I have to start my saying that as a mum to a child with Tourette Syndrome, I have seen first hand that this is the most mocked Neurological disorder there is to date. Every bugger finds it funny or socially acceptable to laugh at it with no consequences. From those god awful memes, to comedians taking the mick out of it. Its not only the general public that jump onto the piss taking bus of jokes but its mocked all over the place. Is it the lack of awareness that makes it so funny? I have to give a little information on this highly complex disorder, because Im just about running out of patience for ill informed muppets, after reading another article a few minutes ago blatantly mocking the condition.
Did you know that some motor tics can leave you with ripped tendons, that your body twists and contorts so badly that you are in immense pain, did you know that some tics can cause self injury, sometimes they cause the person to punch themselves, throw cups and cooking utensils off their heads, punch the walls and smash their knuckles or fracture bones, hit and pound parts of their bodies until bruised. They are so painful its not funny. Did you know that some of these types of motor tics can last hours causing essentially tic attacks that look like seizures, these last up to 8 hours. Can you imagine being so incapacitated and in that much pain your crying for god to take you . Is it still funny? We haven’t even scratched the surface of Tourette Syndrome for some yet. Then of course theres the verbal tics, the constant, squealing, sentences and swearing known as Coprolalia is only found in roughly 10 percent of Tourette Syndrome, but non the less a real problem out and about socially . Imagine getting car chased because your obscene tics caused road rage. Imagine your childs face and fear of a group of men chasing you. Still funny is it? Imagine the teacher sending you out of the classroom everytime you said something you physically cannot stop? Imagine the shame, really try to imagine it.
Now lets move onto the co-morbidity’s that often occur with Tourette Syndrome
- Obsessive-compulsive behaviors or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Mood disorders such as depression and Bipolar Disorder
- Non-OCD anxiety disorders.
Does all this still sound funny? Im still only scratching the surface too. Im am past being polite now, when you see a child or adult making unusual noises and having unusual body movements, just treat them with respect, is that really too much to ask? These comedians, writers and ill informed eejits really must be mindful that at any time in their lives any of them could end up with a disorder , their children, their siblings, they are not invincible, and neither is my child, he isn’t and shouldn’t be the butt of jokes. Tourette Syndrome isn’t funny, it is painful and debilitating and these jokes in any form need to stop.