(CSU) – Chailyn Thorne, 18 years old, has tics. She feels like she is paralyzed sometimes when they are severe. The uncontrolled movements and sounds made this teen go to the hospital. The tic made her freeze. She could not move. She saw everything. She heard everything. The tic went away, and then she could move again.
This is not something she was born with. It might have been because of Tik Tok. Summer Hope (@that_tourettes_girl on TikTok) has 2.3 million likes on TikTok.
Hope, a Florida resident, is an advocate for people with Tourette Syndrome, and she hopes that her posts can be a support system. But she is worried about what’s happening.
“I do have a feeling of regret,” Hope said. “If they are watching my Tik Tok videos and they are picking up on my tics, there is certainly a sense of remorse there.” John Piacentini is an expert in treating children with anxiety, OCD, and Tourettes. He has recently published some papers on the topic of girls with these issues.
“They’re seeing all these people who have what they think is a good life, and Tourette’s can be contagious,” Piacentini said. He said that mimicking people’s behaviors is a natural thing. But the way it is happening now, on a large scale, is not something we have ever seen before.
Doctors are also worried. In the past, there would be a case or two each year of people getting tics from social media. But now, it is 10-15 cases each month. Marc Berman, the director of the Organization for Social Media Safety, said that this is very scary for anyone.
Berkman does not want you to stop your kids from using social media, but they want to talk with them about their concerns. “Let’s be careful of this danger,” Berkman said. “How can we keep this safe?”
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