View Full Version : Tourette's/ADHD/Literature

Don S.
05-16-09, 04:27 PM
I mentioned on the creative writing thread that I wrote a short story entitled "Pride's Prison," which was published on a free access internet zine. You can access it and read it for free from my website which is also entirely free access and contains no ads. (I pay for the site.)

The story is intended to very poignant and its purpose is to warn parents that if their kids are being even severely bullied in school, do not assume that they will let you know that. My story provides the answer why in over fifty percent of cases (according to statistics I read on Nevada’s anti-bullying site) bullied kids try to hide it from their friends and families. In this day and age, such could well constitute a recipe for disaster as all too many families could attest to. ("We had no idea.") The particular reason why a child is being tormented in school is not relevant. The story transcends the topics of Tourette's and ADHD.

In addition to the story, my website contains articles I wrote on Tourette's Syndrome, which I suffer from (along with ADHD) and had been the cause of my problems in school as a kid. My views are contrarian, and I vehemently disagree with both the conventional classification and approach to the disorder that has been held to for the last forty years or so. Feel free to disagree, but considering the three years of Purgatory that I endured as a parochial grade school student because of TS, I feel as though I am entitled to my opinion on the subject as formulated from my own experiences. So are you.

The website also includes numerous links to external websites and articles regarding school bullying and TS, as well as literary topics. I review mostly short internet stories. In addition to reviewing the stories themselves, I also review (starting with the second one I wrote) the online publications on which they were published. Therefore, if anyone here is an aspiring writer, you might find the site a valuable resource to research various markets for your prose (and sometimes poetry), including paying and non-paying ones.

Thanks to all.

05-17-09, 02:56 AM
Ah. I see your website denying Tourettes is just as shallow and offensive as it was when you posted it last year.

Don S.
05-17-09, 01:29 PM
On the contrary, what is offensive is your attempts to deny fellow TS sufferers access to any point of view you personally disagree with by attempting to act as a self-appointed censor.

If you find my views "shallow," then why don't you read my article "Is Tourette's Syndrome a Neurological Disorder?--A Dissenting Viewpoint" and refute my arguments instead of engaging in ad hominem attacks that just indicate to one and all your lack of serious consideration of the subject.

An online health publication apparently does not share your assessment of my views as, on their own volition, they went to what must have been considerable effort and expense to have the article I just referred to translated into Spanish and German.

I, for one, would be glad to debate you, or anyone, in a civil manner. Can you say the same?

In so far as my "denying" Tourette's, what an absurd statement to make in light of the fact that I said in my post that I suffer with it and paid dearly for it as a youngster.

I suffered from physical tics as a younger child (which caused my nightmare in school for three years) and later developed verbal tics which I fight to suppress to this very day, usually successfully. I was finally diagnoised by a military psychiatrist while in the Navy.

Do you know what it is like to come to dread and detest the very sound of the voice of the one whom one is closest to in the world—one’s own mother—because it signals the start of yet another day in school; another day in one’s personal Purgatory? Do you know what it is like to endure torment day after day in school and have no one to turn to or confide in because the unwarranted sense of shame that such engenders compels such youngsters to desperately seek to hide it from those whom they care about most?

What I do deny is the cause of TS positioned by the medical and mental health establishments since around 1968.

Although few professionals would acknowledge it publicly, the mere fact that the behavioral therapies I advocate are becoming increasingly accepted and practiced in treating not just TS, but other pathologies within the O-C spectrum of mental afflictions, attests to the validity of my views. That is, if TS is a physical condition, a "neurological disorder," then what possible efficacy could any sort of therapy have that does not encompass a physical intervention such as medication or surgery? Are talk therapies used to fight cancer?

At the end of my referenced article, I cite five criteria that apply to TS. I then ask what other physical diseases would include all of these criteria? After a year, I am still waiting for anyone to name just one. Perhaps you will be the first.

I have read some of your notes here. You are obviously intelligent and are apparently erudite. This is hardly surprising as people who suffer from O-C afflictions tend to be bright. It is so very easy, however, for folks, no matter how intelligent, to fall into the trap of becoming doctrinaire.

I am always educable, and I shall always be willing to listen. Successfully refute my arguments and you will gain a convert. Continue to attack the speaker rather than his or her arguments, and you will continue to lose credibility.

