View Full Version : I Have Tourette's but Tourette's Doesn't Have Me

10-15-08, 01:20 AM
Hey all. Quick background on me: I am diagnosed with Tourette's and ADHD. I may have a mild case of OCD, but it's so minor that it was never diagnosed.

I'm a senior in college. I'm taking a class on short films. Part of our grade is blogging on the class blog about short films. It came my turn to blog about a documentary, so I picked the HBO doc on Tourettes, I Have Tourette's but Tourette's Doesn't Have Me ( The link goes to the post on our blog.

I figured I'd throw it out there on this community and get your thoughts, either here or in the comments thread on the blog.

Don S.
10-28-08, 06:34 PM
Dear Fishy,

On my personal website, I have linked to another site regarding this splendid documentary. Therefore, I all the more appreciated your fine synopsis and review of it. I particularly appreciated your emphasis on the desire of the perceived "misfit" for normalcy. ("They treat you differently, not like everyone else. I think that’s all he [Julian, a kid with TS featured in the short film] really wants, is to be like everyone else.")
I try to maintain a highly intellectual tenor on my website as a service to all those afflicted with Tourette's Syndrome, by way of dispelling certain absurd assumptions folks tend to make about us. If anything, we tend to be brighter than average. (My theory is that the same excess of neural energy that renders us susceptible to obsessive-compulsive behaviors also accounts for our intelligent and insightful potentials, a la Adrian Monk, everyone's favorite OCD-afflicted fictional detective.)

<O:pTo that effect, in addition to material regarding school bullying and TS, I also write literary reviews on my site. What follows is an excerpt from the last review I have thus far written. It's a review of a short story concerning a fifteen-year-old boy who is also a misfit, though with a radically different problem than ours:

"The theme of the profound sense of loneliness one feels at being judged 'different,' of being rejected by one's own, is masterfully executed within the story and is one that this reviewer can particularly appreciate. Mr. Jones has succeeded in writing a science fiction piece that shines above others that I read within Abyss, and that is no small praise indeed. It might be said that many of those like Billy in this world would offer Mr. Jones a note of gratitude for his extraordinarily insightful reflections; his understanding of the sometimes profound pain that is being."
This is why the prime impetus of my website is school bullying, not TS. If a child is being tormented at school, I really don’t give a damn what the specific cause of it is. You most perceptively and commendably allude to this consideration when you note that a lot of people with physical problems feel the same way.
I've written just one work of fiction, the only one I intend to ever write. It's a short story entitled "Pride’s Prison," which is a thinly-veiled personal memoir of my school days suffering with a then undiagnosed mild case of TS and a more severe case of ADHD. (Although the latter condition wasn’t diagnosed until sometime later, please take my word that I could have been the poster boy for it.)
Although I don't maintain that it is great literature, I would commend it to readers for its intimate portrayal of how such kids feel. The beginning of the piece might seem alarming, but such was intended as a mere smokescreen, by way of social commentary, to deflect the reader's attention from the actual scenario; not unlike the stage magician's trick of misdirection. The meat of the story occurs within the first few pages of the second half of the piece. These pages are intended to hit the reader like an emotional sledgehammer. I don't know if I succeeded in that goal with readers at large, but I have every confidence that anyone who can relate to "Bobby," my youthful character, will feel that way. They've "been there," not unlike, I fear, many of us here.
You write very well, and I would encourage you to pursue a career in writing, either fiction or nonfiction, if only as an avocation if you have no desire to become a professional. Aside from your most competently exhibited verbiage, you seem most perceptive, which is the hallmark of all great writers. That is, the ability to put one's self into the mind of another and understand, regardless how alien another's personality might be to one's own.

Again, it was a pleasure to read your review of this illuminating documentary.