Will It Be OK: Greatest Hits

Upon publishing my last entry to WordPress, I found out it was my 100th post. So in honor of 100 posts on this OCD and Tourette’s weblog started almost one year ago, or rather in honor of 101 posts now, I present to you: The Best of “Will It Be OK.” The following is a list of hyperlinks to what I feel have been my best — or most memorable — posts throughout this blog’s short life. These picks do not necessarily reflect what I think is my best writing, but also sometimes what links to the most interesting material or important points.

OCD Meme: This is an image post, and I link to it because I’m proud that I made this meme myself. It describes the way different parts of society may sometimes view OCD, fused with humor. This image is featured on my “About” page along with a Tourette’s (non-meme, non-humorous) image which I did not make myself.

Monk And The Lamp: Probably should’ve been titled, “Mr. Monk And The Lamp.” In this “episode” I pick apart an episode of Monk and how that particular story doesn’t portray OCD accurately. That being said, Monk is a great show, and I’ve watched it frequently. At times it does accurately represent OCD — just not always.

PANDAS: Now that I’ve lost my father, I especially treasure this one because my sense of humor therein reminds me so much of his. I feel like he was kind of writing through me with this post. Not that I’m the greatest comedian, but I don’t get many chances on this blog to be humorous, so it was a refreshing change. Also, Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcus is a super interesting topic! More research needs to be done on this controversial issue.

Link Time: Contains links to several very informative videos (not mine) about OCD and Tourette’s syndrome. If you don’t know much, this is a great place to start!

“The Spectrum”: Autism is not the only spectrum.

Tourette’s Brains = Greater Motor Control?: Do people with Tourette’s syndrome have greater motor control? Are they less likely to respond reflexively?

You Might Have OCD If…: While I was kidding when I wrote this, it’s probably half-true!

Alphabet Soup Syndrome: When you have so many disorders that it’s like, OCDTSASADHDADDALKFLKSJDFKJDF.

Game Illustrates Inner Struggle of Tourette’s: A videogame to help people understand Tourette’s syndrome? Sweet!

Tourettic OCD: It’s not alphabet soup, but we’re getting there.

Dude, I Know You’re OCD…: Another image post. This one shatters a stereotype (albeit with another stereotype), and really cracks me up.

Dealing With Crises: Are people with high levels of anxiety, especially OCD, better equipped to deal with real emergencies than normal people?

Don’t Hate Me Because I Look Crazy: Insane or dangerous people don’t always look that way.

I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’s Doctor’s 8th Cousin Twice Removed: Because someone in the blogosphere finally had to say that.

Easy Hand Washing Guide: Another humorous image post. What if the air was germy? Better wash your hands again.

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What If Tics Evolved For a Reason?

OK so, you all know I’m not really an expert on… well, anything. So this is just sort of a crazy, out there idea I have and we’ll see what you think.

You know how all men have nipples? Probably because if men are born with nipples they don’t need, that doesn’t hurt anything, but if any women were born without nipples, they most likely had no way of feeding their newborn babies?

Well, I was thinking the other day that there might be a similar evolutionary explanation for tics. As annoying as tics can be (for us who have them and for our friends and loved ones), and downright miserable and heartbreaking even for some, imagine if there were people born who did not have the urge to blink or breathe. These body actions are somewhat voluntary but also somewhat automatic, much like tics. Try not to blink and the same thing happens when I try not to tic — you will either get distracted and accidentally do it, or become so uncomfortable that you must eventually do it. Certain automatic body functions are very, very important. So maybe we’ve evolved to have tics because the simple fact is, if some people did not tend to have tics, the trend could have gone the opposite way and there would be people born who did not feel the urge to do things their body really needed them to do. If that happened, those people would have died. Maybe it did happen, and they did die — or it happened to animals long before humans evolved. Either way, I can’t help but wonder, and also not feel so strange or unusual for having tics when they’re really just an exaggerated normal feature of being human. I would rather feel like gasping every five minutes if it means preserving the same neurological mechanisms that mean I don’t forget to blink.

This is Weird

I have a tic. I’m pretty sure it’s a tic. And it’s really, really weird.

