According to Scientists in Australia, a new and mysterious Tourettes-like illness being reported in girls across the world is due to a combination of lockdowns and too much time spent on social media sites like TikTok.
Young women across Australia are being struck down by a mystery neurological condition that causes uncontrollable tics and jerks - with experts suggesting that it is a combination of 'social media addiction' and pandemic stress triggering the illness.
The Tourette's syndrome-like disorder is seeing teenagers suffering from uncontrollable 'tics' - which include outbursts, twitching, pops, noises, swearing, kicking and hitting. Doctors from other countries have quickly reported seeing the same type of conditions in their patients too.
According to the reports: previously healthy young women have suddenly come down with violent physical and verbal impulses.
Health officials have suggested that the neurological condition could be caused by anxiety and stress stemming from extended periods of isolation coupled with obsessions for apps like TikTok.
There has been a steep increase in reported cases of the neurological condition through the pandemic, largely in teenage girls who can see symptoms appear as rapidly as overnight.
One sufferer's account was told to 60 minutes Australia: Michaela began suffering from extreme tics when she was 14, coming on so fast her parents immediately took her to hospital. "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," her mother said, adding 'She said she didn't mean to do that. It was really scary, really really scary.'
Professor Russell Dale - a pediatrics neurologist at Westmead Hospital - said he was hearing of girls 'all over the world' suffering from similar conditions to the young women being brought to him. Professor Dale ruled out Tourette's as the cause for the epidemic as it is found four times more often in boys and comes on slowly from a young age. He said the key factor appears to be the stresses of the pandemic combined with overt use of TikTok and other apps - which is forcing the young women's bodies to 'fail'.
Professor Dale stated that the disorder is 'definitely' something that can be overcome but then admitted only 20 percent of his patients have seen an end to the condition. He estimates hundreds of thousands of girls around the world could be suffering with the same illness as a result of the 'perfect storm' of the global pandemic and social media addiction.