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Response to the Channel 4 documentary 'Britain's Tourettes Mystery'

Response to the Channel 4 documentary 'Britain's Tourettes Mystery'

Posted on 20 July 2022 by Pippa McClounan


A statement from Tourettes Action

Following from last nights Channel 4 show #BritainsTourettesMystery which has caused upset within the Tourettes community, we feel that we need to put a few things straight:

  1. Tourettes is not an infectious illness, Tourettes is not like a cold, Tourettes is not catching, Tourettes is not contagious
  2. Watching TikTok CANNOT give you Tourettes. If you have Tourette’s, it is possible that seeing someone else tic can make you tic more. It is also possible that those with FND can have their symptoms subconsciously influenced by others. So while social Media such as TikTok can have a negative impact they DO NOT cause Tourette’s. 
  3. Tic disorders can be short lived but Tourettes is a life-long condition, symptoms can sometimes improve into adulthood but you CANNOT suddenly “recover” from Tourettes over night
  4. Tic Disorders , Tourettes and Functional Tics (FND) are NOT the same thing, they all cause tics or tic like movements but they often present in different ways. 
  5. Tourettes is not comical, it is not a joke and is not your punchline
  6. To be diagnosed with Tourettes, you need to have BOTH motor and vocal tics and you need to have had tics for over 1 year
  7. Yes it is true there has been a rise in tics during the pandemic, the reasons for which are not clear and much more research needs to be done to determine why this is happening

We want to raise awareness to ultimately bring about acceptance, so we fully encourage the media to talk about Tourette’s and tics, but want it to be done in an accurate, informative and sensitive way, not purely for entertainment value.

We would like to remind everyone within the TS community that we are here for you.  For anyone looking for support please reach out to Tourettes Action, TIC Hull, Tourette Scotland, TicTock Therapy 


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