Since first creating her TikTok account, 16-year old Sophie Adams has used the platform to document her experiences with Tourette’s Disorder. It wasn’t until last week, however, that the teen’s profile gained viral fame. Adams posted a TikTok video of her and a friend who also has Tourette’s eating dinner, showcasing the everyday struggles the condition creates. The video has received millions of views, but now Adams is fighting back against those who say she’s faking the disorder.
Tourette’s Disorder, also referred to as Tourette Syndrome, is what’s known as a tic disorder, according to the Tourette Association of America. Tics are defined as involuntary, repetitive movements and vocalizations. For example, motor tics may include blinking, shoulder shrugging, or arm jerking. Vocalizations can range from sniffling, throat clearing, or shouting all the way to saying full words and phrases involuntarily.
While the disease is popularly known to cause involuntary outbursts of inappropriate language, the Tourette Association of America says this is only true in 10-15% of cases.
In Adams’ video, she and her friend can be seen experiencing motor tics, including head nodding and fist pounding. Then, Adams abruptly reaches across the table, knocking over multiple drink glasses. A caption on the video reads, “Dinner with two people who have tourettes.”
Responding to Critics
Currently, the clip has around 7 million views. However, Adams has said that much of the reaction has been negative, with accusations of her faking her tics. A subsequent clip on her TikTok found her responding to a comment that suggested she intentionally pushed the glasses over.
“This right here, this is stupid. You sound extremely dumb,” she says in the video, pointing at a screen shot of the comment. “Maybe before you comment something, you should do your research.”
In another video addressing the accusations, Adams said, “Anything can be a tic, from running into walls, to moving your head, to hitting glasses.”
Adams said that people accusing her of faking have a poor understanding of the condition and its symptoms, according to BuzzFeed. “I also wish people knew everybody with Tourette’s can have different tics and anything can be a tic,” she said. “For people who say I’m faking — you don’t have to believe me for it to be true. I won’t give up trying to help others just because some people claim I’m ‘faking.'”
For Adams, documenting her experiences on TikTok is a part of bringing greater understanding and acceptance to issues surrounding the condition.
“I want to show other people who have Tourette’s that there are other people in the world just like them, and that it is OK to be unique,” she said.