Other Narcolepsy like ptsd symptoms

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I'm posting here to see if anyone else may have knowledge or insight into this. I was diagnosed several years ago with PTSD (around 25) from repeated childhood trauma. Through counseling and antidepressants, I have had time where symptoms have been better. And then times where they get worse. There is also the case with my sleepiness. It never completely goes away, but I have times where it is more manageable. This has been going on since my teens, which is also when I started remembering the stuff that happened to me as a child. A year ago I was diagnosed by a specialist with Narcolepsy. I had been dealing with really bad symptoms at the time. I was seeing a psychologist trained in EMDR and she couldn't even do EMDR with me because I was too dissociative. When I started treatment for narcolepsy, my PTSD symptoms got significantly better. I even terminated therapy because I was doing so well.
But a friend of mine who is studying to be a counselor pointed out it still sounded like I was depressed, etc. I've been going back to therapy again and now I have no clue if I have PTSD or Narcolepsy. Many of the symptoms can overlap, it's so hard to tell!!! Has anyone dealt with this?
Dissociation makes me tired, so does anxiety, so does depression, so does having nightmares... I could go on. There are also physical conditions that cause sleepiness like an underactive thyroid - which can also make you feel more depressed. Sometimes I will sleep more than 20 hours a day for a week and normally I put aside at least 12 hours per night to be sleeping within (though I wake from nightmares for a lot of it) any less and and I simply can't function for more than a day or two. Are you just really sleepy alot, or do you fall asleep suddenly and unexpectedly? The clear line between narcolepsy and PTSD seems to be re-experiencing symptoms like flashbacks and nightmares. Even though Narcolepsy can present with hallucination this should be different to a standard flashback unless you re-experience with hallucinations - either way if you're recalling past memories of abuse you may not have processed all your trauma yet.

What ever is causing this (and no one online can say for sure), is clearly affecting your ability to function, I would recommend seeing a doctor just in case and if physical symptoms are ruled out, resuming therapy. For most of us with PTSD, therapy has to continue beyond where we feel better because there's still a lot of hidden healing to be done, also even the slightest stresses/upsets. internal chemical disruptions or absolutely nothing at all can cause us to quickly sink back into a bad place very quickly.

The more people you speak to, the more answers you will get, I think. So don't pay too much attention to what some people have to add as even if they're knowledgeable, they don't know all the ins and outs of your medical history.

Good luck.
Thank you for your response. I do realize the causes of sleepiness are very complicated and varied. I don fall asleep quickly sometimes. (Not everyone with narcolepsy suddenly falls asleep) but I also an sleepy a lot. My sleep is a mess as well. Waking up a ton, and abnormal sleep fragmentation is common with Narcolepsy. I have never seen and studies about sleep structure of people with PTSD. I have had LOTS of testing to rule out other things. And I am seeing a doctor, so no worries there. As for my symptoms, I do experience flash backs, and dissociation, though not as severely as before I started narcolepsy treatment. I do experience hallucinations, but they are associated with sleep. Which all leads me to my confusion, because it seems like I COULD have both, but it's seems impossible to know.

Treating the sleepiness has made PTSD symptoms MUCH more manageable, but u realize now, I should have continued with therapy. It was just such a drastic change I thought I was ok! I don't expect anyone to diagnose me or tell me either way. I'm more just wondering if there are others put there that have been In my shoes.
I seem to have a good therapist, he does not hint at touching the subject of talking to a doctor about changing meds even though they are strong and potentially addicting ones. (Which is good because they have given me my life back and I would drop him. lol) He does recognize that there is at least a small potential that this is all PTSD and that with healing my "narcolepsy" symptoms may get better. Which would be amazing.
I had a severe case of catatonia. I would go catatonic for days at a time at the beginning of my PTSD diagnosis and as time and healing progressed, I would go catatonic for shorter periods of time but many times a day. The catatonia was brought on by triggers. I would literally fall where I stood at the beginning and as things progressed it changed flavours, allowing me time to actually sit before I fell.

I am not saying you have catatonia, I just wanted to chime in because many of my doctors originally thought I had narcolepsy. I notice the title in your posting says 'Narcolepsy Type PTSD Symptoms', but in your post you say you were diagnosed with narcolepsy. Are you wondering if PTSD and dissociation can 'look' like narcolepsy? I am going to say, based on my experience that yes, they can.
I've been going back to therapy again and now I have no clue if I have PTSD or Narcolepsy.
Do you not have a diagnosis for both?
Many of the symptoms can overlap, it's so hard to tell!!!
PTSD has its own very unique diagnostic criteria apart from narcolepsy but you don't really mention your PTSD symptoms.
Shimmerz, I don't know how to quote things, so I will just answer them as a whole.
Yes, I have been diagnosed with both PTSD and Narcolepsy, and am being treated for both currently. The problem is, chronic sleep depravation can mimic the the results needed for a narcolepsy diagnosis.
I'm guessing based on your comment about catatonia, that you may not have a clear definition of what Narcolepsy is. Our culture has actually skewed the belief about narcolepsy. Most think it means randomly falls asleep while standing up and the person falls down. That is not the case. That is a specific symptom called cataplexy Those who do have that symptom (not all people with narcolepsy have cataplexy) don't fall asleep. Their brain gets confused and partially paralyses them like what happens when we are in REM sleep to keep from acting out our dreams. This causes them to fall down, or some experience more mild cataplexy. Those with cataplexy are awake and aware of whats going on. Sometimes people can transition into a sleep episode after cataplexy though. The other symptoms of narcolepsy are excessive daytime sleepiness (this is the only required one), hallucinations when falling or waking up from sleep, sleep paralysis, vivid dreams and fragmented sleep. Many with narcolepsy also have insomnia. All of the issues with sleep depravation, as you can imagine can cause a lot of psychiatric symptoms or at least can exacerbate them.

I don't even know where to begin on the PTSD symptoms. That's kind of a long list. I will say that the severe dissociation I experienced did improve after starting narcolepsy treatment, but it's not completely gone. Believe it or not, PTSD and narcolepsy can overlap quite a bit, especially if there is a traumatic backround. And because so few doctors know a lot about narcolepsy, it would be very difficult to find a doctor that can know the differences in detail to determine what does and doesn't fit. The world of sleep medicine and psychiatry has not mixed as well as It should. Hopefully that will soon change though!
I'm getting tested for narcolepsy (did the sleep test last week). There is a lot of overlap so feel free to PM me!
I'm posting here to see if anyone else may have knowledge or insight into this. I was diagnosed severa...

I have PTSD AND Narcolepsy (N). They both suck. My PTSD is from my childhood and work. My N is genetic. In order to know for sure you have N, get a sleep study done (polysomnography/PSG) with a following day nap test (Multiple Sleep Latency Test/MSLT). the PSG will rule out sleep apnea, the MSLT will determine if you have N. I do not believe the two, (PTSD and N) tie together. With N, many people suffer from depression, which ties with PTSD. Just my two cents :)
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