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Emotional Lability

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#1 georgiana



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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:10 PM

i was diagnosed w narcolepsy last oct when i kept driving off the road while working...while undergoing the sleep study, they also found significant sleep apnea as well, genetic in origin....the follow up study for the BiPAP indicated that even with that, i was not getting sufficient REM because the pain from the fibromyalgia i have was interfering....i have not worked since Oct 7 2011....i will note here that i was a hospice RN for about 15 years and being able to suck it up to work long days, into the night, drive 100 miles daily and be strong for your families and patients- i.e.- few tears- was the norm....(i am very aware that is the work culture these days for many jobs)...

so here is where i am now, on long term disability....per my neurologist advice, filed for SSD....what i am finding the last couple months is falling apart in tears at the slightest thing- most likely overwhelmed especially w numbers....this is upsetting since i previously could calculate opioid doses and convert one opioid to another in my head, having taught pharmacist and doctor same....now i can't even balance a checkbook by printing off bank statement and entering onto Quicken without talking myself through it- often loudly lol...my husband, not a born patient man is at his wits end and so am i...i have done more sobbing and crying in the last 4-5 months than in the last 15 years....

what gives? i can't find this symptom in any usual list of narc symptoms...would love to know i am not only one...

#2 LauraL



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Posted 04 May 2012 - 10:12 PM

I'm sorry you find yourself dealing with tearfulness, on top of narcolepsy and apnea! I'm new to narcolepsy (just diagnosed a few weeks ago), and so far I haven't read/heard about tearfulness in connection with N. I'm just going to toss out a random idea, here, but, is it possible you might have some features of clinical depression? I only suggest this because I've had recurring major depressive episodes since my teens (or, I should say, from my teens until about age 25, when I finally stopped being stubborn and agreed to try antidepressants). The symptoms can vary a lot from person to person, but I had a lot of what my doctor called "crying jags"--where with little or no provocation I'd just start sobbing uncontrollably. Mayo Clinic lists "crying for no reason" under the symptoms of depression. As a nurse, I'm sure you know more about this than I do, but I just thought I'd toss the idea out there. I never suspected that what I was experiencing was depression until someone suggested it to me.

Hang in there!

#3 818sis



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Posted 04 May 2012 - 10:18 PM

Be very careful, because it could be depression. My doctor said sleep disorders are linked with depression. I am being treated for it, and it is one of the reasons he thinks I might have N.

You don't always know you have it, and it can really sneak up on you. I know because it did sneak up on me. I kept thinking I was fine, but I didn't realize I had fallen into a pretty deep depression. I was crying almost every day, myself. Now that I am being treated, I've cried about 3 times in the last 6 months.

I know that may not be what you want to hear, but it is important to be aware, because depression can really affect your life before you know it. I hope that's not what is going on with you because I know how hard it can be. I have only just begun looking into sleep disorders, and had my first sleep study this week, so the others on the forum will know more about them than I do. But I wanted to offer my input on depression, just in case it might help you.

#4 lizzQ



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Posted 27 June 2013 - 11:45 PM

I've been trying to find out about any relationship between pseudobulbar affect (PBA) and narcolepsy. It has been linked with other neurological disorders like MS and Parkinson's, but for some reason people refuse to look at narcolepsy as something broader than just a sleep disorder. I myself have random bouts of intense crying over silly things and I know it's completely irrational. Also uncontrollable laughter over not so silly things, but it's more of a sardonic laughter because it doesn't feel like "me" who is laughing. I also have had episodes of cycling back and forth from intense laughter and intense crying...it freaks people out, but luckily it has only happened a few times (first episode was when I was 8 or 9!).

Read this:

Also, loss of orexin has been tied to depression, so it's likely that depression is more likely than not a symptom of narcolepsy rather than a separate disorder.

#5 Guest_tabster1_*

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 02:42 PM

Have you ever had a brain injury? I had a neuropsychologist say I was "emotionallly labile" and I have the lovely combination of narcolepsy + severe traumatic brain injury. However, my emotional reactions are usually relevant to the situation just more "extreme" than they would be on someone else. I do have a tendency to laugh when people yell at me but I think that's a nervous reaction. My neuropsychologist was terrible, I would take everything they say with a grain of salt. He talked to me for about 15 minutes then acted like he knew everything about me. Nevermind that he didn't see me in an actual social setting, and that it was after I had gone through 6 hours of testing. Everybody gets more emotional when they are under stress. I always cry my eyes out for no reason when it's around finals time. Also, my sleep doctor sent me home with this fact sheet that said narcolepsy is a neurological disorder, not a sleep disorder. If that means anything to you.


So I don't really know if I answered your question, because while mine could be related to narcolepsy it's more likely it's related to my TBI....

#6 lizzQ



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Posted 28 June 2013 - 02:52 PM

I remember having the worst headache of my life when I was 6 that my parents brought me to the ER and I ended up having a CT scan which didn't show anything. I've have a few MRIs of my brain for a few different reasons but they all came back negative for anything...although my MRI in high school showed a possible pineal cyst, but when I had an MRI a couple years ago at age 22 because I was having orthostatic headaches, the radiologist couldn't see any evidence of a pineal cyst...do they just disappear like that??

#7 Livi



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Posted 30 August 2013 - 10:53 AM

 LizzQ,  I've also "had episodes of cycling back and forth from intense laughter and intense crying".  Quite a few times over the past few years.  I was diagnosed with BPD (borderline personality disorder) which is another disability that nobody knows anything about.  Basically, it is emotional dysregulation & multiple intense mood swings every day, usually depending on circumstances.  BPD emotions are very intense, and as a self-protection mechanism, alot of the time people with BPD put themselves into "Protector" mode where they "stuff" their emotions and prevent themselves from feeling emotion.  (This is different from trying to reign in emotion due to cataplexy).  I'm not sure if I have PBA or if my intense laughing/crying sessions are due to all of that "stuffed" emotion coming out at once.  I'll check out your link.

I had a mild concussion last year, but this was occurring before the concussion. My MRI showed a normal healthy brain.  I had PTSD 10 years ago and I'm not sure if that qualifies as a "traumatic brain injury" when it certainly changes brain chemistry.  

I am confused as to whether narcolepsy is a neurological disorder or an autoimmune disease, or both.

#8 Hank



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Posted 30 August 2013 - 11:43 AM

Livi- Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological condition. The origin is from an autoimmune response. This autoimmune aspect is similar to Type I diabetes, for example, when insuline producing cell are destroyed. In N, the orexing/ hypocretin cells are destroyed. I hope that helps.