"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

The physical effects of tardive dyskinesia

Tardive dyskinesia (TD) could cause a sense that the body just isn't your individual. TD causes involuntary movements of your face, arms, legs, and neck that you just cannot control. TD may cause you to squint your eyes or stick out your tongue. They might wave their arms or sway backward and forward. These movements will be so mild that you just barely notice them or so severe that they interfere along with your work and other day by day activities. Uncontrollable movements could cause embarrassment and result in other challenges in your life.Your doctor will monitor you for uncomfortable side effects should you take a medication that causes TD. If you develop these movements, adjusting your medications or adding one other medicine may help reduce them. What causes TD?

TD is a side effect of long-term use of medicine that block dopamine receptors in your brain. Dopamine is a chemical that your nerve cells use to “talk” to one another. Dopamine controls your movements by binding to proteins on the surface of nerve cells called receptors.

One theory is that TD occurs when receptors are particularly sensitive to the results of dopamine. When the receptors are then exposed to dopamine, this chemical has a more intense effect, making movements jerky and uncontrollable.

Some of the medications that could cause TD are:

  • Antipsychotics used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
  • Neuroleptics for the treatment of Parkinson's disease
  • Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications
  • Medication for migraines
  • NAusea drugs

You are unlikely to get TD should you take any of those medicines for a brief time period. Typically, TD symptoms take months or years to look when the medication is taken. But once symptoms appear, they might persist even after the medication is stopped and should never go away.

Not everyone who takes an antipsychotic or neuroleptic will develop TD. Your risk of this side effect is higher should you:

  • Are over 50 years old
  • Are female
  • Are black
  • Have you been taking the medication for a couple of years or are taking a high dose?
  • Take an older antipsychotic
  • Have diabetes, HIV, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), or a substance use disorder

What kinds of movements does TD cause?

TD causes parts of your body to maneuver repeatedly and without your control. Maybe just one a part of your body is moving at a time. Or multiple a part of your body, like your face and arms, could move at the identical time.

In some people, TD is mild and unnoticeable. In other cases the movements are more noticeable.

TD moves fall into different categories:

  • Chorea: A flowing movement that appears like a dance
  • Dystonia: RePeat muscle contractions that cause movements similar to: blink your eyes or arch your back
  • Tics: Fast, jerky movements that you could feel before they occur
  • Akathisia: An unsettled feeling that makes it difficult to sit down or stand still

About 80% of individuals with TD have facial movements. This could cause you to:

  • Blink your eyes in a short time
  • Grimace or frown
  • Smack your lips
  • Puff up your cheeks
  • Make Chewing or sucking movements with the mouth
  • Stick out your tongue

In other parts of your body, TD could cause:

  • Move your legs and arms
  • Move your fingers as should you were playing the piano
  • Walk like a duck
  • Twist your neck
  • Shift your weight from one leg to the opposite
  • Extend your hips

These symptoms is probably not noticeable at first, but may worsen over time.

Other effects of TD

Jerky movements are probably the most common symptom, but TD may produce other effects in your body.

If it affects the muscles you employ to breathe, you could be wanting breath or gasping for air. Doctors call this respiratory dyskinesia.

TD will be painful in case your muscles repeatedly cramp lots of or 1000's of times a day. So much exercise may make you very drained.

The challenges of living with TD

Everyone experiences TD in a different way. Some people have movements so slight that they don't notice them. Others are disabled by TD, especially if it affects their respiratory.

Once TD movements begin, they might not go away. And they'll have many negative effects. People who don't know you could have TD may stare. The movements can develop into so disabling that it's difficult to work or do other activities. Some people say that TD affects their quality of life.

If you could have TD, refer to your doctor. Treatments can be found to enable you control your movements and overcome a number of the challenges of living with this disorder.