I have the breathing/gasping tic, which I’ve written about before. I also feel the need to sniffle or snort sometimes that’s different from a typical need to do so (hard to explain, but makes sense if you already know what having tics is like). The need is real, but it’s also different. But now there’s this other thing that’s popped up or I’ve just begun noticing and it’s really, really weird.

I’ll be eating, chewing my food, and about to swallow when all of a sudden I feel like I need to sniffle. There’s nothing in my nose, and my nose is not itchy. This is simply the worst possible time I could need to sniffle, because it involves the danger of choking on my food. For some reason that seems to actually tell my brain: You need to do this right now. So what I have to do is sniffle very, very carefully in order not to choke on my food, and often feel like I need to do it several times.

It’s funny because when people think of Tourette’s they think of people who blurt out the worst possible thing in social situations, such as a curse word. In my case it seems to be more about the worst possible thing in a more inward sort of way.

Of course, I can just avoid doing it — but then I think about it. I have to think about not doing it, and that’s distracting. So then I have a choice — do something distracting, or be distracted by feeling like I need to do it. Which is more distracting?

It’s not like this is greatly interfering with my life — it’s just odd, and mildly interesting. I do hope I don’t choke on my food, though. :\

Making Fun of Tourette’s

Google “OCD jokes” and “Tourette’s jokes” and you’ll see a big difference. Of course, OCD is no stranger to stereotypes — but they are at least much closer to the truth than the ones about TS. People with OCD do not necessarily, but do frequently have obsessions with germs, neatness, symmetry, and orderliness.

So it’s not that I have a problem with people making fun of Tourette’s. As long as it’s done in a respectful way, it’s OK to make jokes about pretty much everything in my opinion, and can add a touch of optimism to an otherwise depressing situation. The problem is that when people make fun of TS, 9 out of 10 times, they’re not even making fun of TS — they’re making fun of what very few people with TS actually do. Not just that, but they’re making fun of what very few people with TS actually do while wrongly assuming they do it out of anger or inability to control rage, or at the very least poor impulse control in general, which is also not true. (Some studies indicate people with TS might actually have better impulse control than the general population, because they have so much practice resisting impulses!) So they double-misunderstand it. You can’t make fun of something you double-misunderstand. So all I ask is that before you make a joke about TS, learn what it actually is. I’d be happy to laugh with you about how I randomly blink, clear my throat, sniffle, or gasp repeatedly at inappropriate times because I can see the humor in it — I just can’t see the humor in something that’s mean-spirited, or has no bastion of truth.

Awareness Months

I have mixed feelings about awareness months. On one hand, I feel that it’s always good to spread awareness for those with disabilities and disorders. On the other hand, I feel that it’s always good to spread awareness for those with disabilities and disorders. Limiting it to one month means that there’s a time when some get singled out while others get excluded, and months which are back-to-back may end up competing with one another for attention. Also, setting aside specific months means that a lot of people just pretend to care and do a lot of superficial stuff for that one month but then don’t care the rest of the year, and didn’t really even care for that one month as it turns out but only wanted their “friends” to think so. So it’s all very complicated and confusing — but not as confusing as OCD, so it’s OK.

TSA Month

Tourette's Syndrome Awareness: May 15 - June 15

What makes you tic?

For those of you who don’t know, it’s Tourette’s syndrome awareness month. For some reason it starts in the middle of May (I think it started yesterday) instead of at the beginning.

Normally I don’t get into things like this, but since teal is my favorite color, was my mom’s favorite color, and also happens to be “the” color for TSA, I thought I might get teal ribbons on my nails for TSA month. However:

1) Getting your nails done is expensive.

and

2) Doing your own nails is time-consuming and not easy with two toddlers running circles around you.

I’m thinking I might do it myself, but I wanted something that looks like a French manicure first, and I have no idea how to get started doing that. I’m scared to death I’ll be halfway in the middle of gluing the nails on the first hand when one of the kids knocks over a cup of water or falls face-first into a plate of spaghetti (a plate of spaghetti will no doubt spontaneously appear in situations like this). Also my experience is that doing my nails myself the paint chips away a LOT more quickly than it used to before I had kids (because I’m changing diapers and washing my hands many times a day). There’s also:

3) This will probably accomplish very little in spreading Tourette’s awareness, unless people ASK about the teal ribbons on my nails or I walk around TELLING everyone.

But you know. Excuses to wear teal, and all that!