Going head over heels is not an expression for a mother of two from Northwich, Cheshire, United Kingdom. 32-year-old Kirsty Brown runs the real risk of collapsing when she sees someone, she finds attractive. This bizarre conundrum is caused by a medical condition known as cataplexy. Any strong emotion renders her paralyzed for a short span of time putting her at risk of injurious falls.

When out in public, Brown has to be cautious as at any moment she could have a cataplexy attack. The attacks triggered by any strong emotion paralyze muscles for a few moments. For some people with the condition, the reaction can be as minor as a facial twitch.

However, in Brown’s case, it causes her to lose control of her body, allowing her to collapse. The length of a cataplexic attack can be as short as a few minutes or as long as 30 minutes. The narcolepsy-associated disorder renders people immobile while remaining conscious.

Seventy-five percent of people with narcolepsy may have cataplexic episodes, the Daily Mail reported. Brown was born with the narcolepsy gene. Her condition did not surface till she suffered a head injury when she was nine-years-old. She and a few friends were throwing stones at a tree when a stone hit her on the head causing the condition to surface. She believes that even without the head injury she would have eventually become cataplectic.

Brown recalls a time when she was out shopping and she nearly collapsed after seeing an attractive man. She narrated how she had to cling to her cousin to prevent herself from falling. She says that out in public, she tries to not look at people’s faces as it may trigger an attack.

It is not only the sight of attractive people that may trigger her. Any strong emotion like anger, laughter, joy or sorrow can render her paralyzed.

Word of Buzz reported that the single mother is trying to find a home without stairs. She is scared of injuring herself by falling down the stairs in case of an untimely attack. Brown says that finding a job has not been easy for her as employers are worried about her condition.

face sleeper
Avoid sleeping on your face. new vave/Shutterstock

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