No, narcolepsy is not a type of epilepsy that comes from narcotics. In fact, it is neither a disease related to narcotic use, nor a form of epilepsy. Narco in this case comes from a latinized form of the Greek word for stupor or numbness. And yes, someone with narcolepsy is a narcoleptic.
Narcolepsy is actually quite a serious chronic sleep disorder. Basically, sleep can sneak up and attack you during the day – for example, you may be extremely drowsy during the day, you may end up with muscle weakness/slurred speech/loss of muscle control, and you may even experience hallucinations.
Narcolepsy is related to other sleep disorders, so patients may have two or three disorders together.
As a result of sleep problems, many with narcolepsy also gain weight, and have sexual issues (such as a low sex drive, or even extreme sleepiness during sex.
We’re not sure how narcolepsy is related to migraine (although we’ve seen the link before), but a new study seems to show a strong link. Of course, migraine and sleep problems often go together. And fatigue and other symptoms of narcolepsy often accompany migraine, though usually in a different form.
This particular study focused on narcolepsy in children. The researchers found that migraine was indeed a risk factor for narcolepsy in children (for more, read Migraine and risk of narcolepsy in children: A nationwide longitudinal study).
It’s important to try to get to the root of the problem in children. Migraine, narcolepsy, and depression can all be related. And sometimes treating one can help with the other.
Read more a summary of narcolepsy from the Mayo Clinic. If you think that you may suffer from narcolepsy and migraine, this personal story may help you – Narcolepsy and Chronic Migraine. We would love to hear your comments if you’ve struggled with this chronic disorder.