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I Am Okay! Now I Have To Understand Narcolepsy

After publishing my last post I had found myself unable to write again. It was probably the toughest post I have ever written and published. There are so many feelings that surround a sexual assault, and it took me a little while to sort through that. It’s okay though, I worked through my issues and I’m doing better now. I’m ready to write again!

Initially when I started seeing my p-doc she thought I had narcolepsy. It was visited only briefly as other problems started to become more of a priority. So much is coming to light now that my head feels like it’s going to spin.

My latest appointment was pretty informative, at least on the medical side. I have always had “nap attacks” for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I can push through them, most of the time I can’t. Lately it has been getting worse, which may seem odd because I have been doing pretty okay. I have my moments but overall I’m not doing too bad right now.

A couple of weeks ago the nap attacks started after about 3 months of not having them sneak up on me. I noticed a pattern with the nap attacks, however: they only happen when I am doing okay. If I am doing really bad, suffering from severe anxiety or paranoia, or if I feel depressed, the nap attacks just don’t happen.

My p-doc (who is also a sleep specialist) explained it to me as we re-visited the sleeping problem I have. She told me that when a person is agitated or paranoid the adrenaline that is released during those times keeps the nap attacks away. When the person calms down and the adrenaline slows the nap attacks will resume. The good thing is that the narcolepsy I am experiencing isn’t very severe.

Her advice to me: take a nap daily. I feel a lot better if I can get the sleep in so her best suggestion is to just go with it. If I can’t go with it, load up on caffeine. Stimulants work well.

On that note, when I switched from bad/paranoid/depressed/anxious to okay, something else weird started to happen.  I headed to bed one night and was just crippled with paranoia. I was so scared that I couldn’t even leave my room to get my meds which would help me to calm down. I couldn’t get to the phone to call my husband. I just stayed in my bed for what felt like forever.

I laid there for hours over-analyzing every single sound I heard. Listening to what was happening outside, the sounds in the house, and watching the motion detectors. We live close to the woods so frequently the critters will trip the motion sensors, but that wasn’t on my mind at that time. I was certain someone was trying to get into my house. It was the worst attack of paranoia I have had in about 2 years. I did eventually fall asleep, but it was about 3 or 4 am.

When I woke up the next morning I was okay. Mentally, emotionally, and physically I was okay. It was great. I have been okay since and have felt pretty good. I actually made it out with my husband last weekend and wasn’t filled with fear and anxiety. It was pretty cool.

I wish I could be okay all the time. My p-doc wants me to start Haldol for the psychotic symptoms because being okay is usually the first bit of a Manic episode. With my Manic episodes I usually have pretty strong episodes of paranoia and she wants to catch it now if that is in fact what is happening. I have been taking it at night because my husband works 3rd shift and it helps keep me from being so scared, but she wants me to be sure to continue it in case the inevitable happens: mania.

Last year I had a hypo-manic episode that lasted roughly 2 months with mostly staying on that high with mild lows thrown in. It was a tough couple of months but at the same time a very enjoyable couple of months.

I don’t want that to happen again, but in the same breath a part of me anticipates the happiness the mania brings. I guess we will see.

Sleepy woman photo available from Shutterstock.

I Am Okay! Now I Have To Understand Narcolepsy


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APA Reference
, B. (2012). I Am Okay! Now I Have To Understand Narcolepsy. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 14, 2020, from


Last updated: 31 Mar 2012
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