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Can You Catch A Tic From TikTok? Psychologist Explains

There’s been a spike in cases of functional neurological disorder (FND) in teenage girls since the pandemic and the rise of TikTok, with symptoms including involuntary vocal tics.  

FND occurs when there’s miscommunication between the body and brain and can often look a lot like tourettes, with patients having involuntary movements and vocal tics.  

Dr Amanda Maxwell, is a clinical psychologist specialising in tics and said there are several factors contributing to the onset of FND.

Dr Maxwell explains how it’s possible to get FND on The Briefing:

During the covid pandemic, psychologists started to see more teenage girls presenting with functional tics.  

“Tourettes that can take years and years, and most people won’t develop those symptoms. But for people with functional ticks, it can progress within hours, weeks and months. So it’s a very, very rapid onset,” Maxwell said.

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“Young people will come in and they will have functional ticks that are exactly the same as really well-known TikTokers that have functional ticks,” she said.

But Dr Maxwell said there’s more behind the spike in cases of FND than TikTok use, and explains why on this episode of The Briefing.

“People are like ohh, they must be seeing it and catching it from TikTok. And it’s sort of true in that ticks are really suggestible.”

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