Does David Beckham have Tourette?

David Beckham has went public with his OCD struggles. Some websites are claiming the ex-England footballer has Tourette syndrome, too.

Is this a case of mistaking Tourette syndrome for OCD, or has he mentioned Tourette himself?

What has Beckham said?

David Beckham talked about his obsessive traits on the evening talk show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.

Uploaded with the mildly infuriating title ‘David Beckham is a little OCD’, the ex-footballer talks about how he needs to line objects up perfectly in the home, and have things displayed in even numbers.

It is important to note that although OCD has been reduced to a ‘cleaning disorder’, some sufferers do indeed have cleaning and ordering compulsions.

Has David Beckham mentioned Tourette syndrome?

Currently, there isn’t any mention of tics by David Beckham in his books, or in media interviews.

It is likely that the OCD compulsions he has mentioned have been mistaken for tics by viewers. Compulsions such as lining up drink cans can been mistaken for tics, due to the apparent ‘unnecessary’ or ‘illogical’ behaviour from an onlooker.

OCD and Tourette syndrome have been misrepresented frequently over the decades, resulting in false information, confusion about symptoms and stereotypes.

Tourettic-OCD is a manifestation of Tourette and OCD. This can create a sensory urge (as seen in tic disorders) that lead to behaviours more commonly associated in OCD.

However, there is no current comments from Beckham on Tourettic-OCD.

What’s the difference between Tourette and OCD?​

Tourette syndrome consists of ‘tics’- movements and/or sounds created to relieve an internal itch or build up in pressure. These normally come from a sensory urge.

Unlike Tourette, OCD consists of intrusive thoughts and compulsions. Compulsions such as ordering items or repeatedly checking locks come from unpleasant thoughts, rather than a sensory urge.

Sometimes, compulsions are carried out when there isn’t a thought, but more that things ‘just don’t feel right‘. This could be better described as Tourettic-OCD, and a term that needs to be addressed more by specialists.

Main article: What is the difference between Tourette and OCD?

Unless David states it, he probably doesn't have Tourette syndrome

From the interviews and information he has provided, it seems David Beckham suffers more with OCD. Any mention of Tourette seems to come from media sites that do not specialise in neurological disorders, possibly confusing the two. 

However, there is always the chance that he does have it, but there is currently no evidence, or admission from himself, of any Tourette diagnosis or symptoms.

Until then, it is safe to say he has obsessive compulsive tendencies driven by OCD.

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