In romantic fiction or in real-life flirting ‘you make me swoon’ phrase is used to elaborate on how attractive the other person is. While this is a metaphor in most cases, but for one unfortunate woman in England, she literally swoons and collapses upon making eye contact with an attractive person of the opposite gender. The response is triggered by a rare brain disorder. As a result, she avoids making eye contact with men in general because one never knows who she might find attractive and subsequently collapse on the spot.
Kirsty Brown is afflicted with cataplexy. The disorder induces a sudden muscle paralysis upon specific triggers and stimuli like strong emotion such as anger, laughter and fear. The 32-year-old hails from Northwich, Cheshire also has two children.
“’It’s so embarrassing. I was out shopping once and I saw someone that looked alright, and my legs just went weak and I had to cling onto my cousin for support,” she told Daily Mail.
Usually, this condition is associated with another disorder called narcolepsy. This unusual sleep disorder causes a person to fall asleep anytime, standing or talking or driving, and attacks last for about two minutes. This is also a kind of sleep disorder. Kirsty explains that she is always tired; these mini collapses make her ever more tired and her sleep is never deep enough to properly rest and refresh.
To keep herself safe in public, she keeps her head down all the time lest she hurt herself every time her “knees goes weak.”
“If I see someone attractive, my legs just go so I try not to put myself in situations where that could happen, or I try to keep my eyes down for my own safety,” she added. Kirsty can have around five cataplexy attacks per day on an average. However, on really bad days, she can have up to 50, making her housebound.
It’s not just an attraction that can make her faint, other emotions, like fear, can also trigger her. As she despises height, being on top of a steep staircase could also have the same effect.