Rise of the 'TikTok Tic' among healthy young girls BAFFLES doctors across the world

A syndrome, similar to Tourette's, is tormenting young women as they develop 'tics', possibly triggered by social media addiction and pandemic anxiety

Rise of the 'TikTok Tic' among healthy young girls BAFFLES doctors across the world
Several young girls are suffering from a mystery disease with Tourette-like symptoms (60 Minutes)

According to experts, an unknown neural disorder is afflicting teenage girls that might be caused by social media addictions and pandemic anxiety. Teenagers who are afflicted by the mystery condition, similar to Tourette's syndrome, are seen experiencing uncontrollable tics, such as outbursts, twitching, cursing, kicking, and striking. Several such cases have been detected in Australia.
Doctors are also observing a worldwide phenomenon where young women, who were previously healthy, have reported suddenly developing aggressive physical and verbal tendencies. However, the sudden rise in instances has left families and health professionals perplexed. One possibility is that the fixation with applications like TikTok, combined with the worry and stress brought on by prolonged periods of solitude, may have served as the trigger.



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One of the sufferers of this disease is a young woman named Metallyka Torzillo. In an interview with 60 Minutes, her mother, Melissa, said, "This bright, spunky, fiercely independent young girl just trapped in her own body, in her own head. It's really hard to watch." Moments after this, Metallyka slaps her mother.


Metallyka slapping her mother Melissa (60 Minutes)
Metallyka Torzillo slapping her mother Melissa (60 Minutes)

Metallyka then said that lockdowns and not interacting with her friends had worsened her tics. Her elder sister, Charlie, also acquired the illness during the pandemic. "When she has her tics, I'll walk away, so it doesn't set me off and make it worse for her," Charlie said. Even though their family has chosen to see the disease positively, claiming that some of their reflexes are so ridiculous that it makes them chuckle, the truth is considerably more depressing. As they both have severe types of this illness, Metallyka and Charlie both need ongoing care.


Metallyka and her sister Charlie (60 Minutes)
Metallyka Torzillo and her sister Charlie Torzillo (60 Minutes)

Due to the pandemic lockdowns, there's been a sharp rise in instances of such symptoms, mostly in young females. The reason for it is yet unknown to doctors, but many think that lockdowns' negative social effects and our dependency on social media are to blame.
One of the first to experience the allegedly brand-new ailment was Michaela Colby, now 16. She acknowledged that her disorder left physicians astonished and frightened. She was performing handstands, writhing on the ground, and even doing splits, and her school would frequently phone her parents to report new tics. Michaela said that she was constantly "on the edge."


Michaela was one of the firsts to acquire this disease (60 Minutes)
Michaela Colby was one of the first to acquire this disease (60 Minutes)

When Michaela was 14, she first started having severe tics that came on so quickly that her parents had to take her to the doctor right away. Michaela's mother said, "I was serving up dinner, I heard some noises and a yell and saw her laying on the floor. I thought she was having a massive anxiety attack, next thing an arm is flying then a leg. She said she didn't mean to do that. It was really scary, really really scary. " Nicole Lynn, a 15-year-old British girl, started experiencing her tics at 12, which progressed from mild facial tics to aggressive bodily and vocal outbreaks. According to her mother, the most upsetting of her tics is that she frequently shouts in public that she has been "kidnapped."


16 year-old Nicole had severe tics (60 Minutes)
15-year-old Nicole Lynn had severe tics (60 Minutes)

Nicole's tics began during COVID, when she felt extremely lonely, as is the case in numerous other instances of young girls who have falled prey to the condition. Nicole told 60 Minutes: "I didn't know what to do with myself. You can't see friends or family; it wasn't a very nice thing to be in. "
In addition to the young ladies who were brought to him, Professor Russell Dale, a pediatric neurologist at Westmead Hospital, said he was starting to hear about girls worldwide who were experiencing similar problems. He said that Michaela was the first person he saw with the condition two years ago, and it was something distinct from anything that he had previously seen. Professor Dale said, "There were quite violent movements, hitting themselves, but also the vocalizations were different. Rather than simple noises, there were complicated sentences-which was quite bizarre, I've never seen that. "
Since Tourette's affects boys four times more frequently than girls and develops gradually from a young age, Professor Dale excluded Tourette's as the source of the outbreak. According to him, the pandemic's stressors together with the blatant use of TikTok and other apps are what is causing the teenage girls' systems to crash. "Girls across the world have been using similar phrases — it was that which made us think social media was a link as to what was going on," the professor stated.
The professor cited the spread of TikTok videos demonstrating tics imitation, with 16-year-old Michaela confessing that watching the clips had sparked her behavior and even seen her copy it. According to Professor Dale, Michaela has now completely recovered. He said that the ailment can be overcome, but he acknowledged that only 20% of his cases have been able to do so. According to him, the pandemic might be causing a large number of girls to be afflicted with the same ailment worldwide.


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