COLLEGE WEEK: Opening up about Tourette Syndrome at school

So over the past few days, I’ve really been opening up more with my new friends about my Tourette Syndrome. I figured that pretty much all of the friends I’ve made so far have noticed my tics, and it’s always easier to explain it sooner than later. Basically, I’ve been taking opportunities in casual conversations to just mention it briefly, and for the most part I try to mention it in a nonchalant way so it’s not a huge deal.

Lucky for me, talking about the lab I’m working at in the med school is an easy way to bring TS up. I mention that I’m excited to start working in the lab again next Thursday, and then whoever I am talking to is always curious about the lab. I then mention that it’s a neuroimaging lab that focuses on movement disorders like Tourette and explain I got involved with it through my neurologist and that I see a neurologist because I have Tourette, too. Pretty easy way to bring it up!

Another way I’ve been bringing it up is by talking about the documentary that I made about Tourette. This is a good way to bring it up, too, because I can explain how I wanted to make the documentary to educate people about Tourette because it’s really amazing how few people know what it really is and that it’s not just all about swearing.

So far when I mention it, it seems like my friends aren’t  too surprised for the most part. They’ve seen my tics and are happy to get an explanation. They sometimes ask a few questions, too. So far the questions I’ve gotten from my friends are:

  • Is there a cure?
  • Do they know what causes it?
  • Do you have vocal Tourette?
  • Do you know when you’re doing it?

I’ve been trying to answer the questions the best I can, but every time after I answer them I always feel like I didn’t answer them in the best way and that I could have explained it better! This really bugs me! Maybe it’s my OCD, but I always have to go over what I said in my head and then I always get kind of mad at myself because I think I could have answered the question better than I did.

Anyone feel like this sometimes when you explain TS to other people or try to answer their questions?

This concludes our second College Week of the fall. If we continue to get a lot of college-related posts, we’ll have a third! For now, please go back into our archives and enjoy other College Week posts here!



One Comment

  1. You and KatieD are my new heroes. <3 You are making the college life sound sooooo much less anxious for me. I go in less than 2 years and I wasnt looking forward to it until i've read what you two have said. Thank you soooooo much!

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