This Woman with Narcolepsy Made a Decision That’s Freaking Me Out

Oh here’s an article that really grabbed my FREAKING attention about a 20-something Chinese woman who is living with narcolepsy.

She has chosen not to take medications for her narcolepsy because she feels she can “control it” by following a healthier lifestyle, including getting nine hours of sleep a day—or night.

Uh… this is alarming to me—not that I’m promoting Xyrem to help manage the symptoms of narcolepsy and associated cataplexy. Clearly I am not. I am no drug pusher.

But it scares me that a well-educated woman is avoiding taking treatment when (based on the information available). she appears to have severe narcolepsy. She’s fallen asleep on the job, at her desk, while walking, and DRIVING. ?!

I’m not sure I understand… Source:

All we know is that for a while she was apparently a student studying in the United States and went back to living in China. Maybe her student visa expired? Or, maybe it was because her narcolepsy prevented her from completing her studies like it could easily to do anyone whose narcolepsy isn’t controlled.

It really yanks my chain that too many people (including the occasional patient) don’t realize the seriousness of narcolepsy.

Only until very recently has narcolepsy hit social media in China. At least, that’s what we’ve been told, given their closed press to the Western world. It’s not necessarily a well-known illness here, affecting about 200,000 Americans and just under 3 million across the globe. So I feel safe saying narcolepsy might be a hush-hush condition in China, a place where millions of people believe that epilepsy is so horrific, they don’t even have a name for it.

I’m not condemning a healthy lifestyle. I applaud Traditional Chinese Medicine. It can help a host of conditions! But with severe cases of narcolepsy, it’s time to call in the big boys. Take the medicine. Sadly, I don’t think there are effective Western medicines for narcolepsy in China. Do you?

Alisha Stone

Alisha Stone

Alisha Stone has a BA in psychology and is dedicated to improving the lives of others living with chronic illnesses.

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