A Modern Sufferer of Catalepsy (posted on an Internet Newsgroup). Follow-Up posted by Cerys on 3:11:5 11/10/97.


I am 23 and suffer from catalepsy. I find that I am likely to have an attack when I am stressed in life or due to lack of sleep over several days. The attacks generally take place at the beginning or the end of a sleep cycle with paralysis of the body, breathing slowed down to an abnormally low rate and I am completely conscious normally during these episodes. Occasionally I have had hallucinations whilst under one of these attacks, namely interpreting a outside noise into my hallucination, always unable to move but surrounded by people in different scenarios. I have had attacks in public, which never last long providing somebody physically shakes me or moves me...they leave me feeling exhausted and unable to walk for a while afterwards. The feeling of trying to move whilst under these attacks is frightening, especially if you are on your own, if no one can bring you out of this attack, you may lay for hours, I personally find that going to sleep is the only way out, waking some hours later and hopefully being able to move. I don't know what the 'official 'description for any of these 'episodes' are but I refer to it as catalepsy, and yes, trying to find a doctor who has heard of it, let alone agrees with you, is hard work!!!!!!

The Historic Case of Sister Teresa of Avila

Teresa was born March 28, 1515 in Avila. When she was 16, she was sent to an Augustinian convent where she stayed for five years before entering the Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation. She became ill with catalepsy, and was partially paralyzed for several years. In 1555 she was "re-awakened" and saw images of Jesus Christ, angels and demons. She then reformed and strengthened her religious ways. Teresa founded the first community for reformed Disclaced Carmelite nuns. After this community was approved, she was encouraged to develop similar houses for men. With the help of John of the Cross, 30 new foundations for men and women were developed. The Disclaced Carmelites received recognition as an independent monastic body two years before Teresa's death in 1582. Teresa wrote two autobiographies and two books offering advice to her nuns. In 1970, she became the first woman to be named Doctor of the Church.

Andrea Parra

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Category: Visions Examined
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