Finger tapping tics

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Please note: Articles on lived experiences can be a trigger for those with tics, OCD and anxiety disorders. Articles are intended to show we aren’t alone, and that help can improve quality of life.

Tapping fingers (sometimes referred to as finger drumming) can occur as a tic. It can resemble stimming or fidgeting, the difference being the premonitory and/or involuntary urge that comes with a tic disorder. 

Tic disorders often co-occur with other conditions such as ADHD. Finger tapping can be a result of one or more conditions, although the reasons for doing so differ.

Is finger-tapping a motor or vocal tic?

That action would be considered a motor tic, if this is carried out due to a tic disorder. 

More articles on Motor and Vocal tics

Is finger drumming a simple or complex tic?

Finger drumming would be considered a simple tic on its own, as it uses limited muscle groups and not part of a larger, more complex tic or pattern of behaviour. As mentioned earlier, finger tapping is a very common action carried out for a number of reasons. For parents observing tics in their children- it is important to be able to distinguish tics from hyperactivity, and other potential causes of movement. 

Main article: The difference between simple and complex tics

Things to look out for with finger tapping tics

Finger tapping is relatively harmless, however may be stressful for those unable to control the urge to tic. It may also cause a problem in school, employment or the home front those uneducated on tic disorders. If tics are the cause, it is important to ensure plans are in place to prevent tics from disrupting day to day life as much as possible.

Is this caused by Tourette syndrome?

Tics must be present for at least one year, and consist of at least two motor tics and one vocal tic to be considered Tourette syndrome. Tic disorders always need to be diagnosed by a medical professional. 

Main article: The difference between Tourette and other tic disorders

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DISCLAIMER: Articles contain lived experiences, but cannot be used to diagnose. Medical advice can only come from trained professionals. 

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Dealing with Disorder was created by a sufferer, struggling to find information to help manage the conditions.