Anita Wainwright, a mother of four from Birmingham, suffers from a rare medical condition, cataplexy, which causes her to have seizure and collapse every time she has heightened emotions.
Forty-five-year-old Anita Wainwright collapses and falls to the floor at any given time when she experiences strong emotions like surprise, anger, sorrow, joy and orgasm during sexual intercourse. Wainwright first experienced cataplexy when she was giggling with her sister in the middle of the road and fell down.
Two years ago, Wainwright collapsed while having sex, because of which she prefers not to have any partner. Speaking about her experience while making love, Wainwright was quoted by Daily Mail as saying, "We were having sex and I was having an orgasm when I collapsed. It was the cataplexy. He was understanding but I know not all men would be. It was really embarrassing the first time ... and it kept happening. I've not been with anyone since."
Anita Wainwright has to stay away from her favorite comedy shows and tragic films. She also avoids venturing out alone as she fears that might collapse.
Doctors were initially of the opinion that her collapses were due to joint problems. However, a series of tests conducted on her brain revealed her condition. It was only this year that Anita Wainwright was diagnosed with cataplexy, a form of narcolepsy which causes the muscles to weaken and lose control when triggered by strong emotions.
Cataplexy affects 70 per cent of people with narcolepsy, and is "caused by an autoimmune destruction of the neurotransmitter hypocretin, which regulates arousal and wakefulness."
The attack varies from a certain weakness in the knee to falling completely on the floor, and mostly lasts for not more than a few seconds or minutes. However, few patients have complained of repeated attacks over a period of half an hour.
However severe the attack might be, the person is conscious and completely aware of what's happening. That person's hearing too is unimpaired. People with cataplexy usually have problem with eyesight, may have double vision and could find it difficult to focus. Their speech too is often slurred.
Wainright has four children - Dale, 23, twins Laura and Leah, 21, and Dean 20.