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Hallucinations from Narcolepsy - You Are Not Alone

by Zoe L.
(Boston, MA)

For a while now I have been having hallucinations everyday and night nonstop. When I was younger it only happened at night, but about a year ago they began to become very intense and real. Since then, I've been diagnosed with narcolepsy possibly without cataplexy and put on meds that have overall helped... But lately the hallucinations have been getting quite terrible.

They can be a countless number of things on any given day including visual, auditory, or even the feeling of things touching me. Sometimes they are people behind me from a distance that I know aren't there, terrifying monsters, constantly black flies and bugs, textures on walls, colours(mostly white, silver, yellow, blue, and green), shapes, lines, a lot of things dripping, things that look like they are falling in slow motion, small animals running around, air that looks like it is moving, shadows moving around me, hair, voices, breathing, knocking, unintelligible whispering, sighing, pressure against my skin, someone touching my head, this list could go on forever.

There are also things though that I think only other people with these sorts of hallucinations would understand. Things that I can barely even explain. Let's say, what looks like the fast movement of whiskers maybe on my face, or spiraling light in the air composed of objects around me, or movement of some sort of texture as if it were fabric billowing next to me.

As an artist, I've come to realize that there isn't much represented from hallucinations. This is surprising given how they are things that seem more closely related to our subconscious than even dreams. There also isn't much on hallucinations from narcolepsy online or in studies besides the subject of sleep paralysis which is related, but seems different to me when I compare the experiences I've had to my hallucinations.

What I'm really hoping is to maybe find someone else that shares my experience or maybe to provide others with some sort of answer to what they are dealing with. I'm also trying to learn how to express these things in my art so anyone who doesn't understand the pain and suffering these cause may take a new outlook on it. There must be countless ways one can cope with these daily distractions.

I know I can't be alone in this and I hope that one day someone like me will stumble upon this and find hope. You aren't "crazy" and you are most definitely not alone.

Thank you,

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Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.

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More Sleep Resources

The Zeo

A revolution in personal sleep tracking, the Zeo is a wireless headband that transmits your brainwaves in realtime to a dock (pictured here) or your smartphone. The result? You can wake up and see exactly what stages of sleep you were in during the night! Unprecedented personalized sleep knowledge.

Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

Sleep Paralysis Treatment Book

Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.

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