...oh yes, I have Tourette's Syndrome.
December 23, 2011 6:09 AM   Subscribe

I enjoy reading ... oh yes, I have Tourette's Syndrome. Guy has Tourette's Syndrome The full blown kind. You know, swearing and aggressive jerking and all that.

Oh yeah, I also have Asperger's Syndrome.

I was diagnosed at age 31. I have tics that are triggered by sensory input or any changes to my routine, and tics that are cycle based.

I deal with it in a number of ways. One of them is Karaoke.
posted by h0p3y (19 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Now this is something.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:14 AM on December 23, 2011

This guy is amazing.
posted by Malice at 6:20 AM on December 23, 2011

I've always wanted something like this to surface on the tubes. Thanks for this.
posted by neversummer at 6:26 AM on December 23, 2011

From his about page:

At senior school, my Aspie [Asperger's] nature really took over. I had no real interest in women; I got my kicks from working hard and achieving goals I had set for myself. To illustrate, when I was to go up to high school from primary school, I insisted that my parents buy me a briefcase. My vision of school was very much "You go there to work, and learn, and everybody takes it seriously. You will be treated like an adult."

Obviously, this couldn't be further from the reality. On the first day of high school, my briefcase and I were laughed at … hard. It was taken from me and launched into the air by older kids (I was an extremely small 11 year old). When I got home I insisted that my parents buy me a 'normal' bag.

My heart breaks and I kind of love this guy.
posted by joinks at 6:29 AM on December 23, 2011 [8 favorites]

I would never, ever in a million years go back to the way it was. When people suggest "this cure" or "that remedy," all I see is a return to my former state. It may be narrow of me to think that, but that is the only thing I fear in life: a return to my original condition.

I am happy as I am. I laugh a lot; my family laughs a lot.

We all get on, and that's all I could ask for out of life.

yeah, joinks, i kind of love him too. Talk about narrowing it down to whats important.
posted by domino at 7:09 AM on December 23, 2011 [4 favorites]

I've always felt akin to people with tourettes somehow, sometimes I find myself cursing randomly or saying something to someone that is way over the top offensive. It's like they (and especially this gentlemen who also has obsessive Asperger's tendencies) are just exaggerated versions of slightly nerdy, slightly tickish loud people.

(Not actually comparing our lives, this guy Guy clearly has as lot more on his plate. And is dealing with it admirably.)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:17 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

I love that this guy is putting himself out there like this. He obviously is having fun with his life and that is what makes this hilarious instead of a "look at the freak" thing. His karaoke site made my morning a lot brighter.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:35 AM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

John Freeman, singer for the Dutch Treats and Dooms UK (and solo as Johnny Murder), also has tourette's. He's quite a dynamic frontman.

And technically the swearing bit is called Coprolalia. Only 10-15% of Tourette's sufferers have this symptom - although I had no idea deaf people exhibit it through sign language until I looked it up this morning. (John doesn't swear or blurt things compulsively and I've been friends with him for 24 years; my supervisor at my last job ALSO had Tourette's with physical tics, but no verbal behaviors; it's a common misconception). And yeah, I know the text above is a quote from Guy himself, I just think it deserves clarifying because they're technically not the same thing.

Great post! He seems like a swell person.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:24 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Wow. In some ways, I suspect we can all see a bit of ourselves in his condition, and yet it's clearly beyond our normal experience.

Maybe one of the most limiting forms of "otherness" - completely involuntary sabotage of social acceptance guidelines.


I was at a bar with a GF who was a nurse, when a clearly "weird" lady came in to watch the band play. Everyone made room around her, silently. She looked a bit troubled, and had a slight nervous tic about her.

GF intimated to me, in her know-it-all tone, that the lady probably had Tourette's, and her meds weren't totally controlling the tics. Then she went on denigrating how people were treating the woman, suggesting they were inferior to her/us because they ostracized the woman. Typical for that GF; everything was a social contest.

So, I invited the woman to take the spare seat at our table. We chatted. She was nice enough, and once her "I'm alone and look weird!" nerves were settled, the tics lessened (I'm guessing that's why; maybe her meds were just hitting in; dunno).

Afterwards, the GF credited me for being nicer than the rest of the bar. I asked her why she didn't, and got some excuses. Sadly, for her, it was about one-upmanship, not making the lady feel good.

Anyway, that was my one-and-only IRL experience with Tourette's.

Generally, I believe in trusting instincts, because crazy, dangerous people often act crazy and dangerous, but sometimes it's way worth it to reach through the social walls. Life is risk.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:39 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

BTW, if you're just browsing through the videos, DO take the time to read his autobiography bit. Three pages, fascinating, and his wife should be canonized.

Or at least have all his love. She earned it.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:45 AM on December 23, 2011

So, I invited the woman to take the spare seat at our table. We chatted. She was nice enough, and once her "I'm alone and look weird!" nerves were settled, the tics lessened (I'm guessing that's why; maybe her meds were just hitting in; dunno).

Tourette's, when it is a minor case, can be brought on by stress, so eliminating the stress that she may have been feeling about being alone in the bar could have helped to eliminate the tics (medication or not).

Source: I have very, very minor Tourette's. Tics and some grunting, but no swearing. I'm not on meds, but I usually don't tic in social settings.
posted by asnider at 9:16 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

More on topic: I find it both interesting and amusing that his involuntary vocalizations seem to find the rhythm of the music after the first couple of verses. They hardly even seem out of place after a while.
posted by asnider at 9:20 AM on December 23, 2011

Pure Awesome.
posted by madred at 9:51 AM on December 23, 2011

>When people suggest "this cure" or "that remedy," all I see is a return to my former state.<

This sort of reminds me of Greg Egans "Distress", a small of which involves autistic people that feel they are actually superior and don’t want to be "cured". I think it also has people becoming voluntarily autistic, but I read it a long time ago. It’s one of those SF books (like Jeter’s "Noir") that I loved for all the great ideas, not for the storytelling.
posted by bongo_x at 9:54 AM on December 23, 2011

I've been following this guys stuff on youtube for a while... thanks for the full post.

(his "losing my religion" is AMAZING)
posted by brand-gnu at 11:28 AM on December 23, 2011

asnider: thanks for that info.

bongo_x: didn't we have an FPP recently about an autistic person who wanted to essentially rebrand autism as (really and truly) differently-abled, with abilities necessary and complementary to civilization's functioning? There have no doubt been geniuses in history who advanced our knowledge greatly, and were autistic to some degree.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:54 AM on December 23, 2011

Wait: he's vocalising all the words that I don't say? I have one friend who's asked me if I've got Tourette's but never taken it seriously. Looks as if I may be a little way along that spectrum, like.
posted by ambrosen at 3:55 PM on December 23, 2011

Seems like a good time to link back to "Compelled to Blurt". Dipping my toes in the ocean of verbal tics.
posted by slightlybewildered at 2:47 AM on December 24, 2011

For some reason "ASS CHEEKS!" made my day. I can't get it out of my head. I'm imagining myself saying it during all sorts of serious conversations, business meetings, etc.
posted by treepour at 7:27 PM on December 24, 2011

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