By now, many of you likely have heard about the case of the now more than two dozen LeRoy, N.Y., students who developed Tourette Syndrome-like symptoms and tics in December. Various news reports, medical claims and reports by experts since have been all over the Internet.
There are many different theories out there about what exactly contributed to the onset of these TS-like symptoms, but according to Wikipedia, the school was tested for toxins and all other factors for their symptoms were ruled out, the students were diagnosed with a “mass psychogenic illness” resulting from stress.
What we at Teens4TS want to know is this: What do you think of this entire case? Does it help or hurt Tourette Syndrome advocacy? If you or someone you know has TS, how does this entire case make you feel? Do you agree with the ultimate diagnosis of these students? Do you think they are faking? What is your opinion about some of the things said by the doctors and experts in this case?
Several parents from all over the country already have weighed in with their thoughts, which you can check out on the TSParentsOnline blog. We would love to hear your opinion, too, and you can let your voice be known about this very important, trending topic in one or more of several ways:
- By leaving a comment in this blog entry’s comments section
- By logging on to our Facebook page and leaving a comment on our wall or under the status update about this topic
- By logging on to our Twitter page and sending us a tweet
- By sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s that simple. Each time we get a response by e-mail, Facebook or Twitter, we’ll post it below. Comments submitted on the blog itself will stay in the comments section. We encourage the entire TS community to respond and put forth an opinion.
Who knows, the right people just might notice and some of the confusion surrounding this case could be cleared up! In the meantime, check out these links posts from Jan. 24, Jan. 27 and Jan. 31 for more about what is going on in LeRoy, N.Y.
Kayley T. says … “The Leroy girls seem to be faking, right? None of them have a biological illness, as indicated by dozens of diagnostic tests by specialists. The story from Leroy, N.Y., seems fantastical, but in fact, it’s completely plausible. And I don’t think they’re faking. I don’t think it was environmental, nor do I think they’re infected with some strange disease. There are records of outbreaks of mass psychogenic illness throughout history; dancing mobs in the middle ages, tales of women from a convent who all mewed like kittens, the Salem Witch Trials and many more.
“I understand why people think they’re faking; they don’t understand Conversion Disorder (psychogenic seemingly neurological symptoms), but I do. In addition to often disabling tics from TS I’ve had since I was 5 or 6, I have Conversion Disorder. Like the girls in N.Y., there was no catastrophic stressor to trigger my symptoms, they simply appeared from thin air. This happens. More than 20 percent of women at some point in their lives have psychogenic symptoms.
“Women with Conversion Disorder outnumber men with it 3 to 1, and some studies cite an even greater discrepancy. So it’s no wonder why the original cases were all girls, and also gives insight to why they may be prone to it. I just wish people would stop accusing the girls of faking. Who would fake this? Converison first left me paralyzed, then caused terrible spasms that lasted for hours. My conversion symptoms induced immobility of my body, which seemed to protect me from my painful self-injurious motor tics, which were constant at the time.
“The girls who are dealing with recent onset tics aren’t alone. I just wish they knew it! The best news for them is that Conversion Disorder is rarely permanent.”