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Member's Voice

Tic, Tic, Boom: Growing Up With Tourette Syndrome

By Everyday Health Guest Contributor, Sofia Desenberg

Published May 20, 2014


When I was 6 years old, I developed a lasting cough that quickly gained a lot of attention. It wasn’t an explosive hack, but a quiet reminder to everyone in the room that I needed to clear my throat. Apparently I coughed all the time. I didn’t really notice it, but others did. Eventually people began made endearing jokes like “I knew you came in because I heard you cough!”or “I heard someone cough today and thought it was you!”

I knew those comments weren’t meant to be harmful, but they still irritated me. But then again, I was easily irritated. My socks needed to be just right. I would stop my work in kindergarten to fidget with them until they felt right on my toes. If someone bumped my left shoulder, I would need to bump the other one. If I stubbed my left toe, I would hurl my right one into the concrete. Certain sensations and sounds would send me into a silent battle with my obsessive need to counter the sensory input with some other motion or noise. I didn’t understand or even take time to question what was happening because to me my actions were normal.


Coughing, Twitching, Ticking

To read the rest of the article please click here. (PDF)





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