Living with Narcolepsy
- Jimmy Kimmel, 54, is known for his upbeat personality and razor-sharp wit, but many people don’t know that he suffers from narcolepsy, a chronic disorder characterized by sudden attacks of sleep.
- The Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel host has shared that he has fallen asleep at work and even more troubling, behind the wheel while driving.
- No matter what you’re going through, it’s important to take care of yourself. Getting help from a mental health professional can help you cope if you are struggling from the repercussions of a disease or disorder.
“Truth be told, I’d rather have narcolepsy than not have it,” Kimmel told Esquire when he first joked about the perks of having the neurological disorder. “When I get on a flight to Vegas, I’ll fall asleep before the plane takes off and wake up after it’s landed. I’m always very close to sleep.”Read More
On a much more serious note, the TV host has shared that he once got pulled over by police after falling asleep at the wheel, and luckily no one got hurt.
The husband and father of four has said that he has been prescribed medication in the past, but his current status is unclear. Many people have more severe cases that cause loss of muscle control, but Kimme has expressed that he thankfully does not suffer from an extreme case.
What is Narcolepsy?
According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, there is “increasing evidence” that narcolepsy is actually an autoimmune disorder.
“Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue or cells,” the site explains. In narcolepsy, the immune system destroys certain brain cells that produce a peptide called hypocretin.”
Narcolepsy is often prevalent in patients with multiple sclerosis, or MS, which is a degenerative disease affecting the brain and spinal cord.
Living with a chronic condition can be anywhere from frustrating to downright scary, especially If you never know when symptoms are going to strike. Keeping your head and body on the healthier side can hopefully help some of those moderate to severe side effects. No matter what you’re going through, it’s important to take care of yourself. Getting help from a mental health professional outside of your primary care doctor can help you cope if you are struggling from the repercussions of a disease or disorder.
Mental Health: The Basics
The term mental health refers to both our emotional and psychological well-being. Our mental health can affect how we think, feel, and behave.
Certain triggers like stress, traumatic events, or change in your physical health can affect mental health. It’s really important to keep tabs on your mental health and, if necessary, seek treatment. This doesn’t necessarily mean traditional therapy because while it may be really helpful (even life-changing) for some, that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone.
Problems with mood and overall mental well-being can be attributed to several factors. For some people it’s genetic, while others may be experiencing a response to some sort of stressor or past trauma.
Dr. Samantha Boardman, a New York-based psychologist, explains how to be “realistically optimistic” when learning to cope with mental health struggles.
In order to keep your mental health in check, it’s important to be aware of signs — which can be subtle — that there is something affecting your mind. These signs include:
- A change in eating or sleeping habits
- Losing interest in people or usual activities
- Experiencing little or no energy
- Numb and/or hopeless feelings
- Turning to drinking or drugs more than usual
- Non-typical angry, upset, or on-edge feelings
- Yelling/fighting with loved ones
- Experiencing mood swings
- Intrusive thoughts
- Trouble getting through daily tasks
These symptoms can be wide-ranging and vary a great deal from person to person. Everyone experiences grief differently, for example. However, if you are feeling unusually sad, on-edge, or like you’re no longer interested in activities you used to love, know that there are many treatment options available and many different healthy ways to help you cope.