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Have Narcolepsy and Cateplexy

by Katie

Honestly, Cataplexy is very well treated with medication in people who have Narcolepsy! I have severe narcolepsy with cataplexy although I don't quite remember what it feels like to have an attack because I have not had one in so long now that I am treated by a very skilled specialist.

I know it's one of those sort of things that, without proper understanding, can lead to hysteria, but truly I am more alert now than many people who have never suffered from Narcolepsy. That, and I know myself well enough to take a nap when I start to feel the slightest driving related fatigue. As for other people, I can't say. I know some people's lives are changed by effective medication and some don't respond as well. One thing I can say is, don't make blanket statements about ALL narcoleptics until you have met ALL of us!

Kevin: Hi Katie, Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I agree with you! I imagine it is true that many people with narcolepsy are more in tune with their alertness than many people without. This is a great point.

Could you let me know what "blanket statement" you are referring to? The article as I remember is meant to say simply that "If the ability to stay alert while driving is threatened, the symptom must not be ignored." This should hold true for any sleep disorder, not just narcolepsy, and non-disordered sleep deprivation as well (See our page on Drowsiness Is Red Alert). If cataplexy is effectively treated, then the ability to stay alert is not threatened. Thus, I don't see any insensitive blanket statements there, but if you are referring to something else please let me know.

All the best!

(Please keep in mind that I am a student of sleep science and not a medical doctor. Please take any thoughts I give with my background in mind.)

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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.

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