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Bethany Hagen: The Real Narcolepsy

Disability in Kidlit

Bethany HagenBethany Hagen has been diagnosed with narcolepsy since she was sixteen. Her young adult novel, Landry Park, debuts 2.4.2014. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and two children. Find her on Twitter and Tumblr.


I was officially diagnosed with narcolepsy after I was sixteen, having done a full-night sleep study and a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT.)  When we’d first approached a doctor about my sleeping issues–insomnia, terrifying periods of sleep paralysis, falling asleep in class–my dad and I scoffed at the suggested diagnosis of narcolepsy.  We both figured that all of these problems stemmed from my insomnia and nothing else.  But in retrospect, the diagnosis fit like a glove.  Since I was a girl, I suffered from waking hallucinations, vivid dreams, a constant urge to nap, the ability to sleep twenty or more hours in a single day.  It turned out that I had (and still…

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