Managing Shutdowns

Shutdowns are part of life. There are multiple root causes for a shutdown, including the result of sensory overload, physical and mental exhaustion, unexpected news, anxiety about an upcoming event, and upheaval in our schedule. Sometimes it comes in combination; other times it comes down to simply being “on” for so long, that we have no choice but to turn “off.”

Are you always aware that you are about to go into "shutdown"?

What strategies to you use to help recover from them?

How do you "resurface"

How do you describe what they are to others and try to manage their occurrence? 

  • X said:

    Shutdowns are part of life. There are multiple root causes for a shutdown, including the result of sensory overload, physical and mental exhaustion, unexpected news, anxiety about an upcoming event, and upheaval in our schedule. Sometimes it comes in combination; other times it comes down to simply being “on” for so long, that we have no choice but to