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Oh What A Tangled (Neural) Web We Weave: A first-person account of Tourette Syndrome (part 8, a cure?)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the finale in a multipart series that first appeared in the March 2010 edition of the Journal of Clinical Psychology Practice and also can be found on Life’s A Twitch, a website run by Canadian psychologist Dr. B. Duncan McKinlay.

So do I want a cure for my TS? No. Besides some positives inherent to dysregulation (e.g. sometimes perseVERing and perSEVering differ only in inflection), there are the positives that come from the struggle itself. My angst has been a valuable commodity and is reflected in the passion I have for my work. It helps foster insights within my chosen field, and in many ways opens as many doors as it closes.

By their very nature my demons are forced to the forefront; they will not be denied and so are acknowledged and dealt with; something that puts me ahead in the game of life and not behind. Frankly, “curing” me of TS at this point would be the definitive invalidation of my existence.

I’ve become adept at running a lemonade stand. I never asked for nor wanted any stupid lemons, but I’ve made the best of what I was handed. For better or worse this lemonade stand is my life; I continue to expand the franchise. To suddenly cut off my supply of lemons would be cruel indeed.

Future studies of TS may benefit from consideration of any learned elements of this condition as subjectively reported. Mindfulness may also play a potential role in the treatment of TS. Clinical work can be enhanced with the use of behavioural treatments and by more fully grasping the “gestalt” experience of living with TS and associated conditions.

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