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World of the Bizarre

Dozens develop tics from Tourette's videos

By T.K. Randall
September 5, 2021 · Comment icon 9 comments

Can watching YouTube really give you the symptoms of Tourette's ? Image Credit: sxc.hu
A psychiatrist in Germany became suspicious when dozens of patients turned up with identical symptoms.
When several dozen people turned up at the office of Kirsten Muller-Vahl - head of the Tourette's outpatient department at Hannover Medical School - she knew something was amiss.

Her patients all exhibited identical, complex tics that had been previously diagnosed as Tourette's, however despite this, she was convinced that something else was going on.

A discussion with a student would ultimately lead her to the answer - all of the patients had been fans of the YouTube channel 'Gewitter im Kopf' which documents the daily life of Jan Zimmermann, a 23-year-old German man with Tourette's who has managed to amass over two million subscribers.

Incredibly, the patients had developed identical tics to Zimmermann after watching his videos.
According to Muller-Vahl, these people were suffering from a condition known as functional movement disorder (FMD) - a purely psychological ailment in contrast to the neurological nature of Tourette's.

For some of the patients, the symptoms vanished after this was explained to them, while others improved following a course of psychotherapy.

Mass sociogenic illness - otherwise known as mass hysteria - has manifested in various ways in recent years; we have covered several cases, for example, of mass hysteria in classrooms due to perceived paranormal phenomena in countries such as Ghana and Malaysia.

Seeing it happen as a result of watching videos on YouTube however is certainly an intriguing twist.

Source: Wired.co.uk | Comments (9)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by XenoFish 3 years ago
Monkey see monkey do.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Silver Surfer 3 years ago
Comment icon #3 Posted by acute 3 years ago
More likely Gen-Z. Millennials are 25 to 40 now.
Comment icon #4 Posted by jethrofloyd 3 years ago
Meh.....TikTok Generation.
Comment icon #5 Posted by mesuma 3 years ago
Comment icon #6 Posted by Freez1 3 years ago
Makes you wonder, because if it�s this easy for the human mind to develop a mental condition over videos you have to ask yourself what else can it do? As a child watches violent movies or plays violent games is a part of their mind being reprogrammed to learn these things and apply them in real life? Without thinking twice?
Comment icon #7 Posted by bigjonalien 3 years ago
Next- I have adhd from watching tic toc. 10 sec videos for hrs on end any wonder!
Comment icon #8 Posted by ZOXS 3 years ago
It’s a bit shocking but doesn’t surprise me. If you think you have a problem, your brain will start to fill in the gaps. Mind over Matter while cliche is true sometimes.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Hammerclaw 3 years ago
Luckily, the videos weren't about Syphilis. 

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