could i have narcolepsy?

Question: I’m a 17 year old girl with a sleep problem that has been interfering with my life. Could I have narcolepsy?

I’ve been missing school a lot because I’m always tired. No matter how much sleep I get, I’m always, constantly tired. Over the summer, I need about 12 hours of sleep a night to wake up naturally (which bothers me also). But now, some days when I get home from school, I go to sleep at 4:00 in the afternoon and don’t wake up until 6:00 the next morning.

I’ve seen a doctor, but he said it was all in my head. I don’t think it is. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I feel so tired and weak all the time.

On three separate occasions, I passed up shopping (that’s a big deal for me) to sleep on those weekends. I have no life because I need to spend all my free time sleeping! That’s not normal to me, and I don’t think its all in my head!

Worst, I think I’m starting to lose touch with reality. It’s getting harder to tell the difference between real events and dreams. Two weeks ago, after my mom struggled to get me out of bed, I was riding in her car past Win-Dixie, heading towards Subway, when I thought I saw the Effiel Tower straight ahead of us. It took me a couple of minutes to actually convince myself that the Eiffel Tower was in Paris, that we were not in Paris, that my small town in Southern Virginia did not have an Eiffel Tower, and that I was imagining it. This past week, I’ve been getting less and less sleep until this morning I could, literally, not move.

I’ve seen some other young people post about similar problems on here, but no one seems to have a solution. What’s wrong with me?!?!

- Natalie, Age 17, Single, Female, Martinsville, VA, USA

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