Not physically, just mentally, which isn't any better for Alanna Wong.
The 22-year-old, who is normally polite and well-kept, has a rare and uncontrollable sleep disorder that turns her into a foul-mouthed, argumentative baby.
We've written about other young women with the same problem before, but Alanna may be the most extreme case yet.
After sleeping for up to 22 hours day, she throws terrifying tantrums that are comparable to something you'd hear from a toddler. Not only does she scream and yell uncontrollably during episodes lasting days or MONTHS, but she can't communicate or read, as her mother explains:
"It's like she just reverts to being a little girl. She acts like she did when she was age five. She starts crying and gets so upset, thinking everyone hates her. I'll try to make her read a book with me to calm her, but she suddenly can't do it. It was so scary when she first got KLS - I thought she'd lost skills like reading and basic maths forever."
Perhaps the worst thing about KLS is its difficulty to diagnose, which often leaves sufferers in a world of uncertainty. Alanna began suffering from the disorder at just 10-year-old, but didn't get properly diagnosed until she 18, saying:
"At school I started having problems after I got ill. I'd go into episodes and fall asleep or shout something in class. I got bullied because of my behavior. Nobody knew what was wrong with me or why I started acting so strangely. Nobody, including myself, knew why it was happening. I'm shy so it was really embarrassing."
Having been improperly diagnosed with schyzophrenia at 15, getting the correct information was a huge relief, as the college student continued:
"To know what was causing everything was a huge relief. I was finally able to say to people what was wrong with me and explain that I wasn't just weird. It changed my life, and now I'm trying to rebuild. Teens and high school years are hard enough, but KLS makes it a million times worse."
Now that she knows what she has and how difficult it has made her life, she's trying to help others out while also pursuing an education in Hawaii.
Alanna runs KLSlife.com in an effort to raise awareness and help other families dealing with the same issues. She also speaks at conferences about the syndrome and is writing a book about her experience.
Do U know anybody who is affected by KLS? Tell us about your experience below!
[Image via WENN.]
Tags: alanna wong, kleine-levin syndrome, kls, schyzophrenia, sleep disorder, toddler