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Thread: People calling the police because of my coprolalia...

  1. #1
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    Exclamation People calling the police because of my coprolalia...

    Hey everyone, I am Noah.

    I want to share a story that indicates the need for a greater awareness of Tourette Syndrome.

    About a week ago, people were so shocked by my swearing that they called the police!


    Here's the story:

    I was in the Walmart entrance, waiting for a doctor to see me from the medical clinic.

    I was pacing back and forth, slapping my head, and swearing at every customer who entered Walmart.

    Two women talked about me, saying "We've got to do something about this."

    A minute later, i spot another woman calling the police, staring at me and complaining 'there is a man pacing back and forth, slapping his head and swearing'.



    I decided to use Twidget's remarkable idea of making professional business cards which say the following phrase:

    "I have a neurological condition called Tourette Syndrome. It causes me to say things i don't mean and this is not something i can control. Please read about it on the internet and just be glad it's not you."


    Now, people would feel guilty for calling the police, and a greater awareness of the condition would spread.


    Thank you, Twidget, for this amazing idea!
    Last edited by SwearingTourettesMan; January 11, 2015 at 10:46 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: People calling the police because of my coprolalia...

    Yes, an amazing idea! And I got it from some other poster here, can't remember whom... I believe several people suggested it.

    How did it go for you, Noah? Did you hand out the cards in this situation? If so, what reaction did you get? Or are you saying you've decided to hand out cards in future situations because of this experience?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: People calling the police because of my coprolalia...

    Noah,

    Thank you for sharing your story about your encounter. Like Twidget, I am eager to hear what was the outcome of this encounter not only with the police, but with the other shoppers. What happened when you saw your doctor in the clinic..did you talk about this to her/him?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: People calling the police because of my coprolalia...

    Quote Originally Posted by Twidget View Post
    How did it go for you, Noah? Did you hand out the cards in this situation?
    This situation in Walmart made me realize the lack of knowledge about Tourette Syndrome, and motivated me to increase public awareness of Tourette Syndrome by making the business cards.

    I will keep you guys updated on this thread on the responses I get from handing out the business cards.



    Situation 1: One guy laughs and smirks when I swear- I decide to give him a card, and this is his response:

    "I knew you had it (Tourette Syndrome). I have a buddy back East who has it."


    Situation 2: I shout, 'I will murder you', and swear multiple times near a guy who is sitting next to me. I hand him the card, which he reads slowly. This is his response:

    "So I assume you will have this condition 'life-long?' He then puts the card in his wallet to read later.


    Situation 3: One guy is concerned because I keep slapping my forehead, i give him the card, and he nods as if he understands.


    Situation 4: I am standing outside near a man who is smoking, and have some tics, so I give him a card. This is his response:

    "That's cool, I was just concerned".

    He is mainly concerned because of my hands (due to compulsive hand-washing).


    So these are the first four situations in which i handed out the cards, I will keep you guys posted.
    Last edited by SwearingTourettesMan; January 15, 2015 at 07:21 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: People calling the police because of my coprolalia...

    These responses sound pretty positive! Thanks for sharing your experiences, Noah, and good job of spreading information about Tourette Syndrome!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: People calling the police because of my coprolalia...

    Thank you, Twidget! I accidentally lost the business cards on another trip to Walmart, but am getting a new set made. I cannot thank you enough for the idea!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: People calling the police because of my coprolalia...

    Glad it's working for you, Noah!

    I was thinking about you today, and thought it might be a good idea to also have a card handy with the name and contact information of your doctor. Not to give to strangers, but just in case someone does decide to call the police!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: People calling the police because of my coprolalia...

    Another option in providing emergency contact information could be to show the name, address and toll free number of the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada if in Canada, or the National Tourette Syndrome Association if in the U.S.

    Tourettes Action in the U.K already has sucha s ID card available, an initiative that should be made available by all National advocacy groups.

    By referring to a National advocacy group might be more effective in the case of an arrest or a conflict involving a legal authority, because of their knowledge and ability to deal with situations like these.

    One's personal doctor may not be able or may not wish to be involved in a telephone call for help in these circumstances, due to legal, privacy and potential liability concerns.

    If it came to court, however, the doctor might be called to testify on behalf of his client / patient.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: People calling the police because of my coprolalia...

    The physician's ability to intercede with a phone call is definitely limited by those constraints Steve, but it would be very reasonable to have a note from the physician stating a diagnosis of TS in case it is needed. This is something that is easier to do from the physician's part having known a patient over time, and if they are already familiar with the persons tics and stigmatized behaviors. It is part of the role of the family physician (at least in Canada) to act as advocates for patients under our care if needed.

    Noah, I am glad to hear you are advocating strongly on your own behalf, and that it seems to be effective. It is great to see some control being taken back, when TS and the related comorbidities can too often make us feel out of control and helpless.
    Gina Higgins
    MD, CCFP

  10. #10
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    Default Re: People calling the police because of my coprolalia...

    Quote Originally Posted by Garih
    it would be very reasonable to have a note from the physician stating a diagnosis of TS in case it is needed.
    Sometimes the obvious and simplest solution is not always initially apparent!

    Thanks for that, Gina!

    The benefit of brainstorming is proven again!

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