i am a sixteen year old girl, and i think i may be suffering from narcolepsy. ive been struggling with sleep issues for around two or three years. i frequently but inconsistently get sleep paralysis, and i can never seem to keep myself awake. i doze off in restaurants, can almost never make it through a car ride awake (when im not driving), and struggle to stay awake in class. the school part is the most severe-- i often feel like i have chunks missing out of my memory from some classes, and i just assume that ive fallen asleep? sometimes it just feels like my brain shuts off for a few seconds, and though my grades arent affected because i work really hard to keep them up, it makes learning new concepts really hard as im constantly missing notes. in math the other day i sat down and immediately lapsed into a weird state where i was hallucinating pom poms or cotton balls stuck all over my desk, and sooo many times when im trying to read i fall into this trance where i try really hard to move the page and i see my hand turning the page, but really im not doing anything. i also end up hallucinating words on the page that arent there...like for example i could be supposed to be reading a chapter about a historical figure for history, but when i try to read i fall asleep (i guess?) and instead of seeing whats actually there, i see a jumbled, incoherent passage that basically displays my thoughts and ideas. also, my sleep paralysis attacks are frequent, severe, and involve hallucinations of all types when waking up. when i get home after school, i often nap for hours. i sleep for around 10 hours on the weekends, but still end up having to nap. i also take naps at the end of class, in homeroom, in lunch, and basically wherever i can. i find that i fall asleep really REALLY quick- i can set an alarm for five minutes and be out within the first.
to be fair, i often get five or fewer hours of sleep on the weekdays because of my intense school workload, and also i can't stay awake in the afternoon, leaving me to do all my schoolwork late at night. i also dont eat very well. ive never fallen asleep mid sentence or experienced cataplexy or anything decisive like that. ive been wanting to see a sleep specialist and discuss the possibilities of narcolepsy for a while, but i dont know where to start, and i dont know if im overreacting and all of this is just caused by sleep deprivation...ive also got an anxiety disorder that my parents blame the sleep paralysis on, and ive got depression and stuff that they dont really know about. im scared to make them take me to a doctor to just find out that its a problem with my habits not me actually suffering from a disorder, but at the same time im struggling very much. what do you think?