Demystifying Narcolepsy Symptoms

Narcolepsy is a confusing ailment, even to those who HAVE it. I've been dealing with it for 58 years, now. I wrote a piece sometime back about "Demystifying Narcolepsy Symptoms". Of course we should all become as technically informed as possible, but there comes a point where people need a simple "no mumbo-jumbo" explanation, in order to understand it on a more everyday basis. This is especially true for those of us who think they're losing their marbles!

• 1. Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (groggy, fatigued and constantly feeling like shit-pretty self-explanatory)

2. Cataplexy-Sudden loss of strength and/or balance from strong emotions or by being startled. It doesn't have to be full body collapse. Mine starts with a feeling of full body electrical shock, followed by weak knees, hands, slurred speech, (sense of) time distortion. This is your brain telling your body that you're dreaming and it should shut down.

3.Automatic Behavior-the least talked about symptom. Simply put: like sleepwalking from a waking state. You continue to do a familiar task like a programmed robot. I used to repair machines at work and then when I started to do the paperwork for the service call, had to partially disassemble the machine to see if I'd done the work. I've done hours of artwork and completely lost the time. I'd suddenly awaken to a nearly completed picture!

4 Hypnagogic/Hypnopompic Hallucinations-vivid dream, indistinguishable from reality. ALL SYMPTOMS OF NARCOLEPSY ARE THE RESULT OF REM SLEEP DISTURBANCE! Hallucinations are simply an overlap of REM with reality.

5. Sleep Paralysis-During REM, voluntary muscle groups are shut down to keep you from acting out dreams and injuring yourself. (In PWN's, the synchronization of brain and body is messed up) SP is your body and brain, waking up at separate times. This is sort of the opposite of automatic behavior, where your brain is in REM Sleep and your body is awake.All this stuff needs to be demystified! There is no Hocus-Pocus Zen Voodoo spiritual meaning to any of this crap! It's just electrochemical misfiring in your brain!


I’m no doctor, but your description is pretty concise - helpful for a listener with a short attention span and for PWN who want to make explanations brief but cover the important points.