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Tourette's syndrome often causes a person to have "tics" or uncontrollable urges. Tics can be anything from the incessant need to flap your arms and shake your head to the repetition of random words like "coffee" and "metal."

Amanda, a 14-year-old who suffers from Tourette's, struggles to hold in her tics every day at school. Fear of teasing and taunting overpowers her innate need to let the tics out.

"I can't really explain how I feel, but it just hurts inside," Amanda says tearfully. "I am afraid that people will actually make fun of me."

Once Amanda gets home from school, she says all the urges she suppressed come out in a steady stream, making childhood activities like homework nearly impossible.
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FROM: Medical Mystery: The Mermaid Girl Miracle
Published on November 08, 2005

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