As we come towards the end of Tourettes awareness month I have a few more stories to share with you. I conducted short interviews with other ticcers. Please enjoy this different perspective on Tourettes!
AN INTERVIEW WITH ROSS GODDEN
TICCING SINCE: 17
When were you diagnosed with TS?
I was officially diagnosed with tics first at about 17/18 then around six months later, I was diagnosed with Tourette’s. I had a tic where I would say ‘hi’ in the same voice as Stitch from Disney’s ‘Lilo and Stitch.’
As a child I suffered from learning difficulties, adhd, ocd, behavioural issues, autism, I had extremely bad to no social skills and maintaining relationships wasn’t really an option. I probably still am slightly autistic and suffer badly from anxiety.
*seems like you had a lot on your plate as a young person.
How would you explain Tourettes to other people?
Erm… this is a hard one. I was basically told when I was diagnosed with tics/Tourette’s, that it was a chemical imbalance in the brain of dopamine, ether the body produces to much of it or the gland or whatever is too sensitive to it, which makes the body tic etc.
*the science of it is all very confusing isn’t it!
Sarah has some simple to understand information here…
But I think it works more on extreme emotions good and bad. It feels like a curse sometimes with the swearing and mood swings.
It’s hard but it’s never stopped me from doing my professional life, yes I’ve had the odd day or week off here and there but as long as I have stability in my life my Tourette’s is pretty much okay.
*great to hear it doesn’t stop you from living your life! I have big mood swings too!
Do you have a funny tic or one that gets you in trouble?
The main tic/swear that gets me into trouble is that I say *wankers* it’s not great when you get near a load of police officers lol!
A funny one I do is when I say “I’m a little f*****ng tea pot” in a broad Irish accent. HA!
What’s the best treatment- clinical or emotional that has helped with your tic disorder/ TS?
Unfortunately the only thing that kind of works clinically is taking co-codomol and diazepam, but they aren’t actually prescribed for that they are for my back. I take them for my Tourette’s because the side effects make me drowsy and calm me down.
*it’s good you find these work- I’ve heard other people mention they find these two medications help- maybe speak to your doctor about this if they seem to be helping!
I went to see a specialist in Brighton, but he didn’t really understand or help with anything, he put me on so many different medications over a short period of time, I ended up being depressed and suicidal from the side effects of the medications.
*I’d be interested to know who the specialist was you saw in Brighton!
Non- clinically I try to understand my Tourette’s as separate person to me- I know when my right leg twitches, I’m tired and need to sleep… I do mindfulness to help. But sometimes it’s best to just let my tics out because the more you hold it in the worse they will get.
*I refer to my tics as Patricia- I like to think of my Tourettes as a different person too:)
Do you have any tips for friends or family of ticcers?
Tips for family and friends is basically just accepted us for who we are, support us, listen to us, be there when we have bad days and not treat us like freaks.
*never feel like you are a freak! this is great advice.
Thankyou so much Ross for giving an insight into Tourettes syndrome with co-occurring conditions.