It’s not one you will pick up in Waterstones or Barnes and Noble. In fact it’s a publication that will only benefit a very small percentage of people out there.
I have Tourette’s syndrome and with that, two things I would like to say:
- No, I do not swear uncontrollably
- Don’t bother staring, it’s rather rude
Thanks to television and media coverage, the condition has birthed a stereotype that is hard to disassociate. Yes, some sufferers swear at the most innapropriate of times. A small minority. But of course this will help a documentary gain views and ratings, so why not show this side of Tourettes? I’m usually happy for increased awareness of a condition but everytime someone asks ‘You have Tourettes? So do you swear all the time?!’ I rethink this opinion.
Between 0.4% and 3.8% of children and adolescents between the ages of 5 to 18 may have the condition, although it is hard to accurately give a statistic due to it’s varying and unpredictable nature in individuals. So many other conditions such as OCD and ADHD make it hard to distinguish and diagnose accurately.
Although most symptoms diminish in our twenties mine decided to stay. Woohoo! My condition however is rather mild and most of my tics are successfully supressed, most people that I come into contact with would not realise without spending a little but more time with me. Although I can suppress tics they still manifest, I just manage to hold them back- a bit like holding in a sneeze or leaving an itch to go away without giving it a scratch. This does of course become stressful at times, especially when the urges are so much stronger at times when I do not want to do them. You know, first dates, job interviews, presentations… It can be very cruel indeed.
So there’s a little something that you didn’t know about me, I thought I would share whilst I am reading. It was given to me by my great therapist (I attend cognitive behavioural therapy once a week to help understand the condition and how my mind is affected by tics), she helps me with the OCD side of things whilst I teach her about the Tourettes aspect. I always found it funny how as a child I would travel to hospitals to visit specialists that were as unfamiliar with the condition as I was, asking me as many questions as I asked them. Hopefully in the future we will have a much better understanding.