- 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.