Don S.
05-17-09, 02:31 PM
In respect to my views regarding Tourette’s Syndrome, here is a quote from Dr. Neal Swerdlow, M.D. Ph.D., Past Chairman of the TSA Scientific Advisory Board:

“[Swerdlow highlights the importance of studies in new areas, such as behavioral techniques, and that] ‘the whole-cloth dismissal of psychologic forces in the pathobiology of TS was a strategic error’."

I simply go farther than Dr. Swerdlow and maintain that TS is entirely a psychological affliction.

Here is the source for the quote (read under “Research Directions and Controversies”): p+%22walk+up%22&d=LSZScExISrHs&icp=1&.intl=us ( p+%22walk+up%22&d=LSZScExISrHs&icp=1&.intl=us)

05-18-09, 01:28 AM
I've read your article. It's completely void of any actual scientific content. It's just a mash of your opinion and the referenced opinions of others, with some conjecture thrown in for measure. That's your right, but it's also my right to point it out.

I have not attacked your person, and thusly you have no basis for victimizing yourself and claiming ad hominem attacks. Your works, yes. Your self, no. Further, I'm not "denying" anyone anything, so you can cut the dramatic offense you've taken. It is impossible for me to censor you since I can not (nor would I ever be interested in doing so) block your website or your post here on the forum.

Serious consideration of the subject? Not only have I studied it extensively, I know what it is like to suffer Tourettes. I have it. I've experienced every sad story you describe; the sadness, the depression, the shame, the bullying, the frustration, the anger, the resentment, and the pain. However, I am not using that experience to justify the righteousness of my opinion.

I'm not interested in debating you. Your cherry-picked and decontextualized quotes from a few researchers and physicians do not constitute a valid argument. Your "physical diagnosis" arguments are scientifically irrelevant and disingenuous, and have been debunked many times before. You aren't the first to have triumphantly come up with this list in an attempt to disprove the neurological basis of a disorder. It's been thrust in the faces of people with ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Anxiety, Depression, and dozens of other conditions.

Don S.
05-18-09, 01:21 PM
The argument that Tourette’s Syndrome is the only allegedly physical illness (that I am aware of) that cannot be diagnosed or verified by any physical means and, therefore, casts, at the very least, grave doubts on the theory that it has an organic cause, has been debunked many times before? Fine. You’ve said something constructive. Please cite your source and how said argument has been “debunked.” As I said, I'm educable.

It’s true that there are physical afflictions that can easily be diagnosed by observation, such as acne. However, in that case, if a dermatologist felt a need for verification, then he or she could scrape samples and send it to a lab for analysis.

05-18-09, 01:36 PM
Tourettes isn't the only one. I'm pretty sure I was explicit about that.

You aren't the first to have triumphantly come up with this list in an attempt to disprove the neurological basis of a disorder. It's been thrust in the faces of people with ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Anxiety, Depression, and dozens of other conditions.

1. Just because it can't be physically diagnosed yet does not mean it isn't caused by a physical source. To claim otherwise is an obvious logical fallacy.

2. Advancements in neuro-imaging technologies have demonstrated obvious structural differences in brain operation (particularly the basal ganglia) between afflicted and non-afflicted populations. This is not a viable diagnostic tool, but it is a clear demonstration of the fundamentally physical nature of the disorder.

3. Medications which are known to effect particular brain functionality produce different results in afflicted versus non-afflicted populations. Again, indicative of a fundamental physical difference between the two.

Come on, this is basic stuff here. Tourettes 201 maybe. This is why I don't want to get involved in a debate with anyone who hasn't taken the time to keep up on the current state of the disorder. I shouldn't have to do your homework for you.

Don S.
05-18-09, 02:47 PM
Thank you for your response.

Your first response can be swept over. In effect, you are attempting to put skeptics like me into a position of trying to prove a negative, which is the true logical fallacy. Your point of view has had forty years now to come up with something definitive. If you’re still around forty years hence, and there is still nothing shown, will you keep the faith like apocalyptic Christian sects which are never dissuaded by all the past, failed predictions of the Second Coming?

