Tyler, 25, was diagnosed with an extreme form of Tourette syndrome when he was 10 years old. His severe, uncontrollable tics were so violent that he would injure himself.
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Tyler's Severe Case of Tourette Syndrome Dr. Travis Stork: This disease can be so debilitating and I want you to watch Tyler’s story. But I must warn you at home because some of the video footage is disturbing. Tyler: I remember just trying to keep my mouth shot or keep my legs still and I could not. But I started to get scared. Jonni: We took Tyler into the child psychiatrist and he said, “You don’t need me. You need a neurologist”. Tyler: I was officially diagnosed with tourette after I’ve just turned ten years old. Jonni: The ticks snowballed into painful, self abusive ticks very fast. Tyler: It really started with hitting myself in the stomach and the chest. Jonni: He would snap his head forward so violently that he ended up with a bruise on his chest bones and a bruise under his chin. When he stood up, he would throw himself on the floor. Tyler: I spent countless of hours just curled up in a ball crying because I did not know what to do. Jonni: He was trapped in this no matter where he was. Tyler: I’m going to school drove me out of my mind. I did not know how to cope with it. Jonni: There are big gaps in his education. Tyler: I eventually just started chewing through my cheek and it swelled up really big because I worn a mouth guard or just stick a wash clothe, wadded it as much as I could into my mouth. I’ve dug my fingers into my eyes and it’s just fun became a word that was kind of just imaginary. Jonni: I just hurt so bad that my son was home on the couch in protective gear missing life. Tyler: It left scars. Maybe I had suicidal thoughts. Jonni: No matter what we tried, there just was not anything I’ll go that would fix it. Tyler: I felt very hopeless and without anything to turn to. Dr. Travis Stork: Jimbo I meant that is just— Dr. Jim Sears: I can imagine as a parent having to see your child go through that and knowing that you’re trying all the treatments too and nothing’s work in that. Dr. Travis Stork: You know and I think what is really difficult for people to understand, if you just watch some footage of Tyler. He’s got ticks on the floor in situations where you just see him moving but what he don’t realized is that with involuntary muscle contractions continuously over time. It causes a significant amount of pain. And I’m talking about just the movement themselves. If you see him there - yes, he is giving him some black eyes and chewing through his cheek in all these other things but just the movements themselves. Dr. Jim Sears: Like a nonstop workout at the gym. That would start to hurt so much.
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