Ticcing Away: Tourette Syndrome Essay

3075 words - 12 pages

          “Tourette Kids”

Sometimes we are happy
Sometimes we are sad
Sometimes we get teased
Sometimes we get mad
Although we seem different
When tics appear each day
Remember this disease chose us
And no the other way
So if we jerk, or yell, or swear
Please try not to forget
It isn’t us doing it
But a disease called Tourette

----Jason Valencia----
1986, 10 years old

Living with Tourette syndrome gives a deeper insight to the highly misunderstood and understated disease, Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. The book delves into the origin of the disease, the symptoms, the medications, and the treatments. Then the author gives thoughtful advice, a guide, so to speak, for parents, relatives, loved ones, and sufferers of Tourette. The author Elaine Fantle Shimberg, is the mother of three children with Tourette Syndrome and a board member of the Tourette Association. She has authored twelve books and gives lectures around the world about mothering three Touretters.
To understand the disease, you must know its interesting history. In 1885, the French physician, Dr. Georges Albert Eduoard Brutes Gilles de la Tourette, first suggested that the disease’s symptoms were part of a distinct condition different from other movement disorders. (Shimberg, 1995 p.25) Tourette studied several patients he believed to have the disorder. These studies included a French noblewoman who used to interject obscenities during conversation. (This is also known as coprolalia,) Tourette came to the conclusion that TS was hereditary, (Shimberg, 1995, P.67) that the disorder did not have any intellectual or psychological deterioration, (Shimberg, 1995, p.69) and he also correctly identified the childhood onset of the disease.
For decades after Tourette’s discovery, Tourette Syndrome was believed to b4e a psychological disorder. With the twentieth century and the age of Freud’s psychoanalysis, new ideas and theories about Tourette Syndrome came a dime a dozen. Hysteria, schizophrenia, mental instability, sexual dysfunction, narcissistic disorder, and poor family dynamics were just a few of the speculated causes of that era. (Shimberg, 1995, p.66) It wasn’t until the mid 1960’s that researchers work helped our present understanding of Tourette came to be. It was finally acknowledged that the disorder was biologically based, thereby changing the belief that TS was a psychological or psychogenic disorder. (Shimberg, 1995, p.66)
Tourette syndrome, also called Tourette’s Disorder, is known to be a neurobiological tic disorder involving both motor and phonic tics. TSA is not a psychological illness or psychosis. The disease is biochemicall6y base4d and is genetically transferred, that is, a person is born with it, and it is not contagious. (Shimberg, 1995, p.81) TS is characterized by repetitive, sudden, and involuntary movements.
Although there is no known medical, biological, or psychological test to diagnose...

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