Self-isolation is proving difficult for many, but those living with Tourette syndrome are facing a whole new set of challenges.
For Ryan Phelps, the pandemic has been exacerbating his involuntary behaviours as well as the "invisible" conditions associated with the neurological disorder.
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Like many, the Launceston College student has been taking part in online learning.
However, he said added stress was proving difficult for people with TS.
"Everyone is really struggling in their own way. I wouldn't say we have it harder, but we definitely don't have it easier," he said.
"It's been difficult knowing that I have to be more self-dependant.
"Through that added stress, it makes my Tourette's play up.
"All my tics have been set off a fair bit lately.
"I have eye twitches and blinking tics that have been quite horrific over the last couple of days, which can make it hard to study at times."
TS begins in childhood or adolescence and is characterised by tics including blinking, coughing, throat clearing and facial movements.
About 85 per cent of people living with TS also experience concurrent conditions such as OCD, ADHD, anxiety or depression.
According to child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr Shannon Morton, obsessive compulsive disorders and behaviours flare up during times of change or stress.
"A global pandemic centred around a virus really is the perfect storm and it's not surprising that people with TS are experiencing debilitating OCD and increased anxiety at this time," she said.
For many years Ryan has relied on music to cope with his TS. A classical percussionists for multiple Launceston bands, the 17-year-old said music had always provided him with some comfort.
"Music has actually been scientifically proven to calm the brain which then calms down Tourette's. So it gives you a sense of relief," he said.
"The level I am playing at ... it's quite challenging music which helps me to concentrate."
While most performances have been put on hold, Ryan said Launceston College's preparations for Flashdance The Musical was a welcomed distraction. Despite the challenges, he said he was treating the pandemic as a learning curve for resilience.
"I am learning I can be more self-disciplined and actually do work when I need to do it," he said.
"Especially for when I hopefully go to university next year."
May 4-10 is Tourette Syndrome Awareness Week. More information can be found here.
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