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March 1982

Narcolepsy-Cataplexy: II. Psychosocial Consequences and Associated Psychopathology

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry and the Sleep Research and Treatment Center (Drs A. Kales, Soldatos, Bixler, Cadieux, Verrechio, and J. D. Kales), The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey; and the Department of Psychiatry (Dr Caldwell), UCLA Center for the Health Sciences.

Arch Neurol. 1982;39(3):169-171. doi:10.1001/archneur.1982.00510150039009

• The emotional and psychosocial correlates of narcolepsy were evaluated in 50 adults who had a current complaint of sleep attacks and cataplexy. The psychosocial consequences of narcolepsy were extensive; most patients reported that the condition seriously affected their interpersonal, marital, work, and social relationships. Many of these consequences were caused by others' misunderstanding of the symptoms of the disorder, which resulted in negative attitudes toward the patients. The narcoleptic patients showed high levels of psychopathology compared with controls, but this difference is considered to be primarily a reaction to the disorder and its effects. The narcoleptic patients were overly concerned with emotional control, which appeared to lead to their generalized lack of expressiveness and tendency to build up emotional pressure. Based on these findings, recommendations are given for the psychosocial management of the narcoleptic patient.

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