By Nancy Virden (c)2023
Not an expert here. Nope. Chances are you are not either. Things I thought I knew about Tourette Syndrome were proven wrong last night by a person who lives with the disorder.
- What we hear most often is that persons with Tourette Syndrome will burst out with obscenities against their will. Because of the press this particular symptom receives, I thought it was a major one. Wrong. This is actually the most rare symptom.
- Usually, symptoms involve body ticks that can range from tiring to debilitating. Sometimes these ticks actually cause injuries such as pulled muscles and worse. For example, someone may twist their neck uncontrollably until the neck is strained. Physical pain is not uncommon with Tourette Syndrome. It can cause an inability to move or a need for a wheelchair.
- A tick may involve making a repetitive oral sound such as a squeak or a word.
- Children with Tourette Syndrome are often bullied.
- Repeated motions or noise-making seem so natural and necessary to the one with Tourette Syndrome that it can feel as if not doing them will cause death. Imagine not breathing. Your body will eventually gasp and force the issue no matter how hard you try to stop.
- Anxiety (stress) can make symptoms worse. So scolding someone for these behaviors is making matters worse for both of you. Tourette symptoms are not to be punished but understood. Management can be learned.
- Medication helps many and not everyone. This is a decision to be made between a patient and their doctor.
I hope this helps next time you see someone with twitches or uncontrollable expressions. Be patient. Find out the issue. Forgive if you are offended. Understand.
Today’s Helpful Word
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry…
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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