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December 1980

Sensory Experiences of Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Tourette Syndrome Association Inc, Bayside, NY.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(12):1343-1347. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780250029002

• A patient with a 62-year history of Gilles de la Tourette syndrome describes 35 years of self-observation of the subjective events that precede, accompany, and follow the occurrence of symptomatic movements and sounds. Bodily sites become sensitized, and the movements (however bizarre) are intentional acts aimed at satisfying and eliminating unfulfilled sensations and urges. Sensory impressions may be projected onto other persons, objects, or imagined objects; these phantom sensations also demand discharge through actions. With vigilance and self-observation, barely emergent sensations can be recognized and controlled temporarily through substitution or extinction. The need to cope with rampant sensations and their consequences on one hand and current affairs on the other creates a dual citizenship within the person.