Quick Answer: Is Narcolepsy A Mental Illness?

Is narcolepsy a disability?

The takeaway.

Narcolepsy isn’t one of the conditions the SSA considers a disability.

But if your symptoms interfere with your ability to do your job, you may still qualify for benefits.

The Disability Benefits Help website offers a free evaluation to help you determine whether your condition is considered a disability..

What does a narcoleptic attack feel like?

Other symptoms of a narcoleptic attack include the following: Cataplexy: Sudden loss of muscle tone that makes you unable to move. Hallucinations: Unreal sensations that are perceived as real. Sleep paralysis: Total paralysis just before falling asleep or just after waking up.

Does caffeine help narcolepsy?

Consider your caffeine use. Some people with narcolepsy find coffee or other caffeinated beverages helpful to staying awake. For others, coffee is ineffective, or, in combination with stimulant medications, it can cause jitteriness, diarrhea, anxiety, or a racing heart.

Does narcolepsy improve with age?

What are the symptoms? Narcolepsy is a lifelong problem, but it does not usually worsen as the person ages. Symptoms can partially improve over time, but they will never disappear completely. The most typical symptoms are excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hallucinations.

Does narcolepsy cause memory loss?

Narcolepsy can present challenges to daily living: in addition to sleepiness, people with narcolepsy may experience mental fogginess, poor memory, and hallucinations. Social life can be impacted when sleepiness and other symptoms disrupt conversations, social events, and plans for activities.

Is narcolepsy a physical or mental impairment?

As a sleep disorder caused by a central nervous system malfunction, narcolepsy can be a very debilitating impairment. Primary symptoms include extreme drowsiness and falling asleep at any time without warning.

Does narcolepsy shorten lifespan?

Narcolepsy is not a degenerative disease, however, and patients do not develop other neurologic symptoms. In fact, older patients often report that their symptoms decrease in severity after age 60. Apart from falls or other accidents, narcolepsy does not affect a person’s life expectancy.

What is the best medicine for narcolepsy?

Dr. Scammell describes the broad classes of medications used to treat narcolepsy. For people with mild to moderate sleepiness, modafinil or armodafinil are often good choices. For people with more severe sleepiness, however, amphetamines or sodium oxybate often produce the best results.

Is Narcolepsy considered a rare disease?

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the natural cycles of sleeping and waking. It is characterized by excessive sleepiness during the day. This rare disease affects 2–5 out of every 10,000 people (1).

How do you test for narcolepsy?

Two tests that are considered essential in confirming a diagnosis of narcolepsy are the polysomnogram (PSG) and the multiple sleep latency test (MSLT). In addition, questionnaires, such as the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, are often used to measure excessive daytime sleepiness.

How fast does narcolepsy progress?

The average time between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis is seven years. Narcolepsy is diagnosed through a sleep study, a set of medical tests requiring an overnight stay in a sleep lab.

How many hours of sleep do narcolepsy need?

In addition to any of the typical narcolepsy symptoms, people with secondary narcolepsy also have severe neurological problems and require large amounts (>10 hours) of sleep. To understand the symptoms of narcolepsy, it helps to first understand how sleep happens normally.

Can you wait too long to treat narcolepsy?

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Feelings of drowsiness or not getting enough sleep, or falling asleep spontaneously, are not a laughing matter. These symptoms could be a warning sign of narcolepsy.

Does narcolepsy cause weight gain?

People with narcolepsy are not only excessively sleepy, but they are also prone to gaining weight. In fact, narcoleptic patients will often pack on pounds even as they eat considerably less than your average person.

How serious is narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder characterized by overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep. People with narcolepsy often find it difficult to stay awake for long periods of time, regardless of the circumstances. Narcolepsy can cause serious disruptions in your daily routine.

Does narcolepsy cause depression?

Many symptoms of narcolepsy—particularly sleep attacks and cataplexy—can cause great embarrassment and wreak havoc on your ability to live a normal life. These episodes can be frightening, and you may become depressed because of the sudden lack of control.

What happens if narcolepsy goes untreated?

When left untreated, narcolepsy can be socially disabling and isolating. It often leads to the onset of depression. Type 2 diabetes mellitus may occur more often in people with narcolepsy.

What can narcolepsy be mistaken for?

Other sleep disorders that cause daytime sleepiness are often mistaken for narcolepsy. These include sleep apnea, circadian rhythm sleep disorders and restless legs syndrome. Medical conditions, mental health disorders and use of certain medications or substances can also cause symptoms similar to narcolepsy.

Is it normal to fall into deep sleep immediately?

Narcolepsy, which affects about one in 2,000 people, is a sleep disorder that causes a person to instantly fall into a deep sleep at any time, even in the middle of an activity.

Can you just develop narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a lifelong problem, but it does not usually worsen as the person ages. Symptoms can partially improve over time, but they will never disappear completely. The most typical symptoms are excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hallucinations.

Does narcolepsy lead to dementia?

Just as REM behavior disorder can precede Parkinson’s disease, narcolepsy presenting in the elderly maybe a precursor to Lewy Body dementia. A larger body of evidence and more investigations are needed to definitively establish this possible relationship.