More Questions People Ask People with Tourette’s

question mark neon signage

  • Why do people with Tourette’s swear and not tic “nice” words?

Firstly, only 10 to 25 percent of people with Tourette’s experience coprolalia. Secondly, I tic lots of nice words (“Lemon”, “Botticelli”, “woo hoo”). Thirdly, no one really knows why certain words become tics and not others.

  • What would happen if you didn’t know any swear words?

If, hypothetically, you didn’t know any swear words, then you would tic other rude things. For instance, yelling “you’re fat” to someone who’s chubby, “get hair” to someone who’s bald, or “I hate you” to someone who may or may not inspire in you such a feeling.

  • Have you ever got into trouble because of your Tourette’s?

Sometimes people ask me what I’m doing in a rather irritated way, but I just explain I have Tourette’s and then they’ve always been fine with it. I think it helps to be a woman in these circumstances.

  • How do you sleep?

My tics vastly reduce when I’m asleep, so I have no problems with insomnia due to Tourette’s. However, getting to sleep can sometimes be tough. Often, I’ll tic while I’m half-asleep and wake myself up. This is annoying.

  • Is there any medication for it?

Yes – antipsychotics are used even though psychosis has nothing to do with Tourette’s. These aren’t for everyone as many people suffer quite badly with the side-effects which are sometimes worse than the tics themselves. Also, the drugs don’t work for everyone. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition and even if medication is helpful for some people, it’s not going to get rid of the tics entirely.

  • What triggered you getting Tourette’s?

When people ask this, I assume they think Tourette’s is like a mental illness caused by a stressful life event. This isn’t really the case. Tourette’s is neurological – it happens because there is something wrong with your basal ganglia. It’s often inherited but not always, and is more likely to occur if you have things like ADHD and OCD running in your family. As such, nothing triggered my Tourette’s. It just happened.

  • How does a tic feel?

Like this. But also like you’re a puppet being controlled by some hyperactive and rude five-year old child, and also a bit like you’re possessed.

4 thoughts on “More Questions People Ask People with Tourette’s”

  1. I read about your racist tics the other day, but couldn’t comment because for some reason I can’t comment on my phone. Luckily, I don’t tic words. In today’s political climate in the United States, I think saying almost anything in a non-sequitur manner could cause problems. I can’t imagine what swearing or racist language would do. I worry enough about my eye rolling. I’ve been called on it several times over the past few months. I’ve discovered that when I turn to walk away from a conversation, I’ll use that transition as a tic-break. Apparently, it appears that I’m rolling my eyes *at* the end of the conversation. In general, I don’t disclose Tourettes unless people ask directly. At my workplace (Domestic Abuse shelter) it’s considered bad for to disclose personal problems. No one really knows anything about me here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, eye rolling is an awkward tic to have. I can imagine that gets annoying to deal with. Although I’m a bit unlucky to have coprolalia – it’s not so bad because my tics are never influenced by who is around me, they’re always random and not directed at anyone. So far I’ve managed to escape people’s wrath. Hopefully the slurs will disappear like some of my other tics have.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome stuff. I’ve had them all. Vocal tics, physical ones, you name it. None of them are awesome. I used to spend time concentrating, when I was a young kid, on not tic’ing that I would literally be exhausted by the end of day and then sleep for 12 hours just to recoup. Love your example of how a tic feels, btw. Great stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

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