For me, Stress and overload in general, whether its from sensory overload, social overload, too much change or whatever. For me i dont have many full on meltdowns any more and when i do its usually because of a build up of any and all of those things. The final trigger can be very small though so it could look like thats what the main cause was? Yes, for me negative thoughts could certainly contribute or be the final straw. The last one i had the final trigger was very much in that category, though i will say it was very much boss induced negative thoughts!
For me i end up crying uncontrollably, and feeling a huge kind of pressure i guess that needs letting out which often means punching or throwing stuff, but im in control enough (though not of the crying) to generally make sure its soft stuff that gets hit and thrown.
Once its gone beyond a certain point the best i can do is put it off a bit so im not in public (usually, though possibly not totally in the case of the last boss-induced one. Ooops!). I havent got to the point where i can control things enough so that they never happen - its a balance for me between pushing myself enough but not too much. Havent quite got that right yet.
I have had many meltdowns in Work - the bullying manager has verbally reprimanded me each time it has happened.
Feel - head is a mess of contradictions, ambiguity from what they say, office background "noise generators", communicating that I need help with what they want me to do and they do not listen. Endless criticism/condescension such that everything I do is wrong. I cannot focus, cannot concentrate and am in dreamland with my music on my earphones blocking everything out.
My only way to stop them is to get away from the cauldron/fire/volcano to calm down, address my head but even then (Sickness Procedure cannot help), they will not recognised anything until I am diagnosed, and it adds to the feeling that I am being forced out of the company (after 18 years I hasten to add)
The negative thoughts can trigger them because of the bullying (It is my "wrong" perceptions and I have to do it, I have to change, it is all up to me) and complete lack of support. In the office everyone is head down, not speaking up whilst I am up on the roof completely naked in the spotlights.
I usually get as far away from anybody else as I can and end up in floods of tears, was doing this a lot up until about a month ago thankfully feeling better but like eccentric said its usually NT senior managers to blame...
Yep... build up of things over time that I've not dealt with then some final straw tipping the balance, as Zomted says, that final thing could be trivial...
Intense feeling of frustration/confusion, physically shaking, feeling of pent-up emotion that needs to be let out via crying or smashing things (as a teenager I put a couple of holes in doors and one time punched out an inset ceiling light).
How do I stop them... in the first instance immense self-control and iron will - but that just puts them off and can't be done indefinitely as it just makes it worse in the end.
Hard physical exercise seems to work as it provides a way to transmute emotional/mental pain into physical pain (had to go for a 10 mile run while visiting the inlaws last weekend to 'clear my head') but 'getting away' from the immediate source of stress & listening to LOUD music (particular favourite tracks) also seems to 'purge' the build-up...
Get this weird build up of emotions to my head. Stop being able to think straight. Usually end up doing one or more of the following: crying, shouting, swearing, completely shutting down.
Triggers: overload, change/unexpected, being shouted at or told off, people not listening to me.
It's often a combination of the above. And can be made worse by anxiety and tiredness.
The only solution is to take myself away and have some alone time. This can stop it being full blown but I probably still shut down a little. If someone else has upset me I tend to need to talk it through otherwise the feelings tend to remain even after alone time. I have to have had time to calm down first though.
My last meltdown was in my last place of work. It was caused, I can see now, by a gradual build up of stress during that day with some difficulties with the special needs service users I was working with. Underscoring this, though, was some anxiety I had about working around a particular colleague. Then things were finally brought to a head with her later that day when she engineered a situation that wrong-footed me, giving her an excuse to have a go at me. It was then like a switch going off in my head. I knew what was coming, and you would think in that situation I could have prevented it. But I couldn't. I punched a wall. That dispersed the anxiety. But, of course, it got me into trouble. It was the beginning of the end for me, and I went sick. I returned after a couple of weeks, but by then the damage was done. I left soon afterwards, because just being at work after that was causing me too much anxiety. Just being in that state could easily have prompted another meltdown any time.
Generally, for me, it happens if some kind of underlying stress has something else added to it - like another stressful event spontaneously happening. Supposing I'm trying to complete a task by a deadline, for instance, but then someone asks me to do something else... and then the phone rings. Multiple demands on my time. Or a quick build up of further anxiety when there's already some anxiety there. It's like my mind shuts down because it can no longer cope with the inputs. Like it's an already racing engine, but someone puts their foot on the accelerator suddenly and pushes it beyond its limits. The meltdown usually lasts for a matter of seconds. It may even be a split-second thing. And then it's over. It's usually something short and explosive. A shout. Or, at worst, hitting something. I then simply need to get away from everyone and everything until I'm settled again.
Many do but the "know it all" bully has no interest in my knowledge, skills and experience whilst only following the Company Procedures they want (ignoring key ones to of with health and wellbeing).