I’ve been told that the term meltdown ought not to be used because it’s offensive and the term sensory overload should be used instead.
To my mind sensory overload and meltdowns are two different things. I have suffered sensory overload today but I didn't have a meltdown, I left the overstimulating environment for a quieter environment to recover. I do believe though that prolonged sensory overload will usually result in a meltdown.
I don't think this is coming from the autistic population, I could however imagine parents saying it.
I do find it offensive when neurotypicals use it to describe being angry/upset/frustrated because it diminishes its meaning to what we experience as a meltdown.
What do you think?
Don’t have much experience but I can relate to the term as sometimes when I feel overwhelmed, overloaded ... to be honest I don’t know what really happens I sweat ... and I sweat badly it is like open tap, water drips everywhere. It feels like I’m melting.
Maybe you are Jan84. That’s what happens to me. I get overheated, meaning my stress levels rise and everything else in my body seems to rise with it including my indoor heating element. What clever bodies we have that open the taps to help us sweat it out and cool down. I was in the supermarket yesterday, talking on the phone to my mum and I said to my Mum, I’ve got to go now, I can feel my body getting hot, I know what’s coming if I don’t change what I’m doing ~ a meltdown. So I got off the phone, did a bit of deep breathing, relaxed, and I was good to go. I finished my ridiculously over priced shopping haul (because I was hungry) came home, nibbled at the food and left most of it to put in the bin today! Such as life :-)
BlueRay said:What clever bodies we have that open the taps to help us sweat it out and cool down.
I understand that more now ... I used to hate my body for "doing this to me" when my counsellor told me years ago that it is a good thing and without it I would probably die, I couldn't make sense of it. Obviously I didn't know the root cause of it and quite often I was confronting this sort of situation which triggered sweating.
I was quite active within my church at the time so I have put myself through loads of social interaction crowded places etc.
My goal and dream was to stop sweating!! Specially that at some point I was accused of taking drugs, I started sweat badly in the middle of the sermon ... so badly that after the sermon I was taken a side. Although I didn't know what just happened I've managed to explain myself ...
It was like wishes circle something triggered sweating but after that my attitude towards it was triggering even more sweating ... sometimes I felt like I'll collapse and die.
Problem was because I knew that in certain situation I find it very difficult I was trying to prove it wrong and instead step back I was putting myself through more.
I agree that sensory overload isn't the same as a meltdown, although the first can lead to the second, if it's not possible to get away from the source of overload, or tune it out in some way, e.g. closing eyes or listening to music through headphones.
Calling a meltdown "sensory overload" makes it sound less worrying, perhaps. I think that could actually be more offensive, if it makes light of the situation.
The term itself does not make sense. It suggests a comedown rather than an escalation of frustrated behaviour. Makes me wonder how the term came to be.