Hi guys, this will take a lot for me to admit this and it's really hard to put the feelings I've experienced for the last five years in to some paragraphs but hopefully you guys will get the gist of it.
When I was 15, I started getting what I thought was derealism.. It would scare the living *BEEP* out of me, sorry for langugage. Perhaps it is derealism and that's a part of narcolism? I don't know. I didn't know what to say about these feelings but I had previously done marijuana a few times/MDMA frequently, but not an insane ammount of times to where I would get this damaged or so I thought. I had a bad drug trip, that inspired me to never do anything again. Also at the same time I started experiencing these "episodes" of derealism, my grandma was dying. Which means I had TWO major impacting situations happen to me in my life, which could of sparked narcolepsy? Well anyways, hopefully you can keep up with this (my mind is always foggy, that's another problem I have) around December of when I was 16, I was laying down watching a movie and started to experience an episode and this time I had some weird mental images that would flash in front of my eyes, but never really be there(like cartoony looking images in my head) I remember I layed down just very depressed, thinking I lost my mind and eventually fell asleep. So I was suffering from depression and these random episodes, and take in mind I was ALWAYS tired and would sleep in class to stop the feelings I would encounter.
So over time towards the end of my junior year, I would have these episodes of feelings/derealism/ and would in a sense hallucinate, but it wasn't like I would see some random person in my room or something, it was always like things looked distorted at times (I could see faces in shapes if I really tried looking at them every once in awhile) and I would see things in my peripheral vision but never make out what they were and I also had tons of floaters. I of course just got depressed, and assumed myself Scizophreniac. At certain times of the day I would experience these things along with blurry vision and just feeling out of it. I never really told anybody about these feelings and it just added MORE and MORE depression to myself. Also take in note that I never heard voices, if I did it would probably be around when I was really tired but never voices outside of my head unless I was SUPER tired but they never talked to me or anything, it'd be like somebody muffled something and I heard something else out of it or a quick noise was made and I heard my name because I was paranoid that I was losing it.
Well on to my senior year, I started being a very aggressive bike rider. I would bike 40+ miles every other day and I felt great. Although, I would have the occasional hallucinations, which were more apparent when I was tired, which was at times of the day. I kind of just ignored them and thought of myself as somebody who was crazy and just accepted it. The days would be hard, and I never felt like I was really living except when I was biking. I figured I'm paying the consequences for experimenting, which I of course didn't think of when I was 15 years old and super naive. My senior year I started to feel more myself, I wasn't just watching me live, I was more living but I always had the weird vision, but MUCH stronger at certain times. Well towards the end of my senior year my bike had broken down and I didn't have money to repair it, I got much more depressed and the tiredness and more hallucinations came back much stronger. I basically just grinded the rest of the year and somewhat felt relieved I graduated but due to my feelings, it doesn't mean much to me unfortunately. I didn't really live the days after I had lost my bike.
After highschool I felt pretty good that it was over and more myself again. I made another bike and felt great but at times once again I would have the weird feelings that would come in waves and the vision problems. I was pretty much always tired unless I biked a lot, which gave me temporarily relief. Well as time went on, I experienced real life, I lost my "friends" due to things and I attempted college. My first semester, I would always feel great but then during the middle of the semester or so I'd always be tired and I just couldn't concetrate. Reading was almost impossible for me. Everybody assumed I was lazy and apathetic, and it hurt me a lot because I didn't do these things on purpose.. I just always felt out of it and never like I was living. I also kind of just assumed I was crazy, but eventually I told my friend about it and he said he could tell I wasn't crazy.. I just seemed out of it, not always living in the moment but he never thought I was paranoid or anything unusual. He said I was just depressed and really out of it. My friends also assumed I was beyond ADD, like if I was talking to one person, I wouldn't even notice other people trying to get my attention at times and fortunately am not as bad now. Well anyways, I agreed with him and hoped I wasn't crazy and still agree, I just always felt/feel on autopilot (stronger at times), I would be looking for my keys or something and it could be a pain just to find them when they were in my pocket or somewhere SUPER obvious. Due to the tiredness/distorted vision that could be strong at these times of forgetfulness, I just couldn't find obvious things and also was more prone to dropping things or being clumsy.
About a year after highschool (around 19 now or so), my mom assumed that I was lazy and just never gave a *BEEP* about trying to do good in school but truly I wanted to but I would have these feelings of tiredness and the hallucinations were stronger when I was tired. How could I tell my mom that I thought I was scizophrenic? Certain days I would feel more alive than others and less tired, and I really enjoyed the days my vision was more normal and I felt more alive. Everyday just felt like a drag, I never could commit and still can't but I'm better now compared to what I was. So to help me feel more alive, I started drinking coffee A LOT. People thought I was weird for the ammount of coffee I could drink, it just felt normal to me and almost as a must to function somedays. When I drank coffee, my vision was clearer and I felt more alive and less just watching myself living and being a zombie. Around this age, I started to REALLY feel like I wasn't living, even though the depression was worse in highschool, I just felt that I had some crippling disorder that just didn't make sense to me. I felt retarded at times, but I knew wasn't because when I was younger I was known as the smart one in school and loved to read and had a passion for the arts. People would always tell me to use my common sense because they knew I was smarter when I was younger and nobody really thought of me as I did myself. Everybody just always thought and still thinks of me as just tired and out of it and lazy and having a lack of common sense but they still think there's hope for me. They just think that I need that drive to succeed. It's like I had all these issues but nobody else could see them except think I'm tired and have no drive.
