Courage is Contagious: Mental Health Provider Speaks Up About Narcolepsy

sarah narcolepsyMeet Sarah, a mental health professional in Chicago who was diagnosed with narcolepsy in 2015 after facing years of mysterious symptoms and misdiagnoses. In this informative iBehaviorCoach Radio podcast hosted by Matt Lawson, Sarah debunks myths and raises important awareness about narcolepsy and the invisible nature of sleepiness.

I eagerly tuned in to hear about Sarah’s experience with narcolepsy, especially interested to hear her unique perspective as both a patient and a healthcare provider. Her eloquence, honesty and confidence made me smile big. By sharing her story, Sarah leads by example that we can speak out and not feel ashamed.

As luck would have it, Sarah wrote me that same day sharing:

“Julie – Truly, your book and your advocacy gave me courage to share. I hope I can live up to your example.”

I wrote Sarah back saying how proud I was of her raising her voice as a healthcare professional and she responded:

“Narcolepsy is part of who I am, and I want others to feel they can come forward. More than anything I want therapists like me to screen carefully. I saw so many psychiatrists before having one who listened carefully enough to see what the truth was.”

Wow, it’s so amazing to play any small role in Sarah’s journey to open up about narcolepsy. This reminds me how I believe that courage is contagious – and by opening up, we give others permission to open up too. Let’s keep the momentum going!

Listen to the podcast here.


  1. Carol on February 2, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Thank you Julie for sharing this podcast. I have really struggled with the shame of Narcolepsy symptoms, and the confusion of mis-diagnosis, and inconclusive previous tests, so I could really relate to Ms. Suzuki’s story. I have finally begun to tell my story after 35+ years and have found it to lighten my burden and begin the healing of my negative self talk. You two beautiful people are indeed courageous and an inspiration.

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