Kleine-Levin Syndrome has multiple causes of bringing on an episode, which may include:
- Lack of sleep
- Excess stress
These are not the only triggers but the ones that I have experienced.
My very first episode was when I was 14 years old. I was going on a vacation to Jamaica with my family and it occurred while I was there. All I wanted to do was go up to the hotel room to sleep. I would be stubborn and act childish. My parents would almost have to force me to eat because all I wanted to do was sleep. I wouldn’t talk nor would want anything to do with the teenagers at the resort. I would have recurring hallucinations which made me become scared to talk. These hallucinations would be of a older man who told me that if I talked, he would kill my family and I. Once I was out of my episode, I had a difficult time remembering what happened during that trip. After that, my parents hoped that whatever happened to me, was done and over with.
Unfortunately that wasn’t the end. I would have an episode every 7 weeks which lasted for 7 days, for an entire year.
After that first year of having cyclical episodes, I went without an episode for 8 months.
My 12th episode happened a week before my cousins wedding but continued for another week after that. I was 17, it was summer and I enjoyed staying out late with my friends. At this point, I didn’t realize that lack of sleep caused an episode.
My 13th episode was during my grade 12 finals. I’ve always aimed to get high grades and maintain my honour roll status, which led to excess stress.
Another episode occurred 4 months after, only a week before my trip to California. This time the episode was caused from the flu. Thankfully, I was over it the day I left for California.
This happened from alcohol as well as lack of sleep. A group of friends went out to my best friend’s cabin and we had a fantastic time but didn’t end so great for me. The day after I drank for the second night, I landed myself in an episode that lasted for 2 weeks.
During my second semester of University, I landed myself in an episode, due to stress, which lasted another 2 weeks.
So far, my last episode was June 2016 and I’m hoping it really is my last.
To put it in perspective, I have lost approximately 5 months of my life within the 6 years of having Kleine-Levin Syndrome.