According to the World Health Organization, I have about four hundred and fifty million brothers and sisters who live with some type of mental disorder. I created this session to offer a ‘lived experience’ perspective revealing how to understand, manage, support and lead people like me who live with Tourettes Syndrome and mental illness.
I have lived with the rare neurological disorder Tourettes Syndrome for over forty years. I constantly twitch. I also uncontrollably jerk, shriek, look under my right shoe, cluck like a chicken, moan, grunt and sometimes hop. My body has a mind of it’s own always gesturing wildly. I am also compelled to knock my elbow three times . . . . not four times but exactly three and no more otherwise I have to start knocking all over again! Welcome to my life. If you take a look at what I do – as I have outlined in this website – you might be excused for thinking that I am more than a little crazy. I am not.
I merely have Tourettes Syndrome. Tourettes Syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements and vocalizations. It is in many ways different for each of us who struggle to cope with TS. In my case, I have a delightful variety of twitches, including: eye blinking, odd facial movement and shoulder shrugging. Oh, and my head and shoulders jerk entirely at random. If that wasn’t enough, I also vocalize constantly. Strange tones, grunting sounds, repetitive throat clearing and sniffing. Fortunately for me … I don’t swear. (The opening statement reflects my attitude, not my affliction.) In addition, most of us who suffer from TS also live with high levels of anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. We are often Bipolar. Throw in Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and then add in all of the socialization issues that these disorders create means life with Tourettes is never dull.
How to Be Unstoppable
So who better than me a guy who lives with uncontrollably twitches, shrieks and grunts to give you a reality based understanding on this bizarre and commonly misunderstood rare neurological disorder? Although characterized by verbal and physical tics, newly diagnosed children and adults usually presenting with additional disorders such as ADHD, OCD, Bipolar, sleep/mood disorders and sensory integration disorders. The academic and social impact of Tourettes Syndrome and mental illness will be discussed along with immediately usable insights and actions all proven to help people supporting those of us who live with neurological, anxiety based, motor driven and mental disorders
This session gifts every attendee with a set of instantly accessible YouTube Train-The-Trainer Channel videos that each offers a secret ‘lived experience’ insight into Tourettes and mental illness. Here are five (5) examples: