I've had Tourette's Syndrome since I was three years old, but I wasn't officially diagnosed until my Junior year of high school. My tics have changed a lot since I was younger, but I have a few tics that have always stayed the same. Some of the tics right now are head and neck jerking, eye rolling, arm jerking, grimacing, picking and biting my lips, repeating words/phrases that I hear, making a yelping or a squeaking sound, saying the word "ouch", and whistling. I also have OCD which at times has been harder for me to deal with than the tics.
For me, I'd say it would be nearly impossible to pick one single hardest part of having Tourette's. There are just to many challenges that come with having Tourette's and just too many ways it has affected me throughout the years. As a child, the hardest part was not knowing why I couldn't stop my body from doing certain things or why I was different than the other kids. As I've gotten older, I've had to come to terms with the fact that my tics and OCD may never get better or go away. I've had to deal with stares, the judgments of others, and my own judgments of myself. I have amazing friends who support me through everything though, and that sometimes can make all the difference.
I'm a PNP (Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology) major with a minor in Creative Writing. My goal is to get a masters and a PHD in PNP and go on to do neruo-imaging research to study neurological disorders and neuropsychiatric disorders. I love to write fiction and poetry, blog, and advocate for Tourette's and it's associated conditions. I also love animals, especially my new Goldendoodle named Brandy :)
I think other people should know that having Tourette's doesn't make us all that different. Underneath our tics and obsessions, we are just like everybody else. We're just a regular people who happen to have tics. Having Tourette's is a part of who we are, but it doesn’t define who we are."