Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

Heather finds out why it's true that you shouldn't talk to strangers. Or look in mirrors, quite honestly.

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Burning Man
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Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

Post by Burning Man »

Narcolepsy appears to be a sleeping disorder, which has symptoms like falling asleep without warning.

We initially find Heather asleep in Happy Burger in the mall. It's not exactly a place where someone would just fall asleep under normal circumstances. Her symptom is made prevalent moments later in her phone call with Harry. In the Japanese subtitles, she does say she "must have accidentally fallen asleep again." So, Heather falling asleep anywhere is a repeating occurrence. Although slightly embarrassed when it happens, she has become accustomed to it. For some reason, this information is obscured in the English dialog as she says, "Yeah, I guess I was."

Side note: I vaguely recall an explanation that the script was altered because a teenage girl falling asleep at a mall would not be a normal occurrence. I forget if Jeremy Blaustein himself said this. I guess this is in contrast to grown-ass men, who you do find asleep at the mall...

It's not clear if Heather falls asleep like that for the rest of the game. Off-screen she could have fallen asleep in Douglas' car or at the motel, but these could easily be argued that it was fatigue. Her symptom is not brought up for the remainder of the game.

Fans have drawn parallels to Harry being asleep at Cafe5to2, but Harry had a legitimate reason: He was in a car accident prior. Damage to the head could cause narcolepsy-like symptoms. In Heather's case, however, the audience is not told why or when she started suffering from narcolepsy. Was there an accident during the "occult freak" incident, or...?

I find myself wondering if there was more to Harry's comment in his notebook. Specifically, this one:

---
I thought, 'She could be that young
woman who snatched away my
beloved daughter.' That led to
sadness, anger... there were times
when I put my hands around her
tiny little throat.

---

I would think blocking the oxygen flow to an infant would be critical and detrimental to her brain.

The exact cause of narcolepsy is unknown, but it has been linked to low levels of hypocretin produced from the part of the brain called hypothalamus. I'm no medical doctor, so you can look it up. According to my research, hypocretin seems to help regulate sleep patterns and wakefulness.
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Re: Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

Post by Jonipoon »

Teenagers are tired. I remember when I was Heather's age, I would occasionally doze off at times and I certainly don't have narcolepsy. I've also met people with narcolepsy and they are quite "cool" people when they're awake which doesn't seem to be Heather's case who's full of bursting emotions.

I've always interpreted Harry's comments as him slowly putting his hands around her throat, trembling and shaking but not actually taking a firm grip, before eventually walking away feeling utterly disturbed by his own actions. Since infants are so frail I would imagine that taking a firm grip around their throats would kill them, but I'm no expert.

On a sidenote, there's also evidence in the game that suggests that Heather drinks or has drank alcohol since she knows what a hangover feels like. Not saying that Heather is hangover at the start of the game, of course.
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Re: Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

Post by leftshoe18 »

> there's also evidence in the game that suggests that Heather drinks or has drank alcohol since she knows what a hangover feels like

Unrelated but there's also evidenced she has picked up and subsequently quit smoking already.
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Re: Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

Post by Burning Man »

Jonipoon wrote:Teenagers are tired. I remember when I was Heather's age, I would occasionally doze off at times and I certainly don't have narcolepsy.
You're telling me that falling asleep in a mall, at a burger joint is a common occurrence because "teenagers are tired?"

As long as Heather ordered something, I guess. Happy Burger should get a 5-star rating for its accommodations.

Regarding Harry, I believe Toyama was recently quoted as saying that Harry enjoyed killing the monsters in SH1. So, it seems Harry has some psychopathic tendencies. I'm not sure how that would translate to wanting to kill Heather as an infant.
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Re: Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

Post by Jonipoon »

>You're telling me that falling asleep in a mall, at a burger joint is a common occurrence because "teenagers are tired?"

I'm saying that suggesting it's because of narcolepsy might be stretching it, rather than saying that Heather simply felt particularly tired that day. Regardless of localization errors, accidentaly falling asleep "again" isn't some magic proof of narcolepsy. From the things I've been told, sleepiness and lack of sleep are both common things among teenagers and adolescents, and that's why it's so difficult to diagnose actual narcolepsy. Besides, waking up from a dream is like tradition for a Silent Hill game.

