I have a concern about some of the information being circulated by the media. In almost all cases, narcolepsy is defined as subjecting people to "sudden, uncontrollable sleep attacks." In casual surveys, however, it appears that this is absolutely NOT always the case; that is, most of us experience Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) as pervasive and often overwhelming, but we are aware of being sleepy. To complicate matters, in many cases (including the recent YouTube video that went viral, in which a young woman films herself having a full-body cataplexy fall while trying to teach a dance session) cataplexy is misinterpreted as a "sleep attack" or "passing out" when in general, a person having cataplexy remains awake and alert.
The reason for my concern is that if doctors believe narcolepsy is defined by a person having 'sleep attacks,' they will miss the diagnosis of narcolepsy if a person is subject only to EDS. The same for the general public; if a person only experiences EDS and not 'sleep attacks,' they may neglect to mention this to their physician.
A recent survey showed an AVERAGE time between onset of symptoms and correct diagnosis of narcolepsy of 14 YEARS. In the interest of helping decrease the time to diagnosis and therefore provide access to safe and effective treatments, in many cases greatly increasing quality of life, I would like to know whether you experience actual 'sleep attacks' that come on without warning! If everyone does, I'll shut up about it. ;-) If not, I'll keep trying to correct public perception! :-)