I'm just wondering if anyone has advice or has similar experiences when it comes to meltdowns...
Sometimes, when I have a huge meltdown, I end up screaming/shouting really loudly (so loudly that my partner thinks I've injured myself), but I don't really realise I'm doing it at the time. I sort of know I'm screaming/shouting, but I'm not making a conscious choice to do it and it almost feels like I'm detached from myself in that moment. Also, I sometimes throw things (never at people - just at the floor or the wall) and don't always realise I've done it until afterwards. Does anyone else get this?
I'd really appreciate some advice on how to recognise when a meltdown is coming and cope with them better. It's happening almost every day and it absolutely drains my energy - I end up crying for ages (sometimes half an hour, sometimes a couple of hours) and feel like I can't even function at the end of it. I just have to take myself to bed to recover.
Hi, I have two types of triggers for meltdowns. The first is if something stressful is due to happen such as an appointment. I actually noticed this type when I had my ASD assessment at the end of last year. It was a stressful event that I couldn’t change or defer and unusually I felt quite anxious leading up to it. I was stuck having to try to ‘symptom manage’ in between my two assessments by distraction techniques (playing games on my phone) and breathing exercises, only narrowly avoided having a full on meltdown in the reception of the South London and Maudsley! In circumstances where I can change or defer a stressful event then I do so. This trigger type of meltdown is more manageable. These meltdowns would be more crying/sobbing uncontrollably/rocking.
The second trigger type is when events suddenly and unexpectedly spin out of control. Usually as a result of one of the other adults in my house acting like a complete idiot. I do usually try to get myself out of the situation if this happens by going for a walk or a drive but it’s not always possible, especially if the cause of the meltdown is being REALLY annoying! These meltdowns are usually screaming/shouting/getting in the face of the perpetrator, I will eventually get to a point where I will take myself off for a walk but at this point I start getting quite alien thoughts of self harm or suicide. Not because I want to die but rather because at that point in time I would do anything to escape the horrible feeling inside of me. I need to isolate myself from people/sensory stimulation of any description, for a few hours to recover from this type of meltdown. Once I’m calm I’ll usually engage in a diversion activity, such as doing an online short course in order to ‘reset’ my brain.
Hope this helps.
Thank you - it's useful to hear another perspective on it. I think I need to get better at managing my triggers... I was on a first aid course at work today (really enjoyed it, but it was a different environment, involved people touching me when we were practising recovery positions, and there was a lot of white noise in the room). I then got home and was worried about all the jobs on my to-do list. Maybe I think I'm doing fine, but all the little things build up without me noticing.
I'll give distraction/diversion activities a go, so thanks for the suggestion.