Sharing my story!
During my undergrad years, I always knew caffeine didn’t work on me. So I kept myself busy: volunteering, customer service work, research, etc. Many active activites.
During my gap year, I realized coffee didn’t work at all. In fact, it made me more sleepy.
I started medical school in the US and this is when I recognized this as a big issue. I slept 10 hours a night and still took naps b/c most my activites are passive (studying at home). I felt discouraged and disappointed in myself. I was passing classes but was losing motivation. Everyone was always studying and I wasn’t. I was depressed. I started seeing a therapist and psychiatrist. My Lexapro did help but I couldn’t help my sleepiness. Tbh, I felt kind of gaslit into thinking my sleepiness was a manifestation of my depression, even though I knew it wasn’t it. I went down a rabbit hole of resorting to illegal stimulants to keep myself up at night to study. After a few months, I finally saw a sleep doc. Even here, I felt like she was against diagnosing me with Narcolepsy. She said it isn’t common for Narcoleptic patients to not feel energized after a nap (for me, I take 2 hour naps and still feel exhausted).
After my sleep study and clear diagnosis of Narcolepsy, I was relieved. However, my sleep doc is very unresponsive so it has taken weeks-months to finally figure out medications that kind of work for me (tried modafinil and now on adderall).
I am more awake now, which is great since I’m headed into clinical rotations. But I am still depressed and lack motivation. I drink almost every night as an escape (though I can stop when I need to and know I will have to when I start rotations). My friends know about my narcolespy (not of depression and drinking) but they just don’t understand. I feel disappointed in myself. I don’t do as much as others because of my lack of motivation and I’m still sleepy in the early evening (yes before I drink; still working on med management).
I am happy to have found this forum since it’s private to those with Narcolepsy (unlike reddit). I just feel so defeated. I’m going into clinicals soon and am scared to turn back into a robot where I just live life everyday unhappily.
Any guidance or experiences or words of encouragement to those who may have had similar experiences in life?