Sleeping Beauty Syndrome - What is this disease?
All of us from childhood remember a beautiful fairy tale about a princess who slept for a hundred years in her castle until the kiss of the beautiful prince brought her back to life. But today we remembered it not accidentally. The fact is that modern psychology and psychiatry are also faced with this phenomenon, when a person is plunged into deep sleep, and it is practically impossible to get him out of this state. It received the beautiful name of the sleeping beauty syndrome, although such a life is little like a fairy tale.
With the wild pace of life, many of us dream of sleeping at least a few extra minutes, torn between domestic chores and work. It would seem that it would be very cool to spend the whole day in bed. And someone in anticipation of the holiday wants to not get out from under the blanket, except to eat. However, there are people in the world who spend their entire lives in the arms of Morpheus. At the same time, the desire to prolong the time of their rest causes horror in them, but they can not do anything.
Sleeping Beauty Syndrome
This is a rare disorder that experts put on a par with schizophrenia. Develop this ailment suddenly, a person can be perfectly healthy, and then fall into a "hibernation", in the truest sense of the word. Native people usually come in complete confusion, because they do not know how to help him return to normal life. Doctors make a helpless gesture, saying that all the processes in the body are proceeding normally, and what is the cause of such an anomaly, no one in the modern world knows.
The history of
The syndrome of a sleeping beauty was first described in 1786.About him spoke French doctor Edmie Pierre Chavo. During the practice he encountered an inexplicable phenomenon when patients fell asleep for 10-14 days, then returned to normal life, but soon everything was repeated. In this case, the doctor only noted the presence of a strange anomaly, and suggested that the cause may be a violation of the brain.
For a long time, medicine and psychiatry had little to say about these cases. This is also due to the fact that such patients are extremely rare. For a lifetime, a practitioner may not have a single such patient. Already in 1925, Willy Klein described in detail a series of cases when a person was diagnosed with a sleeping beauty syndrome, which significantly increased the coin box of world medical practice. Ten years later, Max Levin added a few cases, and he also revealed a relationship with eating disorders. It was thanks to these two people that the official name of this ailment appeared. Now in the official reference books it is called Sleeping Beauty Syndrome or Klein-Levin Syndrome.
How the disease is manifested
This property is characteristic of any neurological disorder. Depending on the state of the nervous system, age, sex and other characteristics of a person, it can manifest itself in different ways. The syndrome of a sleeping beauty was no exception. What is this disease, and how it manifests itself, we will now talk in more detail. Usually, until adolescence, the child is no different from peers. He normally visits school, gets up in the morning and finds it difficult to fit in the evening. The first signs fall on the age of 13 to 19 years. Parents are, to put it mildly, shocked when a loved one falls asleep for a few weeks. The examination in the clinic leads to the diagnosis: sleeping beauty syndrome. Symptoms that occur in all patients are "hibernation", which occurs suddenly, and with which a person can not fight, and also an increased appetite.
Patients sleep 18 or more hours a day. They can sometimes not wake up and for a few days. When relatives try to wake up to feed and bring to the toilet. However, it is not so easy to do, the patients become very aggressive. But that's not all. The sleeping beauty syndrome is a complex of symptoms. In patients, all cognitive and perceptual processes are disrupted. They do not understand where they are and what happens to them. Patients even in periods of wake are as if in a fog, the speech is disjointed, everything happening is quickly erased from memory, as if it were in a dream. Patients can not attend school or take care of themselves.
In addition to the fact that a person spends a lot of time in a dream, he is very different from himself and in those moments when he is being awakened. Native and treating doctors note that as people are kind and flexible, during the period of "hibernation" they change beyond recognition. Awakened, they are very sensitive to noise and light, complain that everything around is not in "focus", too fuzzy. They can fall asleep at the table and in the toilet, just on the floor, so that a person does not have exhaustion, they will have to feed him very quickly.
At the same time, waking up from sleep, they on the contrary, show all the signs of bulimia. In 75% of cases, they are voracious without a sense of saturation. That is, metabolic processes suffer, then the organism is completely deprived of food, then it begins to act without any measure.
In most cases, the syndrome of a sleeping beauty, whose treatment is not currently possible, is found most often only in men. However, there are cases in the world where young girls also suffered. They all violate the usual rhythm of life. During the period of "dormancy" they miss classes, control, important meetings, which is reflected in everyday life quite strongly. In men, as compensation, hypersexual behavior is formed, and women are more prone to depressive occurrences.
Duration of the disease
This is a chronic ailment, the treatment of which is not. Episodes can occur every 3-6 months. They last for 2-3 days or more. The maximum was fixed in six weeks. In between, the person looks quite healthy. In addition to the violations described above, he is no different from his peers. However, periodic falling out of real life has a strong effect. Such people lag behind in development, can not fully work. When a patient awakens after an attack, he does not recognize anyone, does not understand anything. This continues until its completion. Usually relatives with time already begin to notice approach of an attack. The patient becomes more aggressive and begins to eat a lot, as if he is reserved for the period of hibernation.
statistics There are 1000 patients with this diagnosis in the world today. Of these, 70% are men. Medicine can not help them at all, so the family has to carry around the clock, leave the job and forget about normal, normal life. It should be noted that in most cases the symptoms gradually soften, becoming less pronounced. If the first attack can last more than 10 days, the subsequent ones are usually shorter. The period of remission between them is increasing, however, bulimia can quite cause a set of excess weight.
Psychology and Psychotherapy
Both the patient and his relatives need professional help. The syndrome of a sleeping beauty in psychology is studied very deeply, because all its manifestations need correction. Many experts agree that, the cause of the disease is a disorder of the subcortical centers of the hypothalamus, which regulate hunger and thirst, sleep and sexual desire. At the same time during an attack with a person, no therapy can be carried out. The only thing that psychotherapists and psychiatrists agree with is that lithium helps to improve the condition, at a dosage of 600-1000 mg per day. After about three weeks, the patient's condition improves so much that further work can be done.
Even today, we do not know much about the sleeping beauty syndrome. What kind of illness, doctors continue to study, and until they come to a consensus on her treatment. The choice of a corrective program depends on the patient's condition, its characteristics and complaints. Today, there are many effective techniques, including within the framework of psychoanalysis, symbolism or art therapy, which will help to correct sexual and nutritional behavior. Unfortunately, this work only with symptoms, the cause remains unknown. But it is not necessary to choose. Help is needed not only by the patients themselves, but also by their relatives. They will have to learn how to respond to the patient correctly, experience feelings of resentment for their own limited lives, and feelings of guilt for this offense. A competent psychologist will teach to respond competently to attacks of aggression before "hibernation" and after awakening. This work is extremely important for all members of the family, so do not neglect professional help.