Sophie Adams is a 16-year-old who was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome when she was 9 years old, after experiencing tics for a couple of years.
Tourette Syndrome is characterized by tics, which are involuntary, repetitive movements and vocalizations.
Sophie told BuzzFeed that many people have a misunderstanding about what Tourette's is and what it is really like to live with it, so she has been trying to spread awareness on social media. Her video below has generated nearly 7 million views:
The video shows Sophie and a friend — who also has Tourette's — displaying various tics, and then Sophie is seen pushing over some glasses.
Sophie said she wishes people understood how complex Tourette Syndrome is. "I also wish people knew everybody with Tourette's can have different tics and anything can be a tic," she said, adding that some people were accusing her video of being fake when it was not. "For people who say I’m faking — you don’t have to believe me for it to be true. I won’t give up trying to help others just because some people claim I’m 'faking.'"
Sophie said one of the most frustrating things is that many people believe Tourette's is a mental disability when it is not. Individuals living with Tourette Syndrome are just as intelligent as those who do not have it. "A lot of people think I am incapable of doing things that a neurotypical person can do. It is also frustrating when people use Tourette's as a punch line to make a joke," she explained.
"I want to show other people who have Tourette's that there are other people in the world just like them and that it is OK to be unique," Sophie said.
To learn more about Sophie and Tourette Syndrome, you can follow her on TikTok and Instagram.
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