Holistic Narcolepsy Remedies: Part 2
The word holistic is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.” Rather than treating symptoms of disease, holistic medicine seeks to treat the person in totality, “taking into account mental and social factors.”1
As mentioned in Part 1 of this article, holistic remedies have been helpful in regulating my narcolepsy condition. Even just last year, I considered my narcolepsy to be horribly uncontrolled. I’d been trying different Western treatments for 3 years. None of them could get me awake enough even to drive safely or adequately care for my hygiene.
I have found that experimenting with holistic remedies provides a sense of control over my condition that I wouldn’t otherwise have. Holistic therapies for narcolepsy can include:
A 2018 study of chronic disease care in South Africa found a need for mental health counseling and highlighted the importance of investing in this service.2 In other words, therapy is good for you, especially if you suffer from a chronic illness such as narcolepsy.
Narcolepsy is much more than a disease. It is a lifestyle. It can affect every facet of a persons’ life. I can speak for myself in saying that regular therapy sessions have been an invaluable part of my treatment plan while navigating this new world of mine.
Chronically ill individuals in this study were found to benefit from certain mental health priority areas that include “needs related to motivation for changing unhealthy behaviors, resolution of life problems and stressors, management of negative emotions, and acceptance of their chronic illness.”2
Taking care of my mental health
In my own experiences with therapy, I have found all of these treatment areas to be helpful. As a person with narcolepsy, I am more likely to experience psychiatric comorbidities in addition to my sleep disorder.3
I personally suffer from severe depression and anxiety. I have found that in order to feel my best physically, I must be taking care of myself mentally.
I’ve previously dedicated an entire article on the utilization of positive affirmations to deal with narcolepsy symptoms. When my narcolepsy symptoms first onset in college, I was confused and utterly devastated. I found myself getting caught in negative thinking cycles that made my life all that much harder to deal with.
I have faint memories of biking to campus while repeating the words “I hate myself” over and over. I really did hate myself for my symptoms, too. I’ve tried to replace these unhelpful negative thinking patterns by integrating positive affirmations into my life. By doing so, I have found that life is much more manageable. It is a lot easier to fight against your body and circumstances when you aren’t fighting against your mind.
What kind of holistic treatments do you use?
Do any of your family and/or friends also have narcolepsy?