I have been challenged in the past with my Tourettes syndrome. I was diagnosed with Tourette’s in fourth grade when my parents realized that I kept bobbing my head oddly when playing outfield on my softball team. My teacher at the time also brought it to my parents attention so they had me checked out. I was diagnosed with a mild case of Tourettes syndrome, and these motor tics have persisted into early adulthood. They were consistent for around two years after I was diagnosed, disappeared for a year or so, and came back the next year. They have been consistent for over 4 years now.

When I was younger I didn’t really think much of it or understand it really. But when I went into high school, I’d have people give me odd looks sometimes. Not often though, I really lucked out. I occasionally get asked questions like “Why do you keep looking at me?” and “You keep twitching your head, are you okay?” When that happens I explain to them that I have Tourette’s syndrome and explain what it is if they don’t know. And every single time that this has happened, I have been accepted kindly!

The main problems I have now with my Tourettes is mostly focus problems. It can be hard to studying when I’m ticcing because I lose where I am in the textbook or study guide the minute I do so, it can be hard (and dangerous!) to drive sometimes when I’m really ticcing badly because it takes my eyes off the road. But I try my best to work with them and if I do have to drive somewhere when they’re that bad, I try to get someone to drive me instead. But another challenge I have is not with the tics themselves, but with the disorders that come hand-in-hand with it. I experience severe social anxiety occasionally and mild OCD, which are both known to come with Tourettes.

I have been starting to stand up for the cause lately, mostly on social media, to educate people about Tic Disorders/Tourettes, and to fight the common stereotypes directed towards these disorders. This is also a cause that I would like to stand up for further into the future because understanding of these things are still so low. It’s very important to me that I can spread the awareness because it is so personal to me.