Love paralyzes Matt Frerking—quite literally. The 39-year-old scientist suffers from a rare condition called "narcolepsy with cataplexy" that leaves him paralyzed every time he has 'warm and fuzzy' feelings for his wife or stepchildren, looks at old pictures, or watches movie previews, finds ABC News. He tries to stave off attacks by focusing on his scientific research, he says.
He doesn't put his arm around his wife "unless we're sitting down, and I know that it won't matter that much if I just flop over," Frerking says. Cataplexy, which affects some 50,000 Americans, tricks the brain into thinking it's asleep when it's awake. Certain triggers—in this case, positive emotional feelings—induce bouts of paralysis.