Page last updated at 01:31 GMT, Friday, 18 August 2006 02:31 UK

Living with Tourette's syndrome

Nick Tatham
Nick Tatham's Tourette's "crept up" on him by the age of seven
As this year's Big Brother final approaches, the debate continues about whether it was appropriate to feature finalist Pete Bennett - who has Tourette's syndrome - in the show.

Singer-songwriter Nick Tatham, 23, who also has Tourette's, lives with the condition:

My most common symptoms are vocal tics and facial movements.

I involuntarily say things like "yeah, yeah" but I don't swear.

Most people are fine about it. Sometimes you get moody sods who tell you to stop it but the people I know are fine.

Sometimes strangers do stare in the street but, at the end of the day, you get so used to it. Different people have different experiences.

There's so much to Tourette's - it's one big roller coaster ride

It's really their problem and not mine.

There's so much to Tourette's - it's one big roller coaster ride.

The Tourette's becomes a part of you.

You have an amazing time and then you have downs.

You are born with Tourette's but it doesn't show itself straight away.

It's something that crept up by the time I was seven and at 11 I was in Great Ormond Street with it.

'Definitely ignorance'

I was badly bullied at school and when I was young. People imitated it and things like that.

No-one likes to be bullied just because they've got something wrong with them.

Tourette's is like someone wearing glasses, or having a hand a different size to another.

People can single you out but that happens if you're slightly different.

It's definitely ignorance.

But you move on and it's an experience.

I have written songs about Tourette's.

The most recent song I've recorded started out being called Tourette Blues.

It's now evolved into a song called Different.

Tourette Syndrome
15 Jul 03 |  Medical notes

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