Clapping tics

Clapping can be a motor tic involving the hands.

This tic can be driven by (but not limited to):

    • A sensory urge to feel both palms make strong contact

    • A desire to hear a ‘clap’ sound during contact

    • A pain or tingling in the hands resulting from the clapping action

The number of claps will vary for the individual. This action is similar in nature to slapping/punching tics many people with tic disorders experience.

Clapping is a simple tic due to being sudden, brief movements using a limited number of muscle groups.

Risk of injury

Severe tics may result in injury or excessive pain. The force used is a factor, and damage can be caused from this. 

Injury can be tricky to manage as pain does not always help a person with tics refrain from clapping. For some people, tics feel more involuntary than for others. 

a person with dry hands

Sleep issues

The clapping sound can affect sleep, as well as the sensation. 

Sleep disorders are often cooccurring for those with Tourette and tic disorders.

This isn’t limited to the person experiencing the tic. Sleep can be difficult for those sharing the same bed or home, hearing or even feeling the tics occurring.


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Disclaimer: Articles contain lived experience and research but cannot be used to diagnose. Diagnosis can only be obtained from a licensed professional.

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