A Williams Lake woman is hoping to help those who are living with Tourette Syndrome recognize their worth and abilities, as well as work with the public to help them understand TS.
Barb Charboneau who was recently named as an affiliate of Tourette Canada says she experienced symptoms for years before being diagnosed with the neurodevelopmental condition at the age of 31.
She says it was only last year when she was put on medication for the first time and that it has been life changing for her.
“I would say that tics are exhausting and I’m no longer exhausted all of the time. I had debilitating neck pain due to jerking my head often and I no longer have neck pain. I’m calm and I have a peace of mind as opposed to being in a state of constant anxiety and I don’t get angry very often.”
Charboneau adds that despite the challenges that TS can present, she was returned to school where she is pursuing a degree in counseling psychology.
“For me it’s kind of exciting because it’s not something I would have had the tolerance before being on medication and I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to even try.”
An estimated 1 in 100 people are diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome in which there is currently no cure for.
“They recognize they have behavioral problems. They often experience guilt and shame and they’re very self-conscious of their tics,” says Charboneau.
“If I can help someone overcome those barriers and help them to develop a healthier self-esteem then the effort would be worthwhile.”
Charboneau can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org