Narcolepsy is a Disorder Involving
Narcolepsy is a disorder involving a number of symptoms. From EDS (excessive daytime sleepiness) to potentially cataplexy (loss of muscle control during extreme emotions). Visit this article for a more expanded list of narcolepsy symptoms.
The clinical definition for narcolepsy is a sleeping disorder that is caused by the brain’s inability to produce the protein hypocretin/orexin which leads to the inability to regulate the sleep/wake cycle.
There is a whole range of challenges that come with narcolepsy. One of the biggest ones would be narcolepsy and relationships.
There’s one hack that I found to be a superpower to deal with this disease. Are you ready for it? It’s quite simple. Here it is:
No one will truly know what it feels like, and that’s okay.
As a result, you’ll get a much less empathy than you expect. Don’t fight it, accept it — become a stoic.
I know that may sting but let me try to explain. People will have as much empathy for you as you do for people with Parkinson’s, or type one diabetes, or cancer, or fill in the blank. This disease is a fundamentally subjective experience. It’s like asking an Australian who’s never left their country to explain what growing up in Alabama is like.
Narcolepsy is a disorder involving a whole slew of challenges.
I want to share mine. Let’s dive into my personal struggles because of narcolepsy. In college, it started off with simply being tired during class. As the years passed and as I grew closer to graduation, the lethargy grew stronger. I would go from lack of focus in class to head nods to straight up sleeping on my desk at times. No one quite knew what was going on. After graduation, I completed 5 sleep studies and was finally diagnosed.
After college, I started working for my family business. I was placed in sales which required me to be driving up to 7 hours a day. Just 5 weeks into the job I realized a harsh truth; I would either end up hurting myself or someone else if I had to spend that much time behind the wheel with this disease. My first full time job out of college I failed at. It was the biggest blow to my ego that I suffered in my life.
Those following months were not pretty. They were filled with a ton of negative self-talk, depression, and worse of all comparison. I felt like I couldn’t fit in with all my friends who were excelling straight out of college. I felt left behind. I felt as though narcolepsy was my form of ankle weights and they would be strapped to my feet for the rest of my life.
Then, after I was done feeling sorry for myself, I started to look for solutions. I made a decision that I wouldn’t let this disease run my life. I was in charge now.
My solutions to Narcolepsy
I treat my narcolepsy with a collection of treatments. They range from regimenting my sleep schedule, diet, cold exposure therapy, intermittent fasting, and beyond. I plan on trying anything under the sun if it will help alleviate the symptoms of my narcolepsy. Not every day is perfect, and I’m not the epitome of discipline. But I’ve built up a collection of habits that allow me to work with disease and live a normal life. Feel free to check out my other articles on this website for inspiration, tips, tricks, and guidance on how to live with narcolepsy.