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siuan
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13 Sep 2007, 1:11 am

I don't mean to freak people out with this thread, so if you're prone to that just skip it.

For the rest of you, I kind of want to know more about meltdowns in general. What happens with yours? Triggers, tips for avoiding them, how to emerge or deal with one in progress.


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Ana54
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13 Sep 2007, 1:18 am

I just get really mad and call people nasty names, say I don't care what they think, say I'll do what I want and that it's my life and you only live once and that it's not my fault I don't want to do whatever, that it's not necessary, just leave me alone, stop harassing me, let me live my life, stop making me do things, get a life, go away, don't talk to me, I don't want to talk to you, stop annoying me, I'm not your prisoner, what are you going to do to make me?, stop it wih your lame threats, you just make people depressed and that's why no one likes you, stuff like that. :)



Claradoon
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13 Sep 2007, 2:44 am

I lose control and have a huge temper tantrum, including screaming at people. It seems to be a stress reaction. Sometimes it ambushes me and then I'm stuck in a meltdown. Sometimes I can get out of the stressful situation (escape) or de-stress with belly breathing. Just knowing it's happening can give me more control. I think meldown is a continuum - it's not yes or no.



Yogamat
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13 Sep 2007, 3:39 am

I was just scolded for "not being able to get along with people" by somebody who should know better. So I'm having a bit of a meltdown, but it's not as bad as it used to be before I started taking Risperdal.

Anyway, my meltdowns are internal. I curl up into a ball (physically, if possible), stop talking completely, and hum to myself. All my skin crawls, my face gets flushed and my scalp tingles. The biggest part is the inability to speak until the meltdown is over, which usually lasts at least an hour.



shopaholic
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13 Sep 2007, 4:46 am

It is a welling up of pure RAGE that just takes me over. A milder one will result in me just having a rant about whatever it is that has triggered me (e.g. when my work want me to say where I am going and what time I will be back - how should I know how long it will take????? Don't try & pin me down, I don't need a nanny, and I most certainly will not call them every time I am not back when I said I would be etc etc etc.)

A worse one results in me losing total control and screaming at people - like the time a woman turned right across in front of me & wrote off my car. I ran over, wrenched her door open & was screaming abuse at her. (The worst thing about this was that because my glasses had fallen off in the crash, I could not see who I was screaming at - in fact I had thought it was a guy! When I explained this, people thought I must have a death wish because they said a guy would have flattened me!)

The only way out of a bad one like this is to cry & cry. (It gets the rest of it out, and also I find that people start to feel sorry for me instead of threatened.)

Actually that one was weird, because after the initial shock, I was "phasing in and out" of it - one second I was "I'm really sorry, I didn't mean to scare you, of course your car's written off too" and then the rage would be back and I was thinking "but I wish I could kill the stupid b***h!"

And I actually said to the bystanders in a more rational moment "Please call the police before I do something I'll regret" because I didn't trust myself at all and didn't know what I might do.

I hate myself when stuff like this happens because the "real me" is not a monster, I just have one inside of me. That's how it feels.

I have also been known to take it out on inanimate objects - one time I brought plaster down in my house by slamming the same door over & over.

As to what triggers me - the main reason is being thwarted (the incident described above resulted in all kinds of further problems including a major family row and me and my friend missing a show he had already bought tickets for - something I would NEVER EVER do, but my dad is such a control freak it is ridiculous!)

Also absurd rules and restrictions, not having my own space and mobile phones in general!



Deefor4
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13 Sep 2007, 5:04 am

I get angry about something and go off into a rant about it - then I start bringing in all the other things that annoy me, and away I go, getting myself more and more wound up, and angrier and angrier - at which point I have to remove myself from the situation and go and sit quietly somewhere and just cool off.

I don't know what would happen if I just kept going, but I suspect I might start getting physical - I have lashed out (harmlessly) a few times in the past.

The only time I really did boil over that I can remember was when I was grooming a dog (I used to have my own dog grooming business). It was late, and I'd been grooming this poor little spaniel for hours - she was in a hell of a state. I could feel myself getting tenser, and tenser, and more and more frustrated, but of course I couldn't walk away, because i was part way through a job. In the end, I flung the scissors across the room and shouted, "Oh, I can't f**king DO this!" - then started crying. And the dog stood on the table and looked so sad - she was a lovely little dog, and I felt I was letting her down.

I did manage to finish her off in the end, but I didn't make a terribly good job of it.



MrMacPhisto
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13 Sep 2007, 5:08 am

It is usually when I am stressed out about something (Which I am not at the moment) my face goes white and I start to have a stoned look and I stress out at stupid little things then it's 'Meltdown'.



2ukenkerl
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13 Sep 2007, 6:30 am

Well, I have heard that AS people tend to have fits where they can get aggressive. I am generally passive. I DO get VERY angry when I have what I guess is a meltdown. I just don't really show that.

