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Living with Tourette Syndrome


What is Tourette syndrome? The neurological system is affected by Tourette Syndrome (TS). Those with TS experience "tics". Tics are abrupt, repetitive twitches, motions, or noises. People with tics are unable to control what their bodies are doing. For instance, a person could repeatedly blink. It is unknown what specifically causes Tourette syndrome. There is a difference between Tic Disorder and Tourette syndrome. The types of tics present (motor, verbal, or a combination of both), and the duration of the symptoms, which are differentiating factors between the tic disorders. Tic symptoms have been present for at least a year in people with Tourette syndrome, who also experience vocal and motor tics. In this article, we will talk about how people with Tourette syndrome deal with their daily lives, how other people see the syndrome and how we are going to support people with Tourette syndrome.


How does a person with Tourette's deal with their daily life?


As per study, some people with TS are having difficulties socializing with their peers, making friends, controlling one's impulses in social contexts, such as refraining from fleeing in the street or snatching things off the shelf at a shop. Some of them are experiencing bullying hence they are having trouble with emotional control in social contexts such as a meltdown in public places or sobbing readily at school. The social and emotional stress that is related to Tourette syndrome can be managed by individuals with the use of psychotherapy and counseling.


How does society perceive individuals with Tourette syndrome?


According to studies, people thought TS deserved sympathy and empathy, while some thought they were to blame for their illness. Also, people with TS were thought to make teenagers who are ordinarily developing feel uneasy and uncomfortable. However, few understand that it is something uncontrollable, that the person did not choose to have the said syndrome and the sudden movement is not harmful. It is also a condition that people don’t need to be afraid of; they understand that they are just a normal human being with no control of their vocal and motor tics.


How are we going to support people with Tourette syndrome?

  • Don’t stare if your friend has a tic.

It is rude to stare at a person when they are having their tics, try to act natural and think that the tic isn’t there. This will help the person with TS not to feel uncomfortable and to make them feel that they are normal.

  • While having a conversation, try to pretend your friend’s tics aren’t there

Ignore the tics, appear as though they don't affect you, or just not respond to them. Your acquaintance will experience a vicious cycle that contributes to an increase in tics if they feel irritated because they can't control their tics as a consequence of realizing that other people are aware of them. This will make them more agitated, which will cause their tics to worsen.

  • Don’t try to fix them

Let them be who they are. They might feel that you are confirming what they already think about themselves: that there is something wrong with them that you wish you could change. This can happen if you try to help them, such as by asking them if they have tried a particular remedy or by recommending a treatment you have read about.

  • Don’t joke about it

Although comedy is sometimes used to minimize a difficult topic, knowing whether it is okay to make jokes about Tourette’s with your friend or not will depend totally on them.

  • Defend your friend

There will be those who try to eject your companion from a place because they believe they are too loud or intrusive, bully, taunt, or criticize your friend, or even draw attention to them. Show your friend that you are with them and support them. Any of these scenarios would make us feel awful, therefore stand up for your friend and the helpless.

In conclusion, the battle with the tics (which are also bothersome to them and interfere with their tasks) is one front in your friend's daily struggle. There is the struggle for acceptance in family and friends, as well as the struggle for acceptance in society (your friend merely wants to be able to stroll down the street without receiving strange looks or hurtful comments); Secondly, there is the struggle with self-acceptance; thirdly, you'll feel more ready to face the world (again, the support, respect, and affection of family and friends is essential here, without these, your friend will find it difficult to feel that they are worthy of love).


We, at Fidecita, care about your well-being. Click here to know more about Fidecita’s Mental Health Care services.



References

What is Tourette Syndrome? | CDC. (2022, May 5). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/tourette/facts.html#:~:text=Tourette%20Syndrome%20(TS)%20is%20a,keep%20blinking%20over%20and%20over.


Diagnosing Tic Disorders | CDC. (2022, August 22). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/tourette/diagnosis.html#:~:text=The%20tic%20disorders%20differ%20from,for%20at%20least%201%20year.


Otr/L, H. S. (2015, May 4). Social Concerns Related to Tourette Syndrome » Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration Program NORMAN FIXEL INSTITUTE for NEUROLOGICAL DISEASES » UF Health » University of Florida. https://movementdisorders.ufhealth.org/2015/05/04/social-concerns-related-to-tourette-syndrome/#:~:text=Difficulties%20with%20turn%20taking%20and,play%20too%20rough%20with%20peers


News-Medical.net. (2022, November 26). Living with Tourette Syndrome. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Living-with-Tourette-syndrome.aspx#:~:text=Psychotherapy%20and%20the%20involvement%20of,the%20help%20of%20a%20counselor.


Malli, M., & Forrester-Jones, R. (2017, April 1). “I’m not being rude, I’d want somebody normal”: Adolescents’ Perception of their Peers with Tourette’s Syndrome: an Exploratory Study. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities; Springer Science+Business Media. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10882-016-9524-y


N. (2021, February 3). 12 ways to support your friend with Tourette’s. https://neuronup.us/cognitive-stimulation-news/neurodevelopmental-disorders/tourette-syndrome/12-ways-to-support-your-friend-with-tourettes/



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