Diagnosing tics 

When to see your GP

You should visit your GP if you or your child develops a tic and the tics:

  • occur regularly and are becoming more frequent or severe
  • are associated with emotional problems or physical discomfort
  • are accompanied by other worrying behaviour, such as anger, depression or self-harm

Diagnosing a tic

Your GP should be able to diagnose a tic from a description of the symptoms and by observing them. Special tests aren't usually required to diagnose tics. It's a good idea to record the movements on video so that you can show your GP.

Occasionally, your GP may recommend an electroencephalogram (EEG) to rule out seizures (fits) as the cause of the tic movements. An EEG is a painless procedure that records the electrical messages from your brain.

Read more about EEGs.

Page last reviewed: 25/03/2011

Next review due: 25/03/2013