They can come to visit for a little bit, and then they go away.
Plus, I’ve become really skilled at incorporating my Tourette tics into my daily life in a way that is socially acceptable.
Most people with Tourette’s try to control symptoms through a combination of relaxation exercises and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), but in more severe cases, medication can help.
So I don’t hide the fact that I have Tourette syndrome when I’m meeting new people or dating.
I’ve realized over the years that everybody is dealing with their own “thing” on some end of the spectrum, whether it’s a neurological disorder (as in my case) or simply that they’ve always been self-conscious about the shape of their nose.
When I’m on a first date or meeting somebody at a party and we’re hitting it off, I go ahead and put it out there.
I try to casually bring it up to see how the guy reacts because it’s like a built-in barometer to gauge his character. While I've never had anyone run away screaming, I can tell if it makes the person feel uncomfortable. It’s human nature to hide who we really are in some ways, especially those parts of us that make us feel insecure, because as soon as you reveal your insecurities, you feel vulnerable. But I think that the sooner you get to that vulnerable stuff, the sooner you figure out whether or not you are a good match, and whether or not the other person can be accepting of you.
Friel also has depression, anxiety and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).