Take in mind that right now as I'm typing it, the feelings are pretty strong. I was having the visual distortions more often when I was laying in my bed and watching Netflix on my phone. It's 6 in the morning, and I have not slept (Yesterday though I slept from 9:30am - 4pm and a light sleep from 6-9). I sleep at weird times, sometimes around this time and other times at 10am or so. Anyways my mind is really foggy today, worse than yesterday and that's what made me feel pretty frustrated to the point where I came on this forum in search of hope.
Well anyways, I'll try to sum this up quicker. That's also a problem I have if you haven't noticed lol, I can never get to the point and sometimes my mind just doesn't connect with what I'm writing due to the tiredness I feel. Well anyways again LOL, around 19 I started lifting at the gym and became pretty strong and my life started feeling good again. I'd be tired and have the hallucinations but they just weren't so obvious to me anymore.SO then it was time I got a job as a bank teller. WHAT?! You say? Yep, out of all jobs a bank teller. No it was not my choice, I would never want to do it but I kind of had the leverage to get in to the job and my mom kind of gave me no choice. So I went to my first interview ON NO SLEEP, at this age I rarely slept at a normal time but I would still sleep.. just not at "normal times". I was so out of it and scatter brained that even though the person said I did a good job, I knew that I was not myself and basically they found somebody more put for the job. What I thought you said you became a bank teller? Yes well I did, and the second time my interview was in the afternoon which was a much better time for me and I ended up getting the job. At this age I was 19, just 19. I was also ADDICTED to coffee and just so worn out from my past 4 years. I never felt and still don't feel like I had that normal life, everybody else is given to for free but I came to adjust to my feelings by this age and just kind of put them aside and said whatever, you know? I just settled with the pain and cruddyness. I spent the next almost 2 years as a bank teller, and man let's just say MOST of my days were on no sleep but I would sleep after work if that makes sense to you, which I'm sure it does for you narcoleptics. I was CONSTANTLY out of balance and just never felt myself on certain days and these were the days I was out of balance. Everybody just always said I seem so out of it but I'm not stupid, I just don't have the drive for the job. Also in my personal life, I was too tired to even attempt an intimate relationship and would barely hang out with my friends due to my tiredness. My friends would get mad and say I was selfish for just wanting to sleep or play games, because it meant less overwhelming feeings. Oh yeah, I still went to the gym 4 days a week and still do and these are the only times of the day I TRULY feel myself. Well anyways, eventually I just was so depressed the last 2 years and my bosses had to let me go. They said I just never had the drive but they really enjoyed me because I did good on the social aspects of the job and plenty of customers were happy but they knew this was not the job for me. I don't blame the feelings I was getting for not liking the job, because I'm an introverted person and I was definitely the black sheep at that job but these feelings made my life MUCH HARDER and at days I would be so tired after work I would sleep til the next day and then my schedule would be forever screwed up.
Just throwing this out there, due to my newfound passion for lifting at the age of around 18 I started bulking. I bulked until I was almost 20 years old. I put on a little too much weight as many others do. So last January, I lost 60lbs, more than I wanted to but I'm quite happy with where I'm at. For about 30 of these pounds, I used a fat burner and although I know it's more because of strict diet and working out intensely. I wanted to say that when I took my fat burner, I felt so much more alive and almost physically addicted. It didn't even phase me after awhile, all I know is that it kept me feeling more awake and alert and doing better at work.
Well anyways I lost my job about a month ago and got unemployment and started to feel better due to not being in that job. My sleep schedule made the job much harder than it was, and also on these tired days I felt TOO ANXIOUS to work. One time after daylights saving time this year, I felt so tired that I almost fell asleep while helping a customer. I was famous for pounding coffee, and being only 20 years old. So last week, I found out about narcolepsy... I remember one time when I started experiencing these problems, I happened to hear my friend's mom joke about somebody being narcoleptic because they slept a lot. I don't know why but that always stuck to me and I know at certain times in my life people have said that to me but I was so tired that I can't remember who. My mind is always foggy and I can only remember great times or just the countless days of me pounding coffee, feeling retarded at work due to my tiredness and just feeling so overwhelmed that I would sleep after work as much as I could. So back to me discovering narcolepsy, it felt like somebody had unlocked the chest to my pain and misery and could finally let all of these things go. Everything in my life just MADE SENSE, although I have not been diagnosed with it, I have hope and am just asking what you guys think before I go and tell my mom and go to a sleep study.
So in conclusion, if you have took the time to read this .. I really appreciate it a lot. And below is a list of symptoms that I've gathered that I think are related to narcolepsy.
