AN INSPIRATIONAL 21-year-old has shot to fame on TikTok and now boasts over half a million followers after sharing her journey with Tourette’s syndrome.

Holly Ann Maria took to TikTok in July to take on the “water challenge” - a game to see how long she could hold a cup of water for - in a light-hearted bid to raise awareness.

Five months on and Holly, from Southend, is still blown away by the response, with the video launching her into TikTok stardom.

It came after Holly, who was officially diagnosed in October, started to notice more frequent “tic attacks” - a problem with the nervous system that causes people to make sudden movements or sounds that they can’t control.

She said: “Since I was around eight I’ve had a nose twitch. I also used to cock my chin up randomly and didn’t think anything of it until earlier this year when I started suffering worse with tics. It’s been incredibly hard to adjust and so I started making TikToks to help myself and others.

“I share a lot of the funny side to the condition as I think it’s good to make light of situations that you have no control over. From there it just sort of took off and ever since I’ve been posting videos of me cooking and answering questions about it.

“It’s been absolutely amazing and I never expected to get this far.”

Now, Holly is highlighting some of the hardships she has faced living with Tourette’s syndrome.

She added: “People started to say they wanted to have Tourette’s, but I wanted to show there’s a lot more to it than what they’d seen.

“I have no control over what I say or who it’s to sometimes, so when I tic it can be really embarrassing. We often hurt ourselves due to this, to the point where trips to A&E have been necessary.

“Most are understanding, but there have been times when people laugh, shout things and make comments.

“It’s really important to make people aware of both sides, and I am determined to keep my head held high.

"If I didn’t I wouldn’t have met all the amazing people I have. It shows this isn’t abnormal, this is what we go through.”