The man who swears he's normal
Tourette's Syndrome - Extraordinary People
Channel Five continue their Extraordinary People series with "The man who swears he's normal", the story of three young men suffering from Tourette's Syndrome.
This condition manifests itself with involuntary muscle movements. Tics, twitches and verbal outburst. Tourette's Syndrome is not well understood and much maligned, especially when, as in the case of Rob Evans, the involuntary actions take the form of making strange vocal sounds and swearing.
Medication can be provided to reduce the twitching but not without side-effects. Alan Doyle had been an active young man and a keen football player until his medication left him lethargic and constantly tired. Instead of being up bright and early and playing football he would spend most of his days in bed.
Michael Addy had just left school and dreamt of getting a job as a mechanic and of passing his driving test.
Alan and Michael both consulted Dr Hugh Rickards, one of the few Tourette's Syndrome specialist in the country. He prescribed new medication for each. Michael saw immediate benefits, but Alan did not. He still felt tired and now he also felt nauseous. Dr Rickards advised sticking with the treatment believing the side-effects would diminish in time. He was proved correct in this as Alan was soon active again and training to play football. Meanwhile, Michael had gained entry to the local college to study mechanics. All this time, Rob Evans refused any medication, believing people should accept him as he is. He enrolled at University to study Tourette's and after four year had written a thesis on understanding Tourette's Syndrome. Dr Hugh Rickards had taken an interest in what Rob was doing and agreed to help with the proof-reading of the thesis. Rob gained his PHD and now gives talks regularly at places like Manchester Metropolitan University on his topic of Deconstructing Tourette's Syndrome: Reclaiming Lives over Labels.
Michael got a job as a mechanic, he passed his driving test and was happy until he was forced to give up work after paraffin used at his place of work aggravated his eczema.
Alan is now playing football for his local team.
|Tics and Tourette Syndrome - Isobel Heyman, Uttom Chowdhury|
|Hi, I'm Adam - Adam Buehrens|