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Ways to Support a Friend with Tourette, Part 6: Talk normally

ourette Syndrome is a two-sided coin. One side is that of the individual with the disorder, the point of view from which he sees the world. Then there’s the other side, the perspective of all those who are close to that individual.

Tourette can be an awkward thing to talk about. It’s gotten easier for me as the years go by, but when I was younger, it was the last thing I wanted to admit to myself, let alone other people. And yet, sometimes it’s just the elephant in the room, something you can’t just ignore. As a friend, it’s important to know how to address your friend’s Tourette delicately and honestly. It can strengthen your friendship, and it can build your friend like little else can.

Here is the last of 6 ways to love on your friends with the neurological disorder, Tourette Syndrome (TS), as told by someoneone with Tourette:

6Waystosupportyourfriendwithts

If You’re Close to Someone with Tourette…

Talkasifyourfriendsticsarentthere

I know they can be distracting, but sometimes, a normal conversation is something your friend might be dying to have. And yet, think about how hard it would be to carry on a conversation with people in the general public when your body is constantly interrupting you.

What Counts in the End

Remember, your friend with Tourette is fighting battles on multiple fronts:

  1. First, there’s the Battle with the Tics. As my tics are less obvious, my fight is usually conducted in silence. People don’t know I’m either suppressing tics or ticcing tremendously all the time. For others, the battle with the tics themselves is much more obvious. Either way, it’s not just distracting to others; it’s often very distracting to us as well, whether it’s obvious or not.
  2. Then there’s the Battle of Acceptance in Society. As TS isn’t a well-understood disorder, people with TS are sadly often considered weird, attention-grabbing, or lacking in self-control. Some people just wish they could walk down the sidewalk without getting odd stares or cruel comments.
  3. Third, there’s the Battle of Acceptance in Family and Friends. People with TS need the love and embrace from these people even more than they need acceptance from society. If you have enough support at home, you’ll feel more ready to face the world.
  4. Finally, there’s the Battle of Self-Acceptance. Again, the support of family and friend is crucial here. People with TS often see themselves as broken or weird enough to deserve the scorn of others. It’s a big step to accept that TS is a part of who you are, and many people don’t get to that stage. In order for your friend to win this battle, he’s going to need others to reassure him that he is worth love, affection, and friendship.

multiplefronts

Chances are, if he knows others believe in him, the more likely he is to believe in himself. The chance to be this kind of support is tremendous, and if you have the chance to share it with someone with Tourette, I can assure you it’ll be a gift to both of you. It will require gentle words, patience, and time, and it won’t be easy.

But maybe you can be that star to someone. Maybe you can be the love of Christ shining into his life. And in doing so, you just might change the course of his life.

Have you ever been able to give this kind of support to someone with Tourette? Has someone ever shown this kind of love to you? Do you have any suggestions to add? If you do, please share them in the Comment Box below. Also, don’t forget that if you sign up for my weekly email newsletter, you’ll get resources I don’t include in my posts. Also, you’ll get a “thank you” gift in return for signing up! 

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