Not allowed to have a small heart
May 30, 2012 8:29 PM   Subscribe

Tourette does not shorten life, limit mobility, or impair cognitive or emotional function ... While the genesis of TS is neurological, its most important symptom is semantic, the ongoing need to attach meaning to what are quite literally empty gestures.
Greg Downey talks about Tourette's Syndrome and Robert Lemelson’s documentary The Bird Dancer.

(The pull-quote is from Andrew Buckser's article "Before your very eyes" cited in Downey's post.)
posted by nangar (4 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
A friend's rotator cuff is almost worn out from a TS tic (to the point of limiting mobility), I'll be watching this to see if there are any hints as to how he can change or redirect his tic.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:08 PM on May 30, 2012

Wow. Great reading. I liked the way Tourette's is described as a disease of the observer: "If I have a tic and there is no one there to mock me, is it a tic?"

My son's best friend has Tourette's. Knowing the reputation of middle-schoolers for cruelty, I am pleasantly surprised at the apparently complete acceptance demonstrated by his classmates. When asked if the friend's grunts and gulps bothered anyone during the recent Big Important Exams, son shrugged dismissively and said, "Nah. It's just Nathan."

No big deal, just part of the normal background noise.
posted by evilmomlady at 5:32 AM on May 31, 2012

Thanks for this. I have long suspected that a beloved family member might have TS and the detailed descriptions of the urges of the tics make me suspect it even more. I will be passing this on.
posted by cooker girl at 6:44 AM on May 31, 2012

As someone with "motor tics" (which I now suspect is actually Tourette's, since the only difference is that one manifests in childhood (TS) and the other doesn't (MT), and I apparently did have tics as a child but didn't realize it because no one pointed them out to me), this is fascinating. The "illness of the observer" thing really nails the way I feel about it. My tics and grunts don't bother me. What bothers me and makes me feel awkward is when others notice and point them out (especially if they don't know what they are and that I can do very little to control them).
posted by asnider at 2:43 PM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

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