They say that information is the key to battling ignorance.
Over the years, I’ve had to see my share of ignorance run amok when it comes to Tourette Syndrome. So I thought I’d set the record straight. Below are a few myths, half-truths and other things I thought need correcting. Some of these things I’ve spoken about on my Facebook Live broadcasts, some I’ve spoken about here on the site. So I thought: Why not put them all up in one post for all to see at once?
So, without further ado…
5 Myths About Tourette’s Syndrome
- ”Isn’t that the thing where you’re swearing all the time?”
Contrary to popular belief, less than 5% of people with Tourette’s actually have what is called coprolalia, the utterance of obscene or socially inappropriate words or phrases.. Like most vocal tics, they’re usually random utterances of words and/or phrases without a meaning or intention behind them. It doesn’t mean the person is a racist or pervert, but that they can’t control what they’re saying most of the time. It can be very embarrassing for the Touretter, especially if they’re out in public.
- ”It’s a pathological illness”
Tourette Syndrome, despite being caused by some of the same neurochemicals/neurotransmitters that cause some psychological disorders, it is a wholly neurological disorder and does not affect one’s mental health.
- “It’s like Epilepsy… you can’t do certain things or jobs because of it”
Just like there are people in all types of jobs, ranging from medical to engineering, people with Tourette Syndrome can do any job they’re qualified for. There are doctors, lawyers, computer engineers, physicists, professional athletes and many others who have Tourette Syndrome and thrive in their chosen fields. In fact, those who pursue athletics may have a built-in advantage because their fast-twitch muscle fibers are getting such a workout due to their tics.
- “They’re rather slow, aren’t they?”
This assertion couldn’t be more false. In fact, studies show that people with Tourette’s have average or greater intelligence; much like the rest of the world. When someone is different, people jump to conclusions about their level of intelligence. But as I’ve noted above, most people with TS have comparable intelligence to those who don’t.
- “It’ll probably get worse with time”
From childhood to adolescence, Tourette’s can be a nightmare. Hormones and socializing with your peers can bring along all sorts of pressures to teens and pre-teens. However, as we get older, we learn to cope with things better. Tourette’s is no different. Learning to manage your triggers is one way that the severity of TS can decrease, but also the tics can go into complete remission in some cases.
There you have it. There are more myths and untruths and half-truths out there about Tourette Syndrome, but these are the most common falsities I can gather.
Share this post with others and let’s keep everyone informed!
To learn more about Tourette’s Syndrome, click HERE!