Living with Tourettes – Carson G.

Carson was a winner of a 2020 NJCTS Scholarship Award. 

This was the essay he included with his application.

Throughout my life, I have always dealt with certain impulses. I’ve regularly gone to Dupont Hospital for Children in Wilmington Delaware for psychiatric treatment for over 10 years. Therapists over the years have helped me deal with these impulses, as well as my OCD and ADD through therapy and medications. There are four difficulties that I’ve faced that stand out to me in particular. In therapy, we call the impulses “ticks”. The most recurring one is picking. When I was about 10 or 11 years old, I pulled out all of my baby teeth. For a little while, I would throw my head backwards repeatedly, almost looking like I was having a seizure, when I got anxious or stressed. Throughout middle school and even a little bit into high school, I would have random vocalizations of nonsense words. Some people found them endearing, while it drove some people up the wall. Eventually I was taught to do it in the bathroom, or do it in a whisper. I put those strategies into practice at school. I learned how to suppress my vocal impulses in public, but whenever I did so, it felt like the urge was bubbling up inside of me. At some point, I think during Freshman year of high school, I was able to go the entire school day without doing it once. Then, I could go a whole 24 hours. I was able to suppress the impulse and urge longer and longer until I no longer did it. The past 2 years or so have been my best in a long time as far as my tourettes. I only have to see my therapist every 3 months. Occasionally, something will trigger a short period of worse symptoms. The trigger usually has to do with change, such as the transition from school to Summer. My experiences with tourettes syndrome
has been challenging, but I have come a long way. I’m a successful student and have a small circle of close friends. I enjoy activities with my family, helping teach sunday school/vacation bible school, and participating in school clubs. I feel as though I am on the brink of overcoming it altogether. I owe my success to my family, friends, therapists, and anyone else who has helped me along the way. I truly believe that I would not have been where I am right now without them.



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