interaction
Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities
The DSM-5 redefined the autism spectrum disorders to encompass the previous (DSM-IV-TR) diagnoses of autism, Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and childhood disintegrative disorder.[1]
Features of these disorders include social deficits and communication difficulties, stereotyped or repetitive behaviors and interests, sensory issues, and in some cases, cognitive delays.”


Learn the Signs of Autism
“The following “red flags” may indicate your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. If your child exhibits any of the following, please don’t delay in asking your pediatrician or family doctor for an evaluation:
No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months
No babbling by 12 months
No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
No words by 16 months
No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age”
understood: for learning and attention issues