Tourettes

There was a guy in an SBA class a couple nights ago that had Tourettes Syndrome. I had seen documentaries about it but never met someone with it. It must be a horrible way to go through life.

He was sitting about 20′ from Charlotte and I. At first, it sounded like he was using a cell phone while in class. He’d say something quietly every couple seconds. I listened closer and could tell that, in general, he was occasionally echoing the words of the speaker.

Whenever he looked around the room, especially if he made eye contact with someone, he’d say something… like the kind of thing you might think for a split second if you were looking around, nervous at a party. Things like, “Don’t look at me!”, “What are you looking at?”, “What’s your problem?”

He’d sometimes feed off his own words and actions. At one point, he made eye contact with Charlotte and started scratching his eye with his middle finger trying to “subtly” give her the finger. The scratch grew into a spasm. The spasm grew into thrusting his finger across his face repeatedly and forcefully such that he was just as likely to hurt himself as insult Charlotte.

He made many people in the classroom very nervous. Several people left. Someone suggested that he was schizophrenic.

I couldn’t imagine how sucky my life would be if I had no choice but to voice every emotional thought I had. There aren’t any very effective treatments for this one in a million disorder.

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