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A Plague of Tics

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"A Plague of Tics"

David Sedaris suffered for Tourette's syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder as a young child. Some of the actions he took part in was licking light switches, hitting his nose to his desk, taps his shoe to his head, licks many things such as stairs, counters, tables, and pencil sharpeners, counts how many steps he takes, touches electrical objects, touches his nose to the windshield, roles his eyes because he enjoys small amounts of pain, shakes his head, makes small sounds, and kisses newspapers. The strange part is that he can not continue his day without doing all of these actions and he finds them completely normal.

The interesting this about his actions is that when somebody tells him to quit what he is doing, he moves on to a different activity. It seems to me as if David's trouble is that he always has to be doing something. Almost like somebody with ADHD he needs to be doing something. There are many things David did to cope with his disorder. He enjoys rocking in his chair and listening to music and relates every song he hears to his own life, even if it takes 200 to 300 times of listening to the song. I get bored of listening to songs after about 20 times, so for him to listen to his songs so often means that it must provide so serious comfort. I believe that David enjoys doing this so much because his mind is unlike others and it crazy in what it desires, but listening to songs puts all his focus into one activity and stops him from doing what others find 'weird.' David thinks that other people are weird because they don't do what he does. Just like we can't understand other people's mind he can't either, but his is in a different way. David assumes that other people don't see him or notice him when he does his little tics, but when he finds out they have noticed him I think he is very shocked and that is why he lies about not doing what he does because he realizes people do not think it is normal. In the end David turned to smoking. It was a way to relax him and connect with other people. I do not think this is a good choice because smoking can be very harmful, but if it helped him get out of his situation and he is doing better today, maybe it did help him.



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