The Most Common Myths About Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome gets a bad rap in the media and films – it’s usually shown as people who shout obscenities in public without control. But in actuality, only a small percentage of Tourette patients display this behavior – it’s not one of the main markers.

The neurodevelopmental syndrome is named after Dr. Georges Gilles de la Tourette, a French neurologist who first described the symptoms in 1885. Since then, a lot of misinformation has been thrown around about the disorder, so let’s take some time to clear up 13 myths…

1. It’s Not a Mental Illness

Although psychiatrists often treat Tourette patients, “Tourette is not a mental or psychiatric illness,” explains the Tourette Association of America.

The source says the syndrome itself is a “movement disorder” that can often have comorbid conditions (that are considered mental illnesses) such as OCD, anxiety, and ADHD. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says among children diagnosed with TS, 86-percent have also been diagnosed with at least 1-other “mental, behavioral, or developmental condition.”

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Jeff Hayward

Jeff Hayward

Jeff has more than 15 years of experience writing professionally about health, travel and the arts among other subjects. He continuously looks to improve his own overall health through exercise, diet and mindfulness. He is also a proud stay-at-home dad that loves taking photographs both professionally and as a hobby.