If someone you know has tardive dyskinesia (TD), you can be their champion

You may not have TD, but you might know someone who does.

As a caregiver of someone living with TD, you may be taking on the responsibility of identifying and managing their condition.

Caring for someone with TD can be challenging. They may not realize that the uncontrollable movements they are exhibiting are signs of TD. Without fully understanding the scope of their condition, they may even reject seeking help.

However, you may be one of the few people who can positively influence this ongoing conversation. Use your role to make a difference.

Here are some tips for TD support:

  • Know what TD looks like and how to recognize it

    The uncontrollable movements of TD may appear in the lips, jaw, tongue, and eyes. TD can also affect the upper body, arms, hands, legs, and feet

  • Educate yourself on the cause and impact of TD

    TD is associated with taking certain kinds of important medications, such as antipsychotics, for at least a few months

  • If you think someone you know may have TD, encourage them to talk to their doctor

    If you think someone in your life may have TD, ask them if they would consider talking to their psychiatrist or neurologist about TD or related movement disorders

  • Keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of TD

    If someone you know is experiencing uncontrollable movements, they may not be aware of these movements. You can help them learn to recognize the condition and get the help they need

You may notice movements they don’t

Not an actual patient

If someone in your care begins moving in ways you don’t recognize, they may not even be aware of these movements. And they may not know that help is available.

Raise your voice—if you think someone you care about may have uncontrollable movements, encourage them to talk to their doctor about TD. Also, consider recording their movements so they can share them with their doctor during a telemedicine appointment (if an in-person visit isn’t an option).

Caregivers need support, too

If you’re caring for someone with TD, make sure you’re not forgetting to take care of yourself as well! Studies show that caregivers often neglect their own health due to the challenge of caring for others.

These activities may help relieve stress:

  • Getting plenty of sleep every night
  • Maintaining a balanced, nutritious diet
  • Resting when you’re sick
  • Exercising regularly

Get the support you need.

Discover helpful resources, including organizations that support TD and mental health. Many advocacy groups have specific resources for caregivers.

Get resources