KLS symptoms can vary widely from patient to patient, making the illness difficult to diagnose and cope with. Not all KLS sufferers experience the same set of symptoms and a patients symptoms may change and evolve throughout the course of the illness. Episodes can range from mild to severe.
Some common KLS symptoms include:
- Apathy (lack of emotion)
- Childlike Behavior
- Cognitive Disturbances
- Derealization (dream-like feeling)
- Difficulty to interpret visual and auditory info
- Hyperphagia (over-eating)
- Hypersensitivity to light
- Hypersensitivity to noise
- Hypersomnolence (excessive sleep)
- Lethargy (lack of energy)
- Mood Disturbance
- Memory loss
- Repetitive Questions
Symptoms not often addressed:
- Blank Stare
- Body Aches
- Drink inappropriate things during episodes
- Eating is very abnormal; It is unselective
- Head Pain
- Excessive sweating
- Eye dilation
- Shaking Hands
- Swelling of body (especially the face)
- Voice change
KLS started out mild for me and then worsened. At this time, KLS is becoming lighter again. I don’t get every symptom with each episode but, I have experienced all of the mentioned symptoms during episodes. The dream like feeling and the memory loss are the most difficult symptoms for me. It is hard to function and not know if your experiences are really happening or if you are dreaming. The dream like feeling and child like behavior are common to nearly every episodic occurrence of mine while many of the other symptoms can come and go during the episodes.
Examples of symptomatic behaviors:
Asking repetitive questions: “Am I ever going to get better?”
Regression: Wanting to sleep in parent’s bed; childlike behavior; young voice; holding stuffed animal.
Memory Loss: Not knowing what day it is when waking up from an episode; Not remembering doing something or saying something.
Anxieties/Fears: During episodes feeling as if someone is going to break into the house or a crime is going to be committed; having nightmarish thoughts; wondering if I am dead or alive. After episode ends, these psychological and emotional symptoms of the disorder are not present.
Head Pain or Headache: The head pain is not a classical migraine, but it is quite severe and causes me to vomit at times. It is a difficult pain to describe.
KLS Patients need reassurance that the episode will end and they will get better.