Story of a Tourette Sufferer: Mingho Tse

I was diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome during my recovery from pneumonia when I was 8. The symptoms of my Tourettes were quite significant and obvious. I couldn’t stop shouting and twitching my body. My parents were extremely worried, they could not comprehend what was happening to me, and neither could I. It took me years to learn how to suppress it, I have seen many therapists and doctors in an attempt to find a cure for it. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one. The medications that they offered only worsened my health, I easily got depressed and tired. During the rock bottom of my life, I was bullied at school, even the teachers weren’t able to do anything to help. I always questioned why I had this disease, I thought that life was unfair to me giving me this condition.

Everything changed when I got into secondary school, initially my classmates were confused about why I was making weird noises, but everything turned out fine after I explained my condition. They accepted me and we ended up all becoming friends. That was when I started becoming more open about my Tourettes, and I have gained more confidence since. Even though sometimes I would get glares from passersby, I learned to just ignore them. With the support of my friends and family have learned to move on and accept it. Without them I would not have been be brave enough to write this article and talk about my past and my condition.

I wish for Tourette’s syndrome to be more well-known, people should learn to understand that we can’t control our actions perfectly. The closest way for a person without Tourettes to understand the experience is to force yourself to open your eyes while having wind-blown towards your eyes, the feeling of immediately needing to blink is the same urge we get when needing to make a noise or twitching. I know my case of Tourettes is not the most serious case out there, but if you are reading this and suffering from this Tourettes, here are some tips and suggestions. 

  • Try avoiding foods and drinks that contains caffeine

  • Before purchasing snacks check if they contain MSG and food colouring, they’re bad for you too.

  • Try abdominal breathing, it helps sometimes when you’re struggling to suppress your Tourette

  • Do more sports, releasing endorphins will help reducing the severity of it

The suggestions above are for sufferers, but if you’re a parent, my only suggestion is to let your child be. You might feel helpless, but the best way to support them is to accept who they are and treat them just like any other person. Luckily some children recover from Tourettes after adolescence. But to keep hopes high there is a myth that says that every person who has or had Tourette is bound to have great things in the future, but there’s no actual evidence for that.

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