I don't know for sure, but I suffer from basically all of the symptoms, and have consistently (if not all that frequently) for as long as I can remember. So I think I have it. One of these days I'll actually get the tests I think, but they're a pain - the blood test isn't enough to confirm it, and the other tests involve things like spending overnight sleeping while hooked up to their machines so they can scan your brainwaves and see if you're fucked up or not. So I dunno. I have doubts.
Question: What are the symptoms?
Answer: There are four primary symptoms:
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) includes daytime sleep attacks, which may occur with or without warning (and for many are irresistible); persistent drowsiness, which may continue for prolonged periods of time; and "microsleeps," or fleeting moments of sleep intruding into the waking state.
Cataplexy (the other hallmark symptom of narcolepsy) is a sudden loss of voluntary muscle control, usually triggered by emotions such as laughter, surprise, fear or anger. It occurs more frequently during times of stress or fatigue. The cataplectic attack may involve only a slight feeling of weakness and limp muscles (such as sagging facial muscles, a nodding head, buckling knees, loss of arm strength, garbled speech); but it may also result in immediate total body collapse, during which the person may appear unconscious, but remains awake and alert. These attacks may last from a few seconds up to thirty minutes.
The two other symptoms are hypnagogic hallucinations - vivid, realistic, often frightening dreams; and sleep paralysis, or a temporary inability to move. Either one of these can occur during the process of going to sleep or waking up, while the brain is partially asleep and partially awake.
Question: Are there other symptoms?
Answer: The following secondary or auxiliary symptoms may appear:
Automatic behavior, the performance of a routine task, without conscious awareness of doing it, and often without later memory of it;
Disrupted nighttime sleep, involving multiple arousals.
Other difficulties may be caused by the primary symptoms, appear as side effects of medication, or result from one's continuing struggle to cope. Feelings of intense fatigue and continual lack of energy are often reported, and depression is also common. The ability to concentrate and memorize may become more difficult. Vision (focusing) problems, eating "binges," weak limbs, and difficulties in handling alcohol may also occur.
Anyone else out there suffer from that sort of thing? I've got at least 3/4 of the main ones and a few of the secondary symptoms. (EDS definitely, Cataplexy from time to time, Sleep Paralysis from time to time, and when I was a child occasional hypnagogic hallucinations, but none of the last for years and years.) I definitely sometimes suffer from the intense fatigue and lack of energy (thought I might have mono at one point, or a thyroid condition at another), and depression (although the depression could just be caused by the shit I've gone through). Some other random shit too.