I have Tourette Syndrome, but there is nothing wrong with me

Hi, I’m Jordan, I’m 17 years old and from Paris, Texas. I’m head cheerleader, in marching and concert band, and play golf. I PROUDLY have Tourette Syndrome. :) My whole life I have had symptoms of Tourette and OCD. I was officially diagnosed 3 years ago during my freshmen year of high school — already a stressful enough time, right??

My tics are face, shoulder, arms and finger twitching, which are constant. Vocal tics such as grunting/yelling happen only about 5 to 10 times a day. My OCD often controls my life, and I feel like a prisoner in my own body. Contrary to popular belief, OCD is not just “clean freaks.” Below are the things that set me off into panic attacks (ones with a * are extremely bad):

  • Finger licking*
  • Nail biting*
  • Nail picking
  • Showers that aren’t white
  • I’ve NEVER washed my hands without lotion*
  • Other people’s driving
  • My hair not being perfect
  • Smacking*
  • People pulling at ears/belly button
  • Textures of certain foods*
  • Being alone
  • The smell of other peoples car/home
  • Chlorine/Clorox
  • Being told I’m wrong
  • Chewing on ice*
  • Not having a Butterfinger
  • Air blowing on me* 

I was at the neurologist one day explaining to the doctor my symptoms when he mentioned that I probably had Tourette. He asked me if I knew what that was.. My heart sank, and my eyes welled up with tears. I sort of knew what it was, but all I could think about were the stereotypes that were the butt of numerous jokes.

In that instance, I felt like I was plagued. He started throwing around names of medications, but I just tuned it all out. I got a prescription, and my mom and I left. When we got in the car I just started crying, talking about how I felt like a loser.

Now at least when people asked I could tell them what I had. Notice, I didn’t say, “Tell them what was WRONG with me” because there is nothing wrong with people with TS :) I twitch in class, and I yell in public, but I’ve learned to not care what others think. Yes, the jokes hurt sometimes, but other times I’ve learned to laugh at myself and the things I do.

I have also learned to cope with some of my OCD habits. I hope to start new medication soon that will work better. But in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my senior year :) I have lots of stories about Tourette/OCD (both funny and serious) I would love to share :)




  1. I also have Tourettes and OCD. I was diagnosed with Tourettes when i was 7 and OCD the end of my senior year in high school. I am currently a sophomore in college. I completely understand what you mean about your OCD. Although, mine is not as bad. I have pure obsession, I dont know if you know what that is, but thats when all I do is have the thoughts. Any compulsions I have are due to my thoughts. It only acts up a couple times a week, but I see what you mean on how it holds you back. Its hard for me too, because when it acts up I feel like I am having this battle in my head about whats really going on and what my OCD wants me to believe is going on. Its frustrating because I want to go out and have fun but when it acts up all I want to do is stay in my dorm and cry. Its so overwhelming and hard to deal with, but one of my best friends told me that only you can help yourself. As hard as it is, only you can help yourself and get through it. Fight tooth and nail for it, you have to fight for everything in life, and this is no exception. I know its hard, but you can do it. And ten years from now you wont remember this pain, but you will remember the strength. :)

    Just keep pushing forward, and remember, even though we dont know each other, I’ll be fighting for you too as I fight for myself.

  2. I am 18 and also have OCD and Tourette’s, Don’t let the Tourette jokes get to you, ignore them, I was a Senior in high school this year and starting college very soon, Enjoy your senior year as much as you can because it goes by way to fast. Start looking at colleges as soon as you can too because it is a major process. I LOVE golf and I was on my high school team! I can drive the ball 200+ yards. Hope to hear from you soon, keep me posted :)


    • Thanks for the advice! This applying for colleges is very stressful and I’m so afraid I’m going to make the wrong school choice!

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