May 15 officially kicks off Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month. In this guest blog post, we arranged a Q&A with blogger and influencer Adam Fishbein. He’s a student at American University and a longtime advocate for Tourette syndrome (TS). He writes about living with TS on his blog, and he can be found on Facebook.
Let’s get inside his head.
When did you first realize you had Tourette syndrome? What was that experience like?
I do not remember when I first realized I had TS. However, I do remember doing assemblies for my elementary school when I was first diagnosed in second grade.
I spoke about TS and how it affected me. That was a profound experience that is still important to me now, as I head into the summer before my senior year of college.
What’s a common misconception of Tourette syndrome?
A common misconception of TS is that it’s a cursing disorder. In fact, only 10%–15% of people with TS have the cursing tic, called coprolalia.
Have you learned to embrace the condition? If so, how?
I have learned to embrace the condition through many years of therapy and having a constant support system. I am very open about my disabilities, almost by instinct now.
Why did you start your blog?
I started my blog because I wanted to share my experiences with TS and other disabilities as a way to raise awareness and let others with TS know that they are not alone (especially newly diagnosed children and their parents).
What patient perspective can you share with doctors and/or clinical researchers?
Be aware of the symptoms of TS. I went to more than 10 different doctors and specialists who misdiagnosed me before finally being correctly diagnosed by an amazing psychiatrist whom I still see today.
Head to Tourette.org for five easy ways to educate, raise awareness, and garner support for Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month.