What is narcolepsy?
What are the symptoms of narcolepsy?
If someone you know has been suffering from any of these symptoms, you can speak to them about their possible condition and suggest that they consult a mental health expert.
What causes narcolepsy?
The exact cause of narcolepsy is not known. However, research suggests that there may be genetic factors that cause a deficiency in the production of the brain chemical hypocretin, which is responsible for regulating our sleeping and waking routine. The deficiency of this neurotransmitter results in sudden switches from wakefulness to sleep and vice versa. This is only one of the possible causes.
Getting treatment for narcolepsy
Caring for someone with narcolepsy
The general public is unaware of narcolepsy and may look down upon people who display the symptoms. For instance, in an office environment, showing excessive sleepiness or suffering a sleep attack may attract a lot of negative feedback. As a caregiver, it is important that you show a lot of support to the person suffering from this disorder. Talk to them about the condition and suggest that they meet a mental health professional. Encourage them to stop consuming alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. Let them know that you are always willing to listen and understand their problems. Along with the medications, support from family and friends is equally important in managing the symptoms of narcolepsy.
Coping with narcolepsy
Living with narcolepsy can be challenging, but with a few adjustments, you can manage a normal life. Firstly, it is important that you talk to people at work or at school (employers, teachers) about your problem, so that you can work out a way to manage your need for rest. Avoid driving or any other potentially hazardous activity if you are experiencing even a hint of sleepiness. If you start to feel sleepy while driving, pull over to the side and take a break. It would be helpful to develop a regular exercise routine as this would increase your general energy levels. Try to avoid alcohol, tobacco and nicotine. If your doctor has prescribed a treatment plan, it is essential that you follow it strictly and inform them promptly about any side effects or changes in symptoms.