There is a common occurence among Silent Hill fans wanting to assign various disorders, traumas or mental problems to characters because they think that's what the series is about. Personally I feel this is another downside of SH2's massive popularity.
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Re: Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

Post by The Adversary »

I think the narcolepsy angle is a bit of a stretch, and is rather intended to be a reference to Harry also waking up in the original, since we're not supposed to know Heather is actually new-Cheryl, so the point is for it to be a subtle throwback.
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Re: Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

Post by Burning Man »

I'm fine with people thinking that narcolepsy is a stretch. Any theory without enough evidence would be a stretch.

Heather is a sensible, young woman, and even strong for her age. If she felt particularly tired, I feel the sensible thing to do would certainly not be to take a nap at the table. My point of bringing up something like narcolepsy is because that would explain why she has little control over her sleeping habits. Something like insomnia or always having nightmares to sleep at all may also be valid explanations.

The age groups I have seen passed out at a restaurant table were either toddlers or the elderly in wheelchairs. They're usually accompanied by more capable adults. This is understandable as these two age groups cannot control their sleeping habits. I have never seen teenagers taking naps at the table no matter how tired they might be. Teenagers may act carefree, but they're very conscious, too.

I probably wouldn't have had an issue if Heather was found asleep on a couch at the mall. Afterall, people do take naps on couches at the mall. A burger joint table just isn't a place to take a nap under normal circumstances.
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Re: Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

Post by leftshoe18 »

Her falling asleep could even be something more supernatural and have to do with Heather being pulled into the fog world at the beginning of the game.

I think the real world reason has already been tackled earlier in this thread - Heather woke up in a diner/restaurant to parallel Harry doing the same after the nightmare sequence at the beginning of SH1.
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Re: Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

Post by Jonipoon »

leftshoe18 wrote: 10 Nov 2022Her falling asleep could even be something more supernatural and have to do with Heather being pulled into the fog world at the beginning of the game.
Heather's town does not have any fog.
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Re: Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

Post by leftshoe18 »

By "fog world" I mean the version of the Otherworld that isn't all bloody and rusty and shit.

Also there's definitely fog in SH3.
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Re: Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

Post by Jonipoon »

Yeah, but there's no fog in Heather's town. The fog doesn't appear until the latter half in the game after Heather and Douglas arrives at the motel. Go check out the game again if you don't believe me.
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Re: Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

Post by leftshoe18 »

Okay that's my bad i misread it as "there's no fog in Heather's [version of the] town" instead of "there's no fog in Heather's town [that she lives in]".

But still I was just using "fog world" to refer to the layer of the Otherworld that isn't bloody and rusty.
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Re: Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

Post by NanayaShiki »

Yeah, "fog world" used to be a catch-all term for the state of Silent Hill between "normal town populated by people" and "the otherworld". SH1 refers to the otherworld as something other than the foggy state of the town so "fog world" was a decent fan name for it but at this point it's definitely not so simple anymore.
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Re: Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

Post by The Adversary »

I refer to it all, probably confusingly at time, as such:

Silent Hill — the town itself

Otherworld — the abandoned, dream-like, foggy town the characters typically experience at the onset of their journeys

[otherside] — the bloody, rusty, noisy, wretched, nightmare world we really want to get the fuck out of
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Re: Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

Post by NanayaShiki »

I knew you liked the term "otherside" but I never realized you used "otherworld" to refer to the foggy version of the town. To me, otherworld and otherside are both referring to the more pure nightmare version. They directly call the nightmare blood rust version "otherworld" in SH1.

But I personally think they're all kind of the same thing to an extent. Like the otherworld is just a deeper layer down the rabbit hole of whatever is actually happening when people are experiencing the events of the games.
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Re: Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

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Guess ya learn something new about me every other decade — ha

I’ve tried to be consistent throughout the years in that regard. For me, the Otherworld and [otherside] have always been different, and presented differently stylistically to differentiate between the two.

I think I started doing so because the developers, in some capacity, used similar terms, and so I wanted to adopt that for wholesomeness. But now I can’t remember off hand.
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Re: Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

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I never really liked the term "foggy world" or "fog world" and I stopped using the term after 2009 after I realized that there's no basis for it other than being a comfortable excuse to explain the shifting realities.

To me, there's only different layers of the Otherworld and one of them happens to have fog in it.
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Re: Heather may suffer from narcolepsy

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The [otherside] came to refer to the "nightmare" world because the official soundtrack has a track called "Silent Hill (Otherside)," so it was a stylistic choice in that regard.

>I knew you liked the term "otherside" but I never realized you used "otherworld" to refer to the foggy version of the town.<
I use Otherworld in that way because that "layer" is close to the real world but empty/foggy, thus "other." And then I use [otherside] because it's the flip-side of the Otherworld.

For clarity's sake.
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