Your second point I am aware of and have read many articles on the subject, which is still speculative. I could write hours on the subject and get into some very deep considerations, at the heart of which lies the brain/mind duality debate. It might surprise you to know that I do not deny that TS has a genetic basis, virtually everything does regarding life forms. When I contend that TS is not a physical abnormality, I am not speaking of the substratum, but rather the edifice which emerges from it. As an analogy, computer software can malfunction without such indicating a flaw within the underlying hardware.

Bear in mind that this criterion within my article that I list as being applicable to TS is merely one in five and they must be integrated when formulating arguments such as the one you are making here. If this physical abnormality theory is correct, that such engenders a loss of inhibition regarding unwanted bodily movements and vocalizations, then why do the symptoms (again, involuntary movements and vocalizations) not persist while the sufferer is unconscious?

Your third point I find most interesting and I need more information. Could you please provide at least one online source (an article), if not for my benefit, then for any other fellow TS sufferers reading here?

Thank you.

05-18-09, 03:15 PM
It's fascinating that you consider your logical fallacy to be worthwhile, while you call actual scientific brain-imaging studies "speculative". You are not being asked to prove a negative. You assert that Tourettes is actually behavioral/psychological in origin. Ok then; prove it. You assert that the fact that there is no physical diagnostic criteria for a neurological origin is proof that supports your hypothesis. This is incredibly wrong logical reasoning.

1. Diagnostic criteria are not an indicator of whether or not something is physical in origin. The two are unrelated. For many years, the diagnosis of many diseases with physical origins was made through observation. Smallpox, Mumps, Rubella, Scarlet Fever, and hundreds of other disease did not have measurable physical origins, but that had nothing to do with whether or not they existed. The lack of tools sufficient to measure the physical cause has nothing to do with whether or not the physical cause exists. Your casual linking of diagnostic observation and origin is a severe logical error. No wonder you want to "sweep over" that argument.

2. You can not prove one assertion by disproving another. Disproving a neurological origin does not thusly prove a psychological origin. Another grave logical error.

I am not going to be dragged into a long, tedious, circular debate with you. Rehashing the basics of Tourettes research is not likely to be of any benefit to my "fellow TS sufferers". At this point, you just want to argue because you've found someone who is calling you out on this poor reasoning. Sorry about that. Unfortunately, I can't give you the pleasure of bickering. I've made my opinion known, and I've pointed out the obvious flaws. That's enough for me. I don't have any desire to persuade you. Anyone else who comes across this thread in the future has enough material to decide for themselves.

Being a skeptic is good. Throwing out 40 years of evidence and study because it hasn't yielded results you're happy with is not skepticism. I don't know what to call it, but if nothing else it is intellectually dishonest. You're free to continue believing whatever you wish. At this point, I've done what I came here to do: point out the flaws in your argument so that others might not be mislead and bad information doesn't grow legs.

Don S.
05-18-09, 04:46 PM
Well, as on that gracious note Blueroo has dropped out of the discussion, we will unfortunately apparently never read his doubtlessly concise and informative explanation as to why a projected physical abnormality within the basal ganglia, or any other portion of the central nervous system, can cause (for example) the involuntary vocalization of obscenities, but only when the sufferer is conscious (and thus capable of volition). (I suppose some TS sufferers sometimes talk in their sleep, but that is equally true of the general population.) With Parkinson’s Disease, undeniably a neurological disease, tremors continue while sleeping, though tend to diminish somewhat.

I do agree with Blueroo that any reading here can form his or her own conclusions. Here is an excerpt from my latest article regarding TS now available on my website, should anyone be interested:

“If a blood test were taken of a person in a state of rage, the result would indicate an elevated level of the hormone adrenaline. Does that indicate that the person has such an elevated level because there is some abnormality within his or her adrenal glands? Does this mean that the person is angry because he or she has an elevated level of adrenaline, or does it indicate that the person has an elevated level of the hormone because he or she is angry?

“Virtually no one would answer the former. Why then does one presuppose that because a TS sufferer's brain scan indicates an elevated level of dopamine (or other suggested causative hormones) that such is the cause rather than its effect?...

"The mind has the power, to some extent, to alter body chemistry. When the mind is afraid, enraged or sexually aroused, it does precisely that."