When I was younger, I would sometimes yell at my mother and go into seclusion(Otherwise, I NEVER yell, and I would have done something else).

TODAY, what happens is I HATE it! I get ANGRY! I try to think about what to do to get out of it, and my options. My ability just goes south. Logic, Memory, Ability to speak, are ALL affected. Not in a way that is generally outwardly obvious, but it IS ****BAD****! I feel miserable! I used to think that was "just stress".

Oh yeah, the last time someone tried to make stupid small talk feigning having some improtant info, while I was having a meltdown, I SNAPPED! He was upset with me for the entire day and even started to try acting like a big shot and I think tried to threaten. So he didn't take it well.



LadyMacbeth
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13 Sep 2007, 6:36 am

Yogamat wrote:

Anyway, my meltdowns are internal. I curl up into a ball (physically, if possible), stop talking completely, and hum to myself. All my skin crawls, my face gets flushed and my scalp tingles. The biggest part is the inability to speak until the meltdown is over, which usually lasts at least an hour.


Same. Near exact, actually. Though I tend to hit myself and press against my face a lot. Being pinned down helps. My boyfriend has learned now how to handle me, and when it's likely to occur (after I've had a bad day, etc). He helps by putting his palm over my forehead and pressing.


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Cooper
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13 Sep 2007, 7:44 am

First I get really panicked. My mind races from one minor problem in my life to the next, but each problem feels so overwhelming that I feel like I'm going to be ill. My mind turns back to the circumstance or thought that triggered the meltdown. I feel like I must change that circumstance or my life, my family's lives, and the world in general will be forever ruined. Then I begin to cry. If I'm alone, I'll just sob silently and pace or squeeze a pillow, but if someone else is there, I will subject them up to an hour of desperate sobbing and incoherent ranting about how helpless and forlorn I feel. In either case, after 45 minutes or so, I begin to feel calmer, but I try to hard to force myself to feel better and end up sobbing again briefly. Eventually I cry myself out and I'm left in a drained, hazy state.

What I've written above describes my very worst meltdowns. I'm fortunate that I can mostly prevent that from happening in public situations. I had a meltdown on the bus to work yesterday, but I was able to keep it to just slowly dripping tears while scrunching my face up and gripping my backpack very tightly. However, keeping the meltdown in is very difficult. I felt sluggish and stupid the entire day at work, and avoided people all day. I also got a very bad headache.



KingdomOfRats
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13 Sep 2007, 7:58 am

meltdowns are a loss of control,an uncontrolled action to something that is causing bad things etc.
it has many different forms though.


am have quite violent meltdowns,in one typical meltdown,it includes headbanging,fast rocking,flesh biting,hitting,punching and kicking out at anything,and a convulsing effect,parents,and staff at all the places am have lived at think it could be seizures or seizure like-set off by sensory problems and changes especially,to be able to officially diagnose this,they say that it has to show up on the scan,and up to now it hasn't,but have never been scanned in a meltdown before,would think it would be impossible until it stops.
during the md,am completely helpless,my eyesight goes away but hearing stays-it seems to be even more accute,the md feels like an inside agony,a torturing internal force,it usually takes all the staff in the house to restrain,they lie am down on the bed,put cusions all around am,and all hold am down until it stops.
because stomach muscles seem to seize up a lot in meltdowns,am feel sick for a long while after,and end up not eating any dinner if it happened before then.


ways on lessening meltdowns:
*living somewhere sensory friendly,not in a home that has complete opposite people-ones who shout,have tv or music on loud, bang things all the time etc
*having people who live with and/or staff [whether this is at family home,residential home,house share whatever] understand meltdown triggers,this could be someone dropping a spoon in sink to staff mixing up routine,or just having the doors shut when tv is on.
*have routine planned out,so that everyone knows it.
*get a pet,a cat or a dog,stroking them feels good and might be able to help keep away from going into full meltdown.
*if have violent meltdowns,get a soft mattress,and put it up against the most hit wall if in a suitable place,or attatch it to the wall so that it can't be hit above.
*get good padded ear defenders and soft earplugs,use them both together if sensory problems are more severe,idiots stare and shout abuse about these as they assume they are headphones [despite the fact there are no wires],but if it helps avoid problems when out then let them show how ignorant they are.
*avoid places that overload senses if possible,the more go to these places,the more it wears a person down and the more likely meltdowns will be triggered.
*don't stay completely noise free for a long time very often,as it can increase sensitivity to sound and cause meltdowns quicker.
*get enough sleep.
*one have heard recommended for mild meltdowns [ones that can be known are going to happen] is to get an elastic band and to put it on wrist,if able to know a meltdown is coming on,pull up elastic band and let go,keep doing this until it distracts enough.
this won't work for people who have a sensory problem with wearing things on arms,and it won't be as good for people who have high pain threshold.



