Mental Health

Charlotte (26) fights Tourettes, ADHD and forced acts

“I’ve done a lot like others will look tight.

Tourette’s syndrome

Tourette’s syndrome is a hereditary neurological condition consisting of repeated, involuntary movements, sounds or words. Symptoms usually begin in childhood or adolescence.

At least half of those who have Tourettes also have ADHD. About 30 percent have compulsive thoughts and forced acts.

Other additional disorders may be aggression, anxiety, depression, self-harm and behavioral difficulties.

Source: Tourette Associations

– I’ve done a lot like others will look tight. I do not get stretched and must count if I’m brushing my hair or brushing my teeth. But it’s just small. When I’m very bad, I almost do not work, “says Charlotte Røiseland, 26,.

Charlotte has a nice day when we meet her at Lørenskog. On good days, when everything is stable and working, she’s fine. Then she hopes she will never be as bad again as she has been before.

Difficult Years

– Finally, I brush away “holes” on myself, ice cream or other things I or others have been over. Some things must be organized symmetrically, and obsessive thoughts that I’m lesbian or pedophile will also look and often. I have anxiety and am so dark that I occasionally have to be followed in the bathroom at night by someone who turns on the lights and follows me. In addition, I struggle with depression.

She does not want it so hard and always hopes she will never be as bad as she has been before.

– But I know that’s going to happen, says Charlotte.

– I had many difficult years before I arrived at Østmarka Psychiatric Hospital in Trondheim, and was treated by psychologist Bjarne Hansen for the first time in 2007, says Charlotte.

Last autumn she was there again on a treukers treatment plan. How did she get help was watching TV3’s “Psych Change” program that was sent in the new year. Charlotte seems it’s been ok to show off her symptoms on television.

– A program explaining OCD disorders (obsessions and compulsions) so that others can understand why those who have compulsive disorders do things are needed, she says.


obsessive-compulsive disorder:

Obsessions (unwanted) are unwanted, intrusive, repeated and irresistible thoughts, feelings, ideas or feelings. They are usually experienced as wounded, scary and / or threatening.

Forced actions (compulsions) are actions that a person feels forced to constantly perform, even though he or she knows that it is not necessary.

It is common for you to feel discomfort and anxiety when you have compulsive symptoms. Those who suffer from this are often desperate and sad – depressed and it is common for them to be anxious. They can also lead to isolation.

Source: Norwegian Health Informatics

Charlotte is smiling, happy and lively, and she does not notice tics (involuntary movements) or anything else when she meets her.

– But the tics are there all the time. I’ve never tried to hide them, because I think it’s easier to notice that. I get the easiest tics when I’m very stressed, feeling uncomfortable or trying to relax. It’s tiring to never sit or lie down. The muscles in the arm and shoulder tighten, and it may end up with the arm fully raised while the neck is in tension. The whole body is struggling, she says.

There will be a lot of stiff muscles and pain of such a thing. Also forced labor is something that has followed Charlotte through life. From her, she was very small, for example, an imaginary thread was attached between her and her mother.

– When we walked in the store and walked around some shelves, I had to cut the thread and tie it together afterwards. I pretended to have a pair of scissors and a thread, but of course did it hide.

– I also felt I had to avoid walking on lines, otherwise my mother or dad came to die. I never talked to anyone about it, because they would probably think it was as strange as I thought myself. Not that streaking, but the reason I did. It was embarrassing, says Charlotte.

Always been different

– The tics made me bullied or people asked me to stop asking if I knew how stupid I looked. Then I did everything I could to quit, but it took me sometime later.

Charlotte has always known she has been different, but she has always been very outgoing.

She was doing odd things at school and has been told that her first day of school took everything out of the pencil and laid it out nicely and symmetrically. Then she laid her legs on the desk, and when the teacher commented on it, she asked her to relax a little.

She was investigated to find out if she needed extra help at school or something else was wrong. Then she found out she had high intelligence, nothing was wrong. And school days continued as a break.

– Anxiety, forced acts, tics and hyperactivity were part of my life. Talking about what I felt or how I had it was never a theme. I did not understand what was the mistake myself. One of the worst was that I had never met others with similar symptoms. I thought I was the only one in the world who had it, “she said.


It was only when 17-year-old Charlotte was properly investigated and was told that she had three syndromes, ADHD, Tourette’s syndrome and OCD. Although it was a complicated diagnosis, she thought it was a relief to get it.

Charlotte (26) fights Tourettes, ADHD and forced acts

SUPPORT: It helps to have boyfriend Daniel Stenseth, who shows understanding and patience. Photo: Jørn Grønlund

– Finally, I knew why I was as I was and why I felt I had to do so much strange.

Besides, she received treatment. Charlotte says she has been a test rabbit for many types of drugs because it is not easy to give her medication against the diagnoses she has. For example, a medicine for Tourettes may exacerbate ADHD or forced labor.

It’s hard to find medicine that “fixes” all three. In Østmarka there were no medicines that helped most. There uses psychologist Bjarne Hansen exposure therapy in the treatment of OCD disorders: You should do what you are afraid of without “repairing” afterwards.

Exposure therapy

Charlotte also had to confront his forced acts.

One of them is that she is unable to touch slippery surfaces, such as glass and mirrors, without feeling that she creates “holes” in them, such as the fingers pushed in a tempur mattress. And she must brush them away in a special way to smooth the surface. During treatment she had to rub the glass against each other and crush them. Brush was not allowed.

– It’s uncomfortable while it’s going on, but it makes you realize that you do not have to live that way to release discomfort and anxiety. Bjarnes exposure therapy helped me get rid of the fear already after the first meeting.

Tics most troublesome

It’s also not easy to see that Charlotte has tics, even though they are there.

– I have a lot of muscle contraction, but as long as they do not hurt me, it’s okay. The most troublesome now are eyetics: My glance is pulled up on the edge of the TV and just gets there. I’m honorable Liverpool supporters, and I often do not get part of the match. Missing goals due to tics is unbelievably bad, says Charlotte.

After three weeks of treatment, the tics to Charlotte were under a certain control. It took some time before she could, but now she is back in the job at Avis car hire.

Charlotte (26) fights Tourettes, ADHD and forced acts

SUPPORTER: Charlotte thinks it’s bad that the tics get lost when she follows football matches with favorite Liverpool on television. Photo: Jørn Grønlund

A daily battle

After the first reading at Østmarka, Charlotte was well long. But slowly her plagues came back. When she had spent two weeks in spring 2010 and began to feel tempted to brush her customers, she realized that it was time for a sick leave again.

– This time I fortunately knew where I could get help. Again I came to Østmarka. The stripes were off when I got there, I managed to treat myself for it. It was one of the hardest things I have done, she says.

Now Charlotte is back to work, and thrives, though she may be tired some days.

– I have a super girlfriend who understands me and a considerate employer. It helps very much. I work with myself all the time, every day, not to let the symptoms develop and take over again. I’ll always have to do that, says Charlotte.

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