I live in a small town and we have a person here who has tourette’s syndrome. I know that the person has an uncontrollable verbel tic. But it seems that all of his uncontrolled outbursts are in the profanity or racial slur department. Anyone know why the outbursts have to be in those catagories? Why not burst out with oh my God! or lookout!!! instead of sonfabitchshitbastard!!!
Of course that’s just my opinion I could be wrong.
Quite simply put, they don’t. And more importantly, most often they aren’t.
Coprolalia, or swearing, is probably the least common tic or symptom associated with Tourettes. Sufferers exhibit all sorts of other verbal and non-verbal outbursts, from excessive eye-blinking (usually the first symptom) to scratching, neck stretching, coughing and even stuttering (I have a friend whose son’s stuttering was actually his first symptom of Tourettes, but wasn’t associated with it until other tics started and the disorder was properly diagnosed).
But to answer your question as to why those who do have coprolalia use swear words instead of other words, here is one sufferer’s explanation…
For some additional information on Tourettes, I suggest you check out
I went to school (college) with the head of the NY chapter of the Tourettes Society (I don’t remember the exact name). He had his as under control as he could, but at finals time when he was stressed he started with the major cursing thing. Also, a friend of mine looked like his ex-wife, and he called her a “fucking cunt” each and every time he saw her. He absolutely could not help it- it just stressed him so.
What an awful disease, be it verbal or physical tics.
Love is like popsicles…you get too much you get to high.