So what is Tourette Syndrome?
Tourette Syndrome (TS) is described as a condition that makes a person perform involuntary movements and/or sounds, more commonly known as tics.
For the majority of people, tics start in childhood and whilst some children lose their tics into adulthood, Tourette Syndrome can continue in adulthood for some people.
There is no cure for TS but some people may find particular treatment methods useful in controlling their tics.
Movement tics can include:
- Body jerking
- Eye rolling
- Shoulder shrugging
Vocal tics can include:
- Throat clearing
- Animal noises
For a more complex list, a great place to visit is the Tourettes Action website who discuss the differences between simple and complex tics wonderfully.
The biggest thing to note is that although the media likes to portray it this way, the majority of people who have Tourettes do not swear!
My experience of Tourette Syndrome
Although Tourettes tends to be diagnosed in childhood, I didn’t actually receive my diagnosis until I was 18 years old. To be begin with ‘episodes’ were actually believed to be fits and therefore I was diagnosed with epilepsy. I was adamant I was not experiencing fits and went for a second opinion which is where I received my Tourettes diagnosis.
I am now 32 years old and my tics are still going strong – but in all honesty I wouldn’t know how to experience life in any other way. My tics have evolved over the years from my earlier days of throat clearing, facial grimacing and head jerking to nowadays pacing back and forth, legs and arms kicking out and a bit more jerking!
Over the years I have experienced a lot of negativity regarding my tics and as a result learnt how to control them so I don’t do them in public. This causes me a great deal of uncomfortableness and exhaustion which isn’t a great combination when you have Fibro and CFS.
Regardless of all this, I embrace my tics as a part of me and I wouldn’t be me without them.