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‘Everybody just thinks I'm weird’: a qualitative exploration of the psychosocial experiences of adolescents with Tourette syndrome



Ruth Wadman, Division of Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2TU, UK




Research suggests Tourette syndrome (TS) can have a negative impact on quality of life. To date, little research has examined the perspectives of young people with this condition in depth.


Six 14- to 16-year-olds with TS took part in semi-structured interviews to explore the perceived impact of this condition on self and on relationships with others. The transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.


The young people felt that TS was a constant presence in their lives, but one they have learnt to cope with well. Most had developed supportive friendships but encountered problems when interacting with the wider peer network. Specific concerns around meeting new people and future employment were voiced.


The adolescents described specific ways in which TS affects quality of life and social interactions, and the effort it can take to cope effectively with this condition.