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Woman Who Suffers From Rare Disorder Collapses When She Sees Attractive People

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Woman Who Suffers From Rare Disorder Collapses When She Sees Attractive People

A woman who suffers from a rare brain disorder known as cataplexy has to constantly avoid eye contact with anyone she finds attractive.

Kirsty Brown, 32, from Cheshire, has around five cataplexy attacks per day, triggered by any strong emotion, which can lead to sudden muscle paralysis.

The brain condition is most commonly associated with sleep disorder, narcolepsy, and can also be triggered by anger, laughter, fear and loud noises.

Kirsty has to constantly avoid eye contact with anyone she finds attractive (Credit: Caters News)
Kirsty has to constantly avoid eye contact with anyone she finds attractive (Credit: Caters News)
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Mum-of-three Kirsty said: "It's so embarrassing. I was out shopping once and I saw someone that looked alright, and my legs just went and I had to cling onto my cousin for support.

"If I see someone attractive, my legs just go so I try not to put myself in situations where that could happen, or I try to keep my eyes down."

Sometimes, Kirsty can have up to 50 attacks in one day, meaning she can't leave the house.

She said: "Considering it's a sleep disorder, we don't sleep much and when we do it isn't a deep sleep so if I'm really tired, I have more attacks than usual.

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"I can have an attack at the top of a flight of stairs if they're steep because I don't like heights. I'm trying to move to a new house that doesn't have stairs or where I can have a stairlift.

Sometimes, Kirsty can have up to 50 attacks in one day (Credit: Caters News)
Sometimes, Kirsty can have up to 50 attacks in one day (Credit: Caters News)

"Anger and laughter trigger it and me and my sisters are either arguing or making each other laugh because they're the funniest people I know.

"I think they know what they're doing sometimes, if they know I won't hurt myself then they'll make me laugh.

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"Even if I just find myself funny, I can have an attack. It's any strong emotion or loud noises like beeping cars or shouting.

"There's been times when I've been arguing, and I've collapsed which does put an end to the argument. I'm due to have surgery on my back because I hurt it when I had an attack."

While Kirsty was born with the cataplexy gene, it was brought on early by a head injury when she was aged nine (Credit: Caters News)
While Kirsty was born with the cataplexy gene, it was brought on early by a head injury when she was aged nine (Credit: Caters News)

While Kirsty was born with the cataplexy gene, it was brought on early by a head injury when she was aged nine.

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She said: "Me and some friends were throwing stones into a tree to get conkers and one hit me on the head.

"I would have suffered with cataplexy eventually because of the gene anyway. It has been a struggle because I brought my kids up on my own and it's hard to find a job when you need to explain that you could collapse at any point.

"When I have an attack, I don't feel anything go through my body, it's like a short circuit from the brain to the muscle is interrupted and I just lose control over my legs, but the top half of my body does feel strong."

Featured Image Credit: Caters News

Topics: Life News, Health

Lucy Devine
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