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Psychology and Mental Health Dictionary Definitions - Narcolepsy - Psychforums.com





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Narcolepsy


Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder, or dyssomnia. The condition is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in which a person experiences extreme fatigue and possibly falls asleep at inappropriate times, such as while at work or at school. A narcoleptic will most likely experience disturbed nocturnal sleep and also abnormal daytime sleep pattern, which is often confused with insomnia. When a person with narcolepsy falls asleep or goes to bed they will generally experience the REM stage of sleep (rapid eye movement/dreaming state), within 10 minutes; whereas for most people, this shouldn´t occur until generally 30 minutes of slumber.

Cataplexy, a sudden muscular weakness brought on by strong emotions (though many people experience cataplexy without having a emotional trigger[citation needed]), is known to be one of the other problems that some narcoleptics will experience. Often manifesting as muscular weaknesses ranging from a barely perceptible slackening of the facial muscles to the dropping of the jaw or head, weakness at the knees, or a total collapse. Usually only speech is slurred, vision is impaired (double vision, inability to focus), but hearing and awareness remain normal. In some rare cases, an individual´s body becomes paralyzed and muscles will become stiff.

The term narcolepsy derives from the French word narcolepsie created by the French physician Jean-Baptiste-Édouard Gélineau by combining the Greek narke numbness, stupor and lepsis attack, seizure.

Read and post in our Narcolepsy forum.

Source : Wikipedia.org


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