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Last Updated: Saturday July 07 2007 14:29 GMT

I have Tourette's Syndrome

Press Packer Anna-Louise

There are thousands of people in the UK who have Tourette's Syndrome and up to one in every 100 children has it. It's a very hard condition to live with.

Press Packer Anna-Louise has Tourette's and tells us how it affects her life. Read her report.

"I have Tourette's. Lots of people think that Tourette's is when you shout out rude words but that's not always the case.

That only happens to a few people who have the problem.

Bubble feeling

I suffer in a different way. I make a loud noise which I can't control. It's called a tic and it can happen anywhere and at any time. I can't stop it, but sometimes people think I'm doing it on purpose.

At school I try and hold my tic in but it's really hard to.

The feeling bubbles up inside me like a big volcano and I can't concentrate on anything else.

In the end, the tic has to come out and when it does, it's really loud.

Keeping a diary helps me explain how Tourette's makes me feel.

No-one knows exactly why people get it.

Trouble sleeping

It could be something happening in your brain but some experts say think it's passed on in your family.

The syndrome is more than just a noisy tic.

It stops me from sleeping too.

Most nights I only get five hours of sleep

And even though I'd love to have a sleep over, with my mates, I can't.

Musical help

There's no cure for the problem but I've found that playing music really helps. When I'm on the drums, guitar or keyboard the tics disappear.

My Tourette's might get worse as I get older or there's a chance it could get better

Whatever happens I feel like Tourette's has become a part of who I am."

Anna-Louise, 11, Surrey


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