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Dealing with Tourette's This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Nine months ago I was diagnosed with the neurological disorderTourette syndrome. My mom saw a TV show about this disorderand the symptoms made her think of me. I was taken to aneurologist and diagnosed.

Tourette syndrome is ahereditary, neurological disorder that affects an estimatedfive in one thousand people in the United States. The cause isunknown, and there is no cure, though there is medication thatmakes the symptoms more tolerable. People with Tourettesyndrome experience uncontrollable motor and vocal tics. Ticsare an abrupt, brief, involuntary, repetitious movement orvocalization that serves no apparent purpose. They include eyeblinking, grimacing, jerking, tensing muscles,throat-clearing, sniffing, grunting and coughing. In extremecases, people experience coprolalia, which is saying oryelling obscene words.

Dealing with Tourette syndromeis not an easy thing. I have lived with this disorder my wholelife. I knew I was different - I couldn't control what I did -but wasn't sure why. Now I have an explanation for my actionsand realize I am not strange or weird.

Many things havebecome easier. I'm not as ashamed of what I do, althoughsometimes it can be embarrassing. At first I wasn'tcomfortable talking about Tourette's, but I'm getting better.There is still a long road ahead, but now I'm notalone.

It is important for people to be aware of thisdisorder. My life could have been a lot easier and happier ifI'd known about it sooner and those around me understood whatI had.

I hope that if this helps someone else, thenmaybe there is a purpose in my having this disorder. It's veryimportant to be diagnosed if you suffer from it, because it'simportant to know you're not alone. It's also important not tobe ashamed of your actions, and be proud of who you are.



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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