The entire thing reminds me of that family with the genetic defect where once they hit a certain age, they simply stop being able to sleep at all. Fatal Familial Insomnia.
The disease has four stages, taking 7 to 18 months to run its course:
1. The patient suffers increasing insomnia, resulting in panic attacks and phobias. This stage lasts about four months.
2. Hallucinations and panic attacks become noticeable, continuing about five months.
3. Complete inability to sleep is followed by rapid loss of weight. This lasts about three months.
4. Dementia, turning unresponsive or mute over the course of six months. This is the final progression of the disease, and the patient will subsequently die.
Sounds like an absolute hell. Even going through a week or so of this at a time is hardly pleasant and at least I can sleep for short periods here and there. It just becomes hard to function like anything close to a normal person.
One pet peeve of mine about this whole situation, besides the entire situation itself, is that I feel like the pain is playing games with me. There are plenty of times where it dies down, exhaustion rises, and I'm sure that I can get to sleep. Like right now for instance. Just over the course of typing this I'm feeling like I can doze off and actually sleep. What I know by now though is that if I go to bed and actually try, odds are much better than not that pain will jolt me awake again. Lucky for me the early symptoms listed are panic attacks and phobias rather than paranoia.