1. I always feel scatter brained and tired and out of it. Some days I feel alive but most of the time I feel on autopilot.
2. I get waves of tiredness, where I don't know what to do so I drink coffee or excersise or something to take my mind off of it. These are when my visual distortions and problems become obvious again.
3. Sometimes I am on autopilot to the point where I'm typing like I'm dyslexic or I just word scramble. Kind of like this whole post ^, but it will be like I'm talking to a friend in person or on the internet and will insert the wrong word to an obvious answer.
4. I can't read books AT ALL, I read the Perks of Being A Wallflower a month ago and that was the first time I read in years. I used to love reading when I was younger.
5. in these mornings at times like this, I'll look at the clock and time sort of just moves. It felt like I was awake but I suspect I was half asleep.
6. My friends always ask if I'm ok at coincidently the times where I feel like I'm on autopilot.
7. The other day I felt the urge to sleep while driving.
8. When I get angry or some type of overstimulating event, I feel what I suspect is cataplexy. My head twitches, do things with my nose and I get shakes and stuff and I also get that feeling of tiredness/the "hallucinations".
9. The other day when I was half asleep, I remembered that my aunt jokingly said my house was haunted and I started to kind of hallucinate that I saw things, so I went to bed.
10. Sometimes, and in fact it happened today. When I lay down half asleep, I have these things that I call brain scramble or feelings of being brain fried. It's like my mind is just wandering off dreaming of situations that aren't even related to me and I'll think of people talking or random things. This is the part that always sparked fear of scizophrenia but what gives me hope is It only happens when I'm laying down or half asleep.
11. When I deadlift at the gym, which is an extremely overstimulating lift or even when I just lift heavier, I'll bend down to pick up the weights and my knees feel weak or wobbly. I also have those twitches during these times and I feel like people would think I have tourettes or am on pre workouts, which I'm not. I always have to open my eyes wide, when these things happen or do weird expressions with my face. My face will feel numb and on the days that I'm tired these will even happen outside of the gym, especially if I get angry or sad.
12. Sometimes when I lay down, I feel like I can't move. It's not like I'm asleep when it happens, I'll be awake but it's like something tells me not to move.
13. For the past month, my sleep schedule got even worse. I stay up til 9-11am and sleep til 3-5pm and then through out the day I feel at times I go through microsleeps because I'll have short episodes of feeling on autopilot and just talking mumbo jumbo.
14. I get offended when people say that my sleep schedule is wrong, that we all are designed to sleep at night. I feel alive at night, I feel myself at night. I feel nocturnal. I've always been a night person and even would sleep in fairly late as a child.
15. I want to have drive, I really do. I just never feel myself and always in a dream like state. That's why I came to you guys and am trying to get some hope before I start school again.
16. I'm going to bed soon hopefully! It's 6:44AM in California =.= (When I stay up this late, I feel wide awake but when I go in to the kitchen or something I realise how in a dream like state I am. My eyes look like they're in a trance)
17. I felt almost no visual problems for awhile until after last night (not this night) so like 24 hours ago, where something dissapointed me and I got all shakey and had to play games to get the feeling to go away. I spent all of yesterday EXTREMELY tired and yesterday is when i started having the visual distortions again. I was watching the Hunger Games on Netflix and was getting distracted because I felt like I was having an "episode".
18. A kid that I used to be best friends hung out with me(for the first time in years) right after waking up, which was 3pm. I hung out with him til 8pm and I guess the next day he told my friend that I seemed quiet and out of it now. That I wasn't the outgoing (my name) that I was before.
19. I told a friend and he seemed to think it's a possibility of me suffering from this. He said he would even go with me to a sleep test, so it shows that I have support from my friend. Meaning he must see some symptoms in me?
20. The last thing I'll write of symptoms, although the list could go on... is that I feel like sometimes I dream while awake and whenever I lay down, I dream almost right away. It even happened when I was younger. I'd take a 10 minute nap before school and almost always dream or have situations happen in my mind.. like a light dream.
I hope you guys understand the what I'm trying to get at, I have a feeling the way I type will help you guys out in a sense. I just want that drive and liveliness I used to have. I always feel nostalgic/melancholic and I know this sounds really depressing but I hope that you guys suspect me of narcolepsy because I don't know if I'd want to live on knowing I was scizophrenic. Also I don't think I am because nobody believes me even when I say I I have suffered from mental problems for the last five years. They think that I'm just going through the blues like everybody else but I know for a fact that a lot of people would have trouble going through what I've gone through. I feel like there's hope for life with narcolepsy but for scizophrenia I feel doomed.
Oh yeah, I stopped drinking coffee for 3 days and seemed to do better until today I felt so tired that I had to have a cup before the gym.
If you guys suspect me of narcolepsy, how would you iniate a conversation with my mom? I just feel extremely awkward starting a conversation like that. Once all these problems happened to me, I became more awkward and anxious and stuff and things like this are more hard for me.
Good night/morning guys. I'll read this when I wake up in the afternoon.