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They warn of the increase in cases of nervous tics among TikTok users: what is it about?

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, mental health specialists have observed a significant increase in cases of nervous tic disorder among adolescents, which could be due to excessive use of TikTok.

According to data provided by The Wall Street Journal, one of the clinics in the United States that specialize in disorders such as Tourette syndrome, characterized by involuntary movements and sounds, cared for about ten teens with tics since March 2020, compared to one case per month they received before the pandemic.

The Cincinnati medical center was not the only one to see an increase in similar cases among young people, with some claiming to have the Tourette’s syndrome, so different researchers were in charge of studying the phenomenon.

According to a study published in August, it unleashed “a parallel pandemic [a la del coronavirus] of young people between 12 and 25 years (almost exclusively girls and women) with motor and vocal tics. “The experts affirmed that the patients analyzed, apart from stressors caused by the outbreak of covid-19,” have been more exposed to ‘influencers ‘(mostly on TikTok) with tics or Tourette syndrome, “and some patients may have started mimic attacks of these content creators.

The topic of syndrome is quite popular on the platform and the number of views of videos with the tags #tourettes and #tourettesyndrome reached 6.2 billion this week, pick up New York Post. In turn, Mariam Hull, a child neurologist at Texas Children’s Hospital, said that some boys showed her their accounts on the platform and “they were full” of videos of people with the aforementioned syndrome.

For her part, Caroline Olvera, a movement disorders researcher who analyzed 3,000 TikTok videos, said that 19 of the 28 ‘tiktokers’ with the largest number of followers said that they began to suffer new tics after viewing other users’ content.

In this context, a spokeswoman for the short video platform stressed that “the safety and well-being of the community is their priority,” adding that “they are consulting with industry experts to better understand this specific experience.”

Is it TikTok’s fault?

Despite the observed dynamics, some doctors believe that the growth in tic cases is not necessarily related to TikTok. “There are some guys who see [videos en] social media and developed tics and some who do not have access to social media develop tics, “said Joseph McGuire, a specialist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. In his opinion,”there are many factors that influence, including anxiety, depression and stress “.

Researchers “did not take for granted that watching tick videos on TikTok is causing an increase in such behaviors“, pick up the portal.

So your comments “require a deeper look and an ‘urgent need’ for systematic investigations “into the various factors that could be influencing the cases described.

¿ Tourette o no?

In fact, many doctors doubt that some TikTok users who claim to have Tourette syndrome actually have it, since the behavior of these Internet stars “not seen ” as if they had the disorder.

They indicate that the majority of these people with tics are women, while Tourette syndrome generally affects men more, adding that the ailment usually develops gradually from an early age and can be treated with medication.

Meanwhile, other research on the ‘influencers’ with involuntary movements and sounds in TikTok consider that this is a type of disorder “different” from Tourette. “We believe this is an example of a psychogenic mass disease, which involves behaviors, emotions or conditions that spread spontaneously in a group “, the specialists affirmed.

Medical recommendations for dealing with new tics include taking a break from social media, maintaining a normal routine, such as visiting school instead of focusing on symptoms, and, if the tics affect normal life, going to a specialist.

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