Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Insomnia 'til you're dead...

I'm sure there are, but at the moment I can't think of a worse affliction than Fatal familial insomnia.

I stumbled upon the rare, inherited disorder -- which, essentially, is a total, irreversable, and incurable form of insomnia, that you get to suffer from until you go insane and die -- while searching for information on the far more vanilla form of insomnia, because I'm considering a story or novel involving the topic, and was curious, specifically, about the world record for sleep deprivation (in the area of 10 to 12 days, for straight insomnia, which may or may not be long enough for what I have in mind for this story -- it'd probably only end up being 7-10 chapters, as I'd intend each chapter as one day of insomnia, until the spell finally broke, but then again, it's fiction, so I can push it longer if necessary).

But I digress. Back to this creepy, tragic way of dying.

Back to the Wiki entry on the disease:

The age of onset is variable, ranging from 30 to 60, with an average of 50. Death usually occurs between 7 to 36 months from onset. The presentation of the disease varies considerably from person to person, even among patients from within the same family.

Let's stop and think about that for a second.

Death usually occurs 7 to 36 MONTHS from onset. That's 7 to 36 MONTHS without sleep. That's 7 to 36 MONTHS of slowly losing your mind, becoming increasingly anxious, phobic, and paranoid.

If it wasn't for the fact that I already have a fairly good idea of where I want to go with this insomnia book -- and, unfortunately, it involves the character eventually falling asleep -- I would incredibly pumped about writing about this disorder. It's just so...terrifying.

I only hope I can sleep tonight, with this particular thing on my mind.

No comments: