Lewis Capaldi feared for his life before his ‘eye-opening’ diagnosis

BRITs: Lewis Capaldi wins Song of the Year

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Appearing on ITV’s Lorraine, Lewis Capaldi joked he had become an “ambassador” for Tourette’s syndrome since he went public about it earlier this month. Having numerous fans reach out to him, declaring they too have Tourette’s, has made the Scottish singer feel less “isolated”. Earlier this month, during an Instagram Live, the 25-year-old revealed he received Botox treatment in his shoulder to help control his tics.

Speaking to Lorraine on Tuesday, September 13, Capaldi shared that he got his diagnosis “like seven months ago or something”.

The Someone You Loved performer said: “It made a lot of sense. To me, I am quite a jittery individual. A lot of people think I am on drugs when they meet me.”

He quipped: “I am not. At least not right now on Lorraine…” Going on to describe his symptoms, he added: “I raise my eyebrows quite a lot. I do this shoulder thing.

“I take these deep breaths every now and then. I thought I was dying because I am a hypochondriac.

“So I thought I had some degenerative disease. But I don’t, so good news on that front.”

Asked about the public reaction to him talking openly about Tourette’s, he said: “People have reached out and they have said that I am an ambassador, which was great.”

Capaldi emphasised that “it is nice to just see that you are not so isolated in all this stuff”.

Calling his diagnosis an “eye-opener”, what exactly does this health condition entail?

Tourette’s syndrome

The NHS explains: “Tourette’s syndrome is a condition that causes a person to make involuntary sounds and movements called ‘tics’.”

People who are diagnosed with Tourette’s might have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or learning difficulties.

Tics are the “main symptom” of Tourette’s, which typically first occur in childhood.

Physical tics can include:

  • Blinking
  • Eye rolling
  • Grimacing
  • Shoulder shrugging
  • Jerking of the head or limbs
  • Jumping
  • Twirling
  • Touching objects and other people.

Vocal tics can include:

  • Grunting
  • Throat clearing
  • Whistling
  • Coughing
  • Tongue clicking
  • Animal sounds
  • Saying random words and phrases
  • Repeating a sound, word or phrase
  • Swearing.

Tics can worsen during periods of stress, anxiety or tiredness.

“Most people with Tourette’s syndrome experience a strong urge before a tic,” the NHS adds.

“Which has been compared to the feeling you get before needing to itch or sneeze.”

Controlling tics can be tiresome, but they can be less noticeable during activities of high concentration, such as reading an interesting book or playing sports.

Behavioural therapy, led by a professional, can help a person with Tourette’s engage in “habit reversal training”.

“This approach involves working out the feelings that trigger tics; the next stage is to find an alternative, less noticeable way of relieving the urge to tic,” the NHS elaborates.

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