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Narcolepsy and Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits

Do you fall asleep suddenly during the day? Do you experience intense, extreme daytime sleepiness? If so, you may have narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness. It is a disorder that causes a person to have difficulty staying awake. Narcolepsy can cause you to suddenly fall asleep during the day. Narcolepsy is sometimes mistaken for seizure disorder, lack of sleep, fainting, depression, simple lack of sleep, recreational drug use, laziness and other conditions that cause abnormal sleeping patterns. These “sleep attacks” happen even after getting enough sleep at night. In fact, you may find it difficult to stay awake for long periods of time no matter what the circumstances are. The unusual sleep pattern that you have with narcolepsy can affect your social life, schooling and work. Narcolepsy affects around 200,000 people in the United States, but only about 50,000 cases are diagnosed. It is as widespread as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis and more common than cystic fibrosis, but narcolepsy is not as well known. The cause of narcolepsy is not yet known. Recent research has shown that certain genetic conditions involving an area of Chromosome 6 known as the HLA complex may increase your risk for this condition. Another risk factor of narcolepsy may be an imbalance in certain brain chemicals that are important in regulating sleep. There is also the possibility that your immune system could be involved by mistakenly attacking certain cells in your brain. The primary effect caused by narcolepsy is excessive daytime sleepiness. It is an overwhelming drowsiness and uncontrollable need to sleep during the day. You may fall asleep without warning at any time, anywhere. Some other ways that you may be affected by narcolepsy are decreased alertness through the day; sleep paralysis, sudden loss of muscle tone (cataplexy), hallucinations, restless nighttime sleep and automatic behavior. Automatic behavior is where you continue to function (talking, moving things, etc.) during sleeping episodes, but awaken with no memory of doing these activities. You or a loved one may have narcolepsy. This disorder may be the reason why you or your loved one is unable to work. Narcolepsy may be the cause of your disability. If so, you or your loved one may need assistance. You may need financial help. You or your loved one may have applied for that help from the Social Security Administration by applying for Social Security disability benefits or disability benefits because of the disability caused by narcolepsy. Were you or your loved one denied. If you or your loved one plans on appealing the denial by the Social Security Administration, there is something extremely important that you need to know. People who are represented by a disability attorney like the one you will find at in this procedure are approved more often than those people who are not represented by a lawyer.