Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

A Look Into Tourette Syndrome This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I've recently come to realize that there is a terrible misconception about Tourette Syndrome. There are many different 'tics', yet the only one people seem to know about are yelling verbal obscenities.

Tourette Syndrome is a condition where a person makes movements or sounds that they cannot control, sometimes in random intervals, sometimes brought on by an outside influence. These movements or sounds are called tics.

Not all verbal tics are vulgar, nor yelling. Some people might mutter, while others may yell out a random word in a sentence they just overheard. Some even bark or make other noises, and I had a friend who rolled his tongue in the middle of a sentence.

What really irks me is when people accuse someone with TS of faking it, or exaggerating it for attention. That is a massive insult to those of us who actually have it.

For those who think that having Tourettes isn't such a big issue, step into my shoes for a moment. I had Tourettes since I was born, my only tic being squinting my eyes, but when I was about 9, they slowly faded away. Everything was great until I was about 15 and had a heat stroke. The Tourettes came back, worse than before. I was twitching, shivering, and shaking uncontrollably at random intervals, with no warning. I isolated myself even more so than before because I was afraid of being bullied again. As I got older, I slowly started realizing that I can usually tell when I'm about to have an episode. It feels like an electric shiver, slowly crawling up my spine and either out to my arm, or up my neck. I can control them most of the time, but if I'm not paying attention, it can sneak up on me. That's when I get really embarrassed, because when I have an unexpected tic, a few things might happen. My head may snap to the side, and I've pinched nerves in my neck doing that. Once when I was with my boyfriend, I was sitting next to him and he was drinking water and my elbow came up and knocked his. Needless to say, he was covered in water. Otherwise, my arm might snap out to the side or I'll start shaking. In order to stop these ticks, I have to pay close attention to my body and everything I'm feeling so I can feel that electric tingle. When I do that, though, there are sensations that I only notice when I'm in that mode. It feels like thousands of minuscule spiders crawling up my spine, up and up and up, no end to it. My joints all feel like they need to be cracked or popped. I anticipate the tics, and it distracts me from anything else that I'm trying to do. It is the most exhausting thing, especially when I'm in a social situation where a tic might get me odd looks. Hours suppressing tics, trying to reroute the tingle into my hands, so instead of lashing out, they simply curl into fists, or rolling my neck in a circle to keep it from jerking to the side and causing me real harm.




Join the Discussion


This article has 3 comments. Post your own!

vegangirl0725This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 28 at 5:34 pm:
Thanks for the article!! My brother who is 7 has tourettes and  it is a big issue!
 
BMXbrat484 replied...
yesterday at 10:44 pm :
If you don't mind me asking, what are his ticks?
 
vegetariangirlThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
today at 3:55 pm :
He will go like hmmmmm when playing video games, sometimes rubs his neck aganist his shoulder, he also has ADHD.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback