WASHINGTON (CBS WASHINGTON) – A woman afflicted with Tourette’s says the word “biscuit” 16,000 times each day.
Tourette’s sufferer Jessica Thom, 32, has had the very misunderstood condition since she was a child, and she shared her diary of struggle to the Daily Mail.
Some examples of her daily struggles include blurting out nonsensical phrases in public, uncontrollable physical tics and the fact that she averages saying the word “biscuit” 16 times a minute, 900 times an hour and 16,000 times each day.
“As well as my many verbal tics — words or phrases that often draw on things I’m aware of, but not what I’m thinking,” Thom told the Daily Mail. “There are physical tics, which can make even simple things difficult, such as turning on a light switch or trying to withdraw cash from a bank machine with my debit card.”
She submitted a monthly diary to the Mail, which focuses on many of the awkward situations and misunderstandings caused by Tourette’s.
“It’s thought around 300,000 people in Britain have Tourette’s, about four times more men than women, she said. “So I really stand out.”
One anecdote in her journal points to the difficulty she has in holding down a normal job amid cursing outbursts. “My new boss heard her first ‘f***’ today. I think she’d had the impression I was one of the 90 per cent of people with Tourette’s who don’t swear. That illusion is now broken.”
Jessica Thom lives in South London, UK.