Eialune
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13 Sep 2007, 8:31 am

My meltdowns have changed over time, and they're different depending on what sets them off. If it's a physical thing like pain or illness, they're violent and animalistic. I curl in on myself or yell and rock, or hit myself. If anyone talks to me or comes near me or - god forbid - touches me, I explode, lashing out at them with all my strength. I've had this since I was like two. My mom's friends were always horrified because if I fell down and skinned my knee, I would scream and cry but my mom would leave me alone. She knew that if I wasn't left alone I'd become completely unmanageable. In these kinds of meltdowns I'll actually damage myself without realizing it and can't stop until I physically run out of energy.

Meltdowns triggered by stress or sensory overload, there's more crying and emotion. These are the kind that made me cut myself in high school, or have huge dramatic fights with my mom or something. These are the kinds where I can get mean and exploit people's weaknesses by finding what hurts them and then confronting them with it. That's when I say things I regret and have to go about trying to repair things. Or raid the medicine cabinet.


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13 Sep 2007, 11:09 am

I have been thinking about the content/triggers of my meltdowns more recently.

I think generally, when I am overstimulated or stressed is when I tend to react the worst. That said, I also take WAY too much on, at all times (some serious boundary issues and lack of understand of when enough, is actually enough), so it is mostly, self inflicted, I suppose.

That said, at anytime, when leaving the house, when feeling pressured, when 19 million things need to be done, when the house is chaotic and messy, when I cannot distribute tasks to others and the pressure is thick to complete something, when out and there are far too many things going on etc I have a complete meltdown. More often then not, I freak out when I have made yet another, careless mistake, mess, spill, accident etc...(which I have never really taken into consideration, when thinking of my AS traits, until just this very moment)

My meltdowns mostly include my shouting out all the insane things that are happening around me, which have led me to feel completely out of control and ALOT of negative self talk.

Some of the time I zone out, block everyone and everything out and refuse to speak or make any sort of eye contact, at all.

My closer "friends" used to make reference to my "mini-meltdowns" when we were getting ready to do anything outside of the home. I would usually tend to freak out a little, then attempt my avoidance tactic, which then sent me into a migraine headache mode... and I guess, (since this would be my first time thinking about it) they learned to cope with me and would make attempts to pull me out of it by saying things like "you always freak out when we are going anywhere, it just means we are going to have a GREAT night"...and of course they were usually right, but...nothing you say in the heat of the moment would ever really matter.

Wow! I suck :oops:


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samtoo
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13 Sep 2007, 11:14 am

When paranoia builds up, and when something of a subject of mine that annoys me when certain things happen that people say about it or whatever... with this crossfire of 2 concepts like that I can go mad. Paranoia sucks


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13 Sep 2007, 11:26 am

People above have already mentioned a few things that I can relate to - your thoughts going round in circles, with all of your life's troubles being dragged in somehow, until you feel completely overwhelmed. Personally, my thoughts are always very paranoid, not being able to understand peoples motives I often just assume that everyone hates me. The anger is all directed at myself.

I start to lose the ability to breath. I feel physically sick. I start crying.

If I am in public, it will be excaberated by the reaction I'm worried people will have to me. If I'm at work I'm already starting to worry that I've lost my job and am wondering how I'll pay my rent/credit card bills.

Then I become gripped by the urge to cause damage to my own body and posessions in whatever way I can. I bite my hands, hit my arms and legs, bang my head against walls. A couple of times I've smashed a glass and slashed up my arms with it. (There's a huge scar on my left leg from when I was so off my face I couldn't even aim at my arm. It makes me laugh now). I've torn all the pages out of books I own, smashed records, broken expensive jewellery.

I will not allow anyone to touch me whilst this is going on, I obviously can't talk.

Eventually I'll calm down, then sink into a bit of a depression. After a particularly bad one I spent two days staring at the wall of my sh***y rented room, falling in and out of sleep and having horrible dreams and not eating. I will certainly lose the ability to think properly or do any job with any degree of competance.


Fighting the temptation to just say that I HAVEN'T learnt to cope with them.... ummm... I'm currently finding it helpful to live at home. It makes me feel more stable. I've also said goodbye to customer facing work, hopefully forever!



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13 Sep 2007, 11:28 am

I just get extremely frustrated and overwhelmed, then everything sort of spirals in at me and I'm there, lying down, avoiding eye contact or burying my face in something. I'm unable to control the tone of my voice or even what I say, so I just stop speech altogether.

That's when people are around and I can't get angry. When I'm alone I will sort of act like an animal. I'll jump around, face red no doubt, throwing and punching things and letting out great roars of anger. I can't usually cry but I'll breathe heavily like I am.