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How does Tourette's impact daily life?

Aspects of everyday life that Tourette's+ may Impact:

-Focusing: Constant ticcing can make it hard to focus, tic suppression makes it virtually impossible to focus as its uncomfortable and distressing and many people with TS also have ADHD. Mental tics and OCD can make us appear distracted.

-Sleeping: Strong premonitory sensations and tics can make it difficult to fall asleep and night time OCD /Tourettic OCD rituals may make us unable to get to bed until the early hours of the morning. We may be unable to sleep in a room on our own due to anxiety.

-Going out in public: Some of us may socially withdraw or have a fear of going out as we may have an outburst of severe tics, this can sometimes lead to school avoidance.

-Using Technology: Uncontrollably scrolling, clicking repeatedly, breaking electronics through destructive tics, typing and deleting what we've written all make it difficult to use technology.

-Having independence: Impulsive tics may make it dangerous to go out on our own and our symptoms may cause disability to the point of being reliant on care from others.

-Family life: Parents are often wrongly judged by the public, extended family, medical professionals and family friends. Family life can deteriorate due to the amount of care we may need due to our symptoms. Parents may develop PTSD due to seeing their child suffer and fearing a severe episode coming on again. Those of us with TS may face family members who don't understand our condition.

-Dressing: Severe tics and rituals may make us lose our ability to dress ourselves, therefore we may require assistance for daily tasks that most people don't think twice about.

Washing: Repetitive handwashing, putting off washing rituals causing a decline in hygiene, being unable to brush teeth due to sensory issues etc.

Toileting: Severe rituals may make us spend hours in the bathroom, and we may lose the ability to use the toilet in our own home as that is where the rituals mainly occur and may have to rely on public toilets.

Writing: illegible handwriting due to fine motor coordination difficulties, brain allergies, dysgraphia, co-occuring hypermobility and low muscle tone or undiagnosed PANS/PANDAS may occur. Tics may include stabbing the paper with a pen, going over our writing repeatedly , scribbling over the page, ripping up the paper and more.

Reading: Neck, head and eye tics may make it difficult to read. Co-occuring Irlen syndrome, slow visual processing, dyslexia and eye tracking difficulties may affect reading ability and some people may have tics where they rip out book pages and some people may have the compulsion to reread the same line multiple times.

Mobility: Leg tics or dropping to the floor can affect someone's ability to walk, sometimes requiring a wheelchair.

Driving: Some peoples tics may affect their ability to drive.

Self-esteem : Some people may be angry at themselves for ticcing and may wonder why they are losing control, this isn't your fault as your symptoms are involuntary and you should never feel the need to suppress as it leads to rebounds later on and is incredibly uncomfortable and distressing. Having Tourette's doesn't make you any less worthy and it doesn't define you.

Social life: Tourette's can be an incredibly socially isolating condition, we may face a lot of ignorance and discrimination and complex tics such as coprolalia, observational tics or other severe and prominent tics may not be understood by others as some people can only understand from their level of perception, but having this condition isn't your fault and you will find people who accept you fully for who you are.

Tourette's is a condition that can affect every aspect of our lives, there's more than meets the eye. Tourette's+ may Impact daily life aspects such as focusing, sleeping, going out in public, using technology, having independence, family life, dressing, washing, Toileting, writing, reading, mobility, driving, self-esteem, social life and so much more... I believe that it's so important that people understand that Tourette's can sometimes become disabling, distressing and debilitating, we need people to know this so that it's no longer seen as acceptable to joke about and so that we can get the support we need in all aspects of out lives.

A close up of my face as a child with one eye shut. Text reads 'The impact of Tourette's'

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