It should be kept in mind that public awareness and understanding of narcolepsy is still very limited.
Decades ago many of the patients with narcolepsy seen at the Stanford Sleep Disorder Centre in the USA have become practically disabled by the age of forty. This is the tragic result of a complex problem which involves motivation, employment inflexibility of work requirements, social attitudes, the individual's natural ageing process and the long-term drug effects. The challenge for the physician of the patient with narcolepsy is to help him or her to achieve maximum alertness and participation in society.
|Impact of Narcolepsy on Employment
|Reduced your job performance?
|Prevented a promotion?
|Decreased your earning capacity?
|Led to worry or the threat of losing your job?
|Led to a dismissal?
(Adapted from Narcolepsy Eds: Guilleminault C et al, New York:Spectrum Publications, 1976)
Hopefully, this situation is much improved in the 21st century.
A key factor in achieving success in your employment is ensuring that your employer is fully informed about your condition. Once your employer knows about this it should be much easier to develop a napping strategy and to talk about mutually beneficial working hours. With developments is therapy and with increased knowledge of the condition there is no reason why most people with narcolepsy cannot have a satisfying and successful career.