I'm a 20yo female with Tourette Syndrome. AMA
Seriously, I know people don't understand this syndrome, you can ask anything you want, no need to be embarrassed. I'll try to answer every question.
Required proof: Imgur
EDIT: I would like to thank everybody so much for all their interest, unfortunately, I need to get ready for work now, but it's a short day, and I'll be back in about 6 hours to finish answering questions. I'm afraid I'm having some trouble keeping up! You all have been so authentic and kind, and I really am glad so many people have popped in to ask questions and read through. I really want to answer each questions and discuss things further with many people, but I need to ske-daddle. I'll be back soon!
NEW STUFF A quick clarification: I use the word “Tick” to describe the unvoluntary movements and noises my TS causes me to make. “Tick” is not the proper spelling, it ought to be “Tic”, but I use Tick for 2 reasons: 1. Tick in my personal onomatopoeia of the sound I hear in my head when I tick. 2. I use words like “Ticky” and “Tickish” when I describe the rate at which I’m ticking, or how I’m feeling. So for consistency’s sake, I spell the word “Tick”.
Ticks: I can usually feel a tick coming. It feels just like the “Point of no return” when you sneeze. Sometimes I can stop it from happening right away, sometimes I can’t, or don’t feeling coming. When I stop it, I can still feel it there. If feels similar to when you REALLY have to pee, but can’t get to a bathroom right away, so you have to hold it. After a few minutes my whole body is SCREAMING to let the ticks come out. I feel much better after a tick happens. A tick for me, is a way to “fix” or “release” an uncomfortable sensation that has built up somewhere in my body. I don’t tick to feel good, I tick to make an area feel normal again.
Ticks I exhibit: I have both motor and vocal ticks. To be diagnosed with TS you much have motor ticks and at lease one vocal tick. I jerk my head at my left shoulder. My right arm flails up, sort of like an odd salute. Sometimes my head jerk and arm flail happens at the same time. A leg will “kick out”. I flex the muscles in my arms and leg. I furrow my browns. I stretch my eyes very wide and they stick that way for a bit. I clench my jaw. I wheeze out all the air in my lungs and hold it. I make a small “Hm” sound in the back of my throat. I repeat words or phrases people say to me, or anything that gets stuck in my head.
TS and other issues. It is common for people with TS to also have ADD, ADHD, OCD, Schizophrenic, or be slightly autistic. (Like Aspergers) It’s common for us to experience anxiety, insomnia, and depression. I have TS, there are things I’m OCD about. I can have anxiety here and there, I’m definitely an insomniac, and I have depression issues.
Being in public. I usually have a good handle of my ticks so I can suppress them or disguise them while I’m in public, but when they do happen, and they are noticeable, I either explain to any strangers who look worried/confused/interested, and if nobody looks worried/confused/interested, I just let it go.
I go to the movies. I only have a few vocal ticks, and they’re pretty quiet, so I don’t think I’ve even been a disruption. The only time I’m ever really embarrassed is when young children mime my ticks when they see them. They’re just being kids, but it still kinda makes me feel sad.
School Nobody made fun of me in high school. I tried to go to college, however the stress of being on my own and un-related medical issues made my ticks become debilitating, and I could not commute because it was not safe for me to drive. The school was not accommodating, and I failed out. I probably could try to go again because my symptoms are much less bothersome now, but I don’t want to.
Personal Life It has never affected my friendships or my ability to find a boyfriend. All my friends have learned to ignore my ticks, just like I do, and when a tick is funny, they laugh right along with me. I currently have a GREAT, supportive, loving, and understanding boyfriend. We live together, and I don’t think he really notices my ticks anymore, unless he ends up getting hit by one.
Sex Yes, I can have sex. Yes, sometimes I tick during sex, but since my man loves me for me, he has learned to ignore it. If I ever tick enough to ruin the moment, we take a quick time out and then get back to the fun stuff.
Treatment I currently do not take any kind of medicine. Medicine is available to me, but it has a bunch of bad side effects, and I don’t want to encounter them if my current symptoms are minor. On sparse occasions I have used THC recreationally. THC stops all of my ticks. I am currently not planning on using THC for medicinal purposes, as it is still illegal in Ohio, but I think that it should be legalized, that way it is an option for me, and many other people, if I need it in the future.
Supression I don’t have a way to describe or advise how to suppress ticks. I just… Do. I wish I could find the words to describe it, but it’s like describing a color without using colors.
Videos My identity is not really a secret, but I prefer to not be forthcoming, as this is the internet, and you are all strangers. I don’t think I will be posting a video, as it will be primarily watched just for people to see me tick, and I don’t want to make a spectacle or a sideshow of myself. I might consider it in the future, but not today. As for a picture of myself, I guess that’s okay. Imgur
I will do my best to update this whenever I find something else that's unanswered. Thank you all so much for your interest, and feel free to post any questions that I don't answer.♥