#MentalHealthMonth | Tourette Syndrome

For the month of May, Defying Shadows will be joining the Mental Health Awareness Month by sharing a post daily on a different type of Mental Illness or “Shadow” that people commonly struggle with. Join us in creating awareness and working to end the stigma that goes with these topics! Today we have Nichole Howson sharing on Tourette Syndrome. ~ Defying Shadows Team.

Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder that can be defined as repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. This disorder can be found in all ethnic groups; males however are affected about three times more than females. Although Tourette Syndrome can last a lifetime, most people find that their worst tic symptoms were in their early teens and there was a major improvement occurring in the late teens and adulthood.

Myth One: All people with Tourette Syndrome blurt out obscenities.

This myth is an understandable one. Television and movies have portrayed this as the most common symptom. The truth is that only 10 – 15 percent of people with Tourette Syndrome experience it.

Myth Two: People with Tourette Syndrome cannot be successful.

Most people with Tourette Syndrome can lead rich, fulfilling lives and take part in just about any activity as anyone else.

Do you know someone with Tourette Syndrome? Here is how you can support them.

  1. Do some research to fully understand what Tourette Syndrome is and how it can affect a person.
  2. Do not stare at the individuals tics.
  3. Be patient. Especially if the individual has verbal tics. It can be harder for them to get the message out, but focus on the message rather than how it is being delivered.
  4. Never accuse the person of being rude, disrespectful or wanting attention. A person’s tics are involuntary and suggesting otherwise can be very hurtful.

profile (2)Nichole is a Social Media Marketing Manager, student, daughter and friend. She’s working on her Marketing Diploma and has a Certificate of Christian Theology. She is an avid coffee lover who enjoys a good movie or book. She takes great joy in organizing, scheduling, and volunteering. Her passion for volunteerism extends specifically to those who are hurting, whether it is emotionally, physically, or mentally.

Nichole is certified to provide Mental Health First Aid, which means she can provide immediate support and guidance in a safe environment, comfortably have a conversation about mental health related issues and offer professional and other supports. This does NOT make Nichole a psychologist, or a counselor. It simply gives her the tools to direct people to the help they need.

You can follow Nichole on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and Linkedin.

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