Am I faking tics in Tourette syndrome?

A common worry is whether the tics we experience are fake or ‘put on’.

But fear not. If you are asking this question, you probably have good intentions, and good reason for ticcing, too.

In my opinion, if you’ve searched the question, it’s already looking good.

Social media has put tics in the spotlight

Television often portrayed Tourette as a ‘swearing disease‘. Comedies have regularly thrown us character after character swearing uncontrollably.

More of us are now able to share our stories to the world, showing that it isn’t only swearing.

Many weird and wonderful variations of tics are being seen, helping to change this stereotype.

Type #tourette on social media and we see a page full of people helping to raise awareness and share their stories.

I’d say social media has helped increase awareness.

Are some influencers faking it?


We live in an imperfect world. Of course a very small percentage of the population are likely to fake things.

We hear stories of people faking accidents, faking attacks, faking illness.

When there is a short-cut route to fame and fortune, some people will take it.

But that isn’t you.

You know why?

Because those that are faking it know they are faking it.

They wouldn’t reach the point where they need to Google it because they already had it all planned out beforehand.

The reasons for faking it- whether it be for views, likes, endorsements etc- were thought about for a long time before it was acted upon.

Those that would want to fake it aren’t here reading this post. That’s because they know exactly what they’re doing.

The worry of faking Tourette can be a manifestation of OCD

According to the International OCD Foundation, up to 60% of Tourette sufferers have symptoms of OCD.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a disorder consisting of obsessions and intrusive thoughts.

Is it possible that worrying about faking tics is a symptom of OCD? It is a disorder often co-occurring with Tourette and tic disorders.

OCD fills us with negative thoughts. Thoughts that make us doubt our morals and intentions.

It makes sense that so many people with a legitimate diagnosis and/or symptoms feel they may be faking it.

If OCD was full of good thoughts, we wouldn’t be in such a hurry to escape it.

It would take incredible stamina to keep faking tics

Let’s not forget how impressive it would be to fake tics for so long.

People have done, sure. And the reason they’ve been caught out is because they could no longer keep the lies going.

Having Tourette is exhausting.

Even in a mild case, Tourette isn’t easy to live with.

The sleeping problems, the hyperactivity and impulsivity. The behavioural problems and embarrassment tics can cause. The anxiety and low mood.

Tics are often just the tip of the Tourette iceberg.

Poster on left of image courtesy of

Being able to fake the other 90% of ways Tourette affects us would be extremely difficult.

You probably aren’t faking it, you are doing an inspirational job of coping with it.

Don’t be afraid to open up to a specialist

I understand that Tourette is not the most understood condition on the planet.

But if you are in a position to speak to a professional, open up to them. Tell them that you have these doubts.

It would be a load off your mind… and they would probably tell you how often they hear the same thing from other patients!

Am I faking tics?’ is just another negative thought our minds enjoy to throw at us from time to time.

It’s no different to ‘am I a good person?’ or ‘do I want to run someone over in my car?’

It is painfully easy for our brains to come up with these questions. They stick because fear is a dominant emotion.

And if you fear faking tics, it sounds like you are a good person already.