COMMENT: Born Different breaks down stereotypes of Tourette’s 

Is courage the first thing you think of when you hear the word Tourettes? It might be after watching Born Different.

The episode I’m Accused of Faking my Tourette’s focuses on teenager Nicole and her family, whilst they deal with her new diagnosis of Tourettes and Functional neurological disorder. 

Nicole  explains her Tourettes began when she was 14 and that subsequently her life is now very different, for example she now can’t try certain things but she tries not to think about it. 

She admits there are moments when she’s scared because she doesn’t know what her tics will do nor when they will strike and she describes it as someone is taking over her body and she can’t control what she says or does. 

Nicole also states it feels like someone shaking a can of soda until it pops and fizzes over and started to develop tics 16 months prior.

Her mum said it literally happened overnight and she was worried because she didn’t know what it was. They point out that most people assume Tourette’s is shouting expletives but it’s more complex than that, with physical movements such as Nicole yanking her own hair, punching her chest and scratching her hands. 

The tics involving movement are so severe Nicole tries to find ways of stopping herself getting hurt. Her tics involving her speech include her saying she’s Madeleine McCann, whistling and saying “haha”. Her tics have even caused her to be rude to her friends.

Furthermore, Nicole’s Tourette’s has caused her to have FND, Functional Neurological Disorder, where her hands and feet lock. In Nicole’s case the FND comes into play during her Tourette’s, as if it’s trying to restart her brain.

Nicole discusses her decision to upload her Tourette’s to TikTok, stating when she began uploading she received a lot of support but she is also unfortunately trolled by those who believe she’s faking her condition for attention. 

The impact of Nicole’s videos have meant she has received messages from fans stating she made them feel more comfortable with their own diagnosis of Tourette’s.

Overall, Nicole is a courageous young woman and I highly recommend watching this episode.

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