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Meet “Twitchy” – A Uniquely Inspiring Speaker With Tourette’s

The World's Only Professional Speaker with Tourette's SyndromeSunday night, a LinkedIn request from a chap named Stuart Ellis-Myers popped into my inbox.

“Hi Sandy – I just spoke at the Winnipeg Mental Health conference – May I Please Link In with you?

– Stuart Ellis-Myers”

After connecting, he immediately followed up:

“Thanks Sandy
Winnipeg . . . . icy cold brrrrrrr
the conference focus was on suicide
I live with Tourette’s and the buffet table of disorders that comes along with the diagnosis so know the depression driven suicide experience well
The audience were awesome, everyone from parents, practitioners, government . . even a school district leader I shone the light of recognition for attending.
may I send you a YouTube shot from the conference? I just need your real email
mine is
cheers and all the best
would love to speak with you sometime soon

The first thing that jumped out was that Stuart said he “lived with” Tourette’s rather than “suffered from” it. I loved that.

He signed his note “Twitchy.” I loved that, too.

We “live with” all kinds of stuff. We don’t have “to suffer.”

We all “live with” all kinds of stuff, problems and issues – mental, physical, psychological, emotional, financial, professional, personal – but we don’t necessarily “suffer” from them. I hate that term “suffer from.” Say it often enough and you begin to believe it. Then what?

When you “suffer from” anything, you’re giving into it. “Living with” whatever challenges you, helps you face it and deal with it. It’s a state of mind. An attitude.

But to be honest, I didn’t think much more about Stuart Ellis-Myers a.k.a.”Twitchy” on Sunday night, and the last thing I expected was that phone call “soon.”

Well, guess what!

Yesterday morning, a B.C. area code showed up on my iPhone and there he was – Stuart Ellis-Myers a.k.a. Twitchy himself –  excited, enthusiastic, animated, his voice pulsating with so much energy, my iPhone practically shot out of my hand. He sounded like me on one of my really hypomanic days. I felt instantly at ease.

“I twitch all over the place, but I can control it,” Stuart said.

I asked him if he considered Tourette’s a mental illness, and even though it’s mentioned in the DSM (what isn’t these days?) he clarified my quandary. It’s anxiety-based, “more of a neurodevelopmental disorder, like ADD or ADHD,” he said, adding that he did not have the “swearing kind. I twitch all over the place, but I can control it.”

He asked me about my public speaking and I asked him about his. He’s a powerhouse. A former actor, among many other avocations, and on his vibrant website – – he’s known as Twitchy, The World’s Only Professional Speaker living with Tourettes Syndrome.

Stuart brings a vast array professional experiences to his keynotes and presentations – engineering, tourism, real estate development, human resources, and information technology specializing in sales, marketing and operational excellence.

Twitchy shows people they already possess everything they need to succeed, even if they believe they cannot succeed.

What really drives him in all his keynotes and presentations at conferences all over the world is helping people, showing them that they already possess everything they need to succeed, even if they believe they cannot succeed.

He knows how to play and “Wow!” an audience, how to perform and connect, inspire and empower.

“Overcoming stress, anxiety, achieving results and inspiring others to do the same,” is Stuart’s gift. He’s passionate because he’s lived it all his life.

He doesn’t take himself or his “disorder” all that seriously. He’s wildly entertaining, theatrical, charming and engaging, but his messages are serious, hard-hitting and geared to rev up his audiences and motivate change.

Twitchy is all over YouTube. You should see this one, about “How To Face Challenges.” Find the ones that work for you.

I confess, because of Stuart’s telephone call I’m posting after far, far too long.

He inspired me.

“Why are you hiding away?” he asked me. “Why aren’t you out there speaking? You’ve got a great story.”

He’s a powerhouse, unstoppable – pure dynamite.

Have a look at Twitchy’s website. He’s a powerhouse, motivating, challenging and enchanting his audiences to start thinking in new ways about themselves and their potential. He’s dynamite.

“Walking into your challenges,” thinking differently, is the first step in making changes in your life.

Stuart bills himself as “Twitchy – Rules for Recession Recovery” – and he’s hitting a chord because the world is changing. He’s pushing for that change and helping to make it happen, even in the resistant realm of mental illness and mental health.

Consider this. On page two of yesterday’s Toronto Star, there was a big article on voice hearers – people who hear voices and are okay with it. They don’t take medication, they don’t label themselves as having schizophrenia or any mental illness and they find their voices – all of them – are often helpful for them. This is a growing movement.

When I started speaking out and writing about my mental illness in the early 1970s, you never heard anyone talk about mental illness or mental health.

Now, increasingly more people are talking and listening and learning and challenging the old stereotypes. After all, we’re all a little crazy, sometimes, aren’t we?

Stuart Ellis-Myers inspires people to change and grow, like he inspired me.

Thank you, Twitchy.


Meet “Twitchy” – A Uniquely Inspiring Speaker With Tourette’s

Sandy Naiman

Sandy Naiman is a Toronto freelance journalist.

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APA Reference
Naiman, S. (2013). Meet “Twitchy” – A Uniquely Inspiring Speaker With Tourette’s. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 3 Jun 2013
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