I have an embarrassing medical condtion

I chose an episode that talked about Tourette’s syndrome and hyperhidrosis. Both of these were in the same episode and the narrative they told was a quest type narrative. The girl with Tourette’s believed that this disease made her who she was and she tried very hard to not let it get her down. The other girl with hyperhidrosis at first felt ashamed and then when she opened up about her illness more she realized that she would be okay and that her friends would accept her. She realized that she could cope with this.

There first girl who had Tourette’s syndrome had neurologic tics that would  cause her body to faint, choke herself, or say random things. She was awake for all of this and was conscious of what she was doing but could not control what her body was doing sometimes. This girl was upbeat and was able to laugh about her condition however when people looked at her and glared because of her condition she noticed that her tics would become worse. The stigma around Tourette’s syndrome made me kind of mad because I even said during the show that I would have loved to be her friend which is kind of silly if you think about it but many people wouldn’t which is sad. I think that I felt this way because I am so comfortable with medical conditions being in the medical field. The girl was also going off to college so she was anxious about not having her family around to help.

In the second part of the show there was a girl who had hyperhidrosis and was very scared to tell people about this in fear she would be judged. This poor girl has no cure because everything she tried did not work for her. I believe at that point her insurance company should have paid or Botox injections because this was her last resort. Before this narrative I had no idea about this disorder and I think that it is a good idea to have this aired on TV and other media because it is semi educational and spreads the word about conditions we otherwise wouldn’t know about.



Lecture 4.2 Illness Narratives. Week 4: Experimental Approach. ANP 204 course website.http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp204-us14/week-4-lecture-2/

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  1. Naomi Fleischmann says:

    The narrative that I found was about a woman with hyperhidrosis, and how she is adjusting to her life with this disease. Please excuse the language in parts of this video (My Hyperhidrosis Story) but I thought that it was an excellent example of a woman who has learned to live her life comfortably despite her disease, and it demonstrates how one has the choice to either make his life miserable by constantly being self-conscious or enjoy his life by not caring what others think (“My Hyperhidrosis Story”). It seems as if the story that I found is similar to the one described in the True Life episode in that both girls were originally afraid of telling anyone about their disease because they were afraid of being judged. The only difference that I found between these two stories was that the woman in the YouTube video only tried to stop her excessive sweating in one way, while the other woman seems to have exhausted all of her options. I believe that the reason the woman in the YouTube video has adjusted so well in her life is thanks to her friends’ support and her encounters with people who have the same problem but showed her how hyperhidrosis does not have to completely take over one’s life. It’s possible that had the woman in the True Life episode been surrounded by more supportive people, she too would have become a more secure person.

    My Hyperhidrosis Story, 2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aadwPkzH-AE&feature=youtube_gdata_player.

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