I have seen and heard many comments - on websites, in emails, and out in public - about Tourette Syndrome being a spiritual thing. Some of those that are not informed think that people with Tourette Syndrome are vulnerable in their spiritual connections with God. They either aren't strong enough to stand up against the demonic forces that are causing them to tic, have a spiritual battle going on in them, are possessed by the devil, or even worship Satan. Yes, those are all comments that I have seen or heard. So, for day 4 of Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month, I want to take the time to address these comments.
In researching information about Tourette Syndrome online, I ran across a forum where people were discussing those who struggle daily with TS. In this forum, I saw some of the comments I mentioned above. I also saw comments that stated that people with Tourette Syndrome should not be allowed to date, let alone marry and procreate. In fact, I saw one comment that referred to children of parents with TS as being the spawn of Satan. How sad to think that this whole group of people is so uninformed!
I saw one person, in an email, back up his comment of Tourettes being a 'spiritual thing' by stating that people with Tourette Syndrome use obscene words or gestures. As I've mentioned previously, coprolalia (the use of such obscenities) only occurs in somewhere around 10% of all cases of Tourette Syndrome.
The truth is, Tourette Syndrome is not a spiritual thing at all. Instead, it is a neurological disorder. It is not caused by demons, but instead by brain impulses. It can, in many cases, be hereditary, though this isn't always the case. Some theories on cause (since no cause is known) show that brain abnormalities, caused by chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin.
If you hear or see someone make a comment about the spiritual well-being of a person living with Tourette Syndrome, please take the time to explain to them the truth. Tourette Syndrome is NOT a spiritual thing, and it can be very hurtful to those who suffer from it to hear it even suggested.