Tourette Syndrome started trending on searches when popular American Singer Billie Eilish revealed that she was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome at the age of 11 years. She confessed how exhausting it was to cope with TS. Suddenly everyone wanted to know -What is Tourette Syndrome?
Today in this post I shall share with you – What is Tourette Syndrome and how it affects a person.
What is Tourette Syndrome?
Tourette syndrome (also known as Tourette’s disorder, Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, GTS, or simply Tourette’s or TS) is a common neurological disorder that begins in childhood and is marked by the presence of multiple physical (motor) tics as well as at least one vocal (phonic) tic that waxes and wanes. Some of the common movements seen in TS are blinking, sniffing, neck twitching, coughing, grunting, or tensing of the abdominal musculature. TS is generally found in adolescence or childhood.
What is a Tic?
A tic is a sudden, involuntary, rapid, repetitive movement it can be of two types -motor tic or vocal tic.
A small percentage of people may also have a propensity to utter obscene words or socially inappropriate words involuntarily (coprolalia) which can make it embarrassing for the person who suffers from it as well as the family.
How does one get Tourette Syndrome?
TS remains mostly an inherited condition but some environmental factors are also associated with increased incidence and severity of TS, some of them are :
- Genetic tendency, so if someone in the family has TS, your chances of getting it increase
- Maternal smoking or passive exposure during pregnancy seems to have a relationship with TS
- Maternal stress during pregnancy can increase the chances of TS in the baby
- Stress and social pressure may increase the severity of the Tics
Do people with TS have Normal intelligence?
More than 60% of people suffering from this syndrome, also suffer from a neurological condition called ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Syndrome ) which can involve learning difficulties and a less than normal intelligence but that is not always the case. Some people may have normal intelligence even with Tourette Syndrome.
How does one treat TS?
Once a neurologist or a mental health professional diagnoses the condition, the most common therapies used to treat TS are
Dopamine agonist therapy
Habit reversal therapy
Patient education is very important for individuals with Tourette syndrome. Counseling and support including social skills training help a lot in improving the severity of the tics.
Billie Eilish and several other celebrities are living proof that suffering from Tourette Syndrome need not be a deal-breaker for anyone to succeed in life.
( This post is my contribution to Blogchatter’s initiative #CauseAChatter to spread awareness about #MentalHealth )
20 responses to “What is Tourette Syndrome?”
I’ve heard about Tourette Syndrome. I think it is the same that Rani Mukherjee was shown to have in Hichki. Glad to know lot more about it from your post.
Yes, now that you remind me Varsh, that was a wonderful portrayal of a TS patient by Rani Mukherjee, Thanks!
I agree with Varsha, even though I know about the TS through that movie. But, now as you shared in detail it’s really informative.
If I am not wrong rani mukharji has same problem in movie hichki. you post has explained all details about this issue so well. yes, neurological disorders have genetic influence and often hard to diagnose .
What a coincidence. I was watching a movie on Netflix yesterday and one of the supporting cast has Tourette syndrome and is in an institution but finds love there. Rani Mukherjee portrayed her role very well but in reality, the tic is much more and the intelligence too as you have rightly pointed out. Thanks for the information. We have little or no knowledge of so many conditions.
Yes, she actually did justice to that portrayal.
Tourette Syndrome , I got to know after watching Rani Mukherjee’s movie Hitchki but today After reading your post I am much more aware. It is really important to create awareness around these mental health related issues as it is affecting it more people than we know.
Yes, well said, thousands are struggling without timely diagnosis and support.
Your detailed post on the Tourette helped me understand the causes and the related therapies regarding it. By sharing more information many myths are broken through this article.
I am glad that you found it educative, thanks!
It’s informative post, I doesn’t know about this syndrome. I have seen people’s with such tourette syndrome symptoms.
I think I have heard about Tourette syndrome but not sure what it was actually. You have described this disorder in such a way that anyone can understand it easily. Thank you for making efforts to spread awareness about mental health.
I didn’t knew that the hichki disorder..is known by this name.glad came to know about it more n it’s scientific name
I am surprised how many people came to know of this disorder through that movie, it is really commendable.
Oh I have seen people with this kind of tics but didn’t know about Tourette Syndrome specifically. Also, I am surprised to know that one of the causes of this is Smoking by women.
Wow this is detailed post about this syndrome .It is really important to create awareness around these mental health related issues as it is affecting it more people than we know.
I have known about Tourette Syndrome through movies and pop culture but appreciate the in-depth post you have shared today.
I’ve never heard about this before I stumbled upon this article. It’s so insightful to know about the condition in detail
Many of us came to know about this a few years back, with Rani Mukherjee’s Hichki. But it is the first time I am reading about it in so much detail.
Thank you so much Jhilmil!