A video of a young woman with narcolepsy and cataplexy has gone viral. Watch below or on YouTube.
This is a powerful video and I am grateful to Sarah Elizabeth for bravely sharing her experience!
- Cataplexy is a sudden loss of muscle tone, resulting in knee buckle or collapse, while remaining conscious, often accompanied by emotions like laughter, annoyance or surprise. Cataplexy is the paralysis of REM/dream sleep experienced inappropriate while awake.
- Sleep attack/excessive sleepiness is an overwhelming urge to sleep during the day.
Since Sarah Elizabeth was tired when she recorded this, the pressure toward REM/dream sleep may have been so strong that she experienced cataplexy and sleepiness together. I have experienced this. And cataplexy can lead to full sleep – moving from consciousness to unconsciousness and the feeling of “waking up” afterward.
What is cataplexy?
The difference between narcolepsy’s sleepiness and cataplexy:
Why is this distinction important?
What does cataplexy feel like?
“The weakness moved through me in waves. My neck let go and my head swung around like a tetherball.
I certainly wasn’t laughing anymore, as I lay like a haphazard stack of bones on the floor, unable to speak or move. Inside this lifeless body, my mind remained steady and clear, aware of my surroundings and taking in my fall all around me. I could feel my strange position, and although I didn’t like it, I simply couldn’t do anything about it.
I remained on the floor for about 30 seconds, experiencing my existence through my mind’s eye alone as each second passed slowly. I was completely unsure of my physical self and where it stacked up in the bigger game of life. “
I’m interested in hearing your thoughts. Thanks again to Sarah Elizabeth for starting such a great dialogue around narcolepsy and cataplexy. I hope we can continue opening hearts and minds to the real narcolepsy together.