Hi, I'm a college student and have been having sleeping problems for years. I only recently decided to go to the doctor when I realized that "normal" people don't fall asleep while they drive... oops. I have an appointment for a regular evaluation (no PSG or MSLT yet) with a neurologist on December 30th, but I'm so anxious to get it over with already. I'm really scared that they'll tell me nothing is wrong and I'll just have to live with this. My grandma has also had severe narcolepsy with cataplexy for years, but I can't talk to her about her symptoms because she also developed dementia. Is narcolepsy hereditary? I originally was sure that I had sleep apnea and that's why I was tired (my roommate tells me I snore...) but the doctors ruled that out because I'm not overweight or in the right age category.
Some of my symptoms: Obviously, EDS. I won't fall asleep while in motion or having a conversation, but I fall asleep in all of my classes. I feel guilty because I don't want to fall asleep and the professors give me dirty looks afterwards. I pinch myself and drink caffeine to stay awake but nothing works. I usually take a nap between classes if I can, too. Even though I have a lot of work I usually get 8 hours of sleep or more a night, but it's absolutely impossible for me to get up on time. I'll sleep through alarms or push snooze for 45 minutes. I never wake up feeling refreshed. When I drive somewhere over 30 minutes, I'll almost always start to drift off. Usually I'll catch myself narrowly avoiding an accident 1-3 times per drive. In addition to my sleepiness symptoms, I'll also wake up screaming from nightmares about once a month (also found out about this from my roommate). Other times, I will have vivid scary dreams but won't actually make noise. Does that count as a hallucination? My last symptom is automatic behavior which again, I didn't realize I was doing until someone told me.
I'm just looking for some reassurance that I'm not crazy. Again, I don't know what I would do if the doctor said there was no problem. I would appreciate if anybody took the time to read and respond! Thanks again for all input!