Scarlett Moffatt, 31, has opened up about her journey dealing with tics in Channel 4 documentary Britain’s Tourette’s Mystery: Scarlett Moffatt. The Gogglebox star delved into the terrifying experience of developing sudden onset tics as she investigated the increase in cases of Tourette’s in Britain.
Scarlett, who was 12-years-old when she developed her tics, also had Bell’s Palsy, a temporary weakness or lack of movement affecting one side of the face.
While Bell’s Palsy usually gets better within nine months, Scarlett had to learn to control her body all over again.
Speaking exclusively with Express.co.uk, Scarlett revealed why she wanted to “shine a light” on sudden onset tics to try and help younger sufferers – especially girls.
Scarlett began: “I feel like when I did it was because I have experienced that myself.
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“And so it’s always sort of in my mind the fact that it’s happened to me, and it could happen to others.”
Scarlett highlighted the huge increase in people experiencing tics, branding it a “mini pandemic”.
She continued: “There’s been a massive increase in young girls getting sudden onset tics, like – it’s almost like a mini pandemic in itself.
“And no one was really talking about it, and I wanted to shine a light on it, because I know how sort of scared I felt when I had tics as a kid.
“So I wanted to, like, open the conversation up.”
Scarlett explained how she believed the pandemic also affected children, who were left dealing with their issues “to their own devices”.
The TV star pointed out how much of the attention during that period was focused on the higher risk groups.
She explained: “And also, I think during the pandemic we saw all of our concentration was on the vulnerable and the elderly, because that’s who needed our help the most.
“But I think in general a lot of the kids sort of got left to their own devices, because we were like, ‘Oh, they’ll be fine.’
“But I think this shows how much the pandemic has affected, especially young girls.
“Because I think young boys was still like gaming and speaking to the friends and stuff, whereas young girls were sort of like, in the room just scrolling through the Internet.”
Scarlett concluded: “So I think, yeah, hopefully it starts conversations with parents and loved ones to ask if the kids are okay and how they’re feeling.