Woman with Tourette's says 'biscuit' 16,000 times a day

September 28, 2012 6:17:14 AM PDT
Jessica Thom, a sassy and smart 32-year-old from London, says the word "biscuit" 16,000 times a day. She also involuntarily bangs her head against the wall, beats her chest and when least expected, lets out a guttural sound or swears.

She describes her love-hate relationship with the disabling disorder Tourette syndrome in a new diary-style memoir -- "Welcome to Biscuit Land: A Year in the Life of Touretteshero," available in October.

In Britain, "biscuit" means "cookie," but Thom insists she is never really thinking about eating when she has her involuntary outbursts. Her brother-in-law recently took note of her verbal tic and counted her saying it 16 times a minute, or about 900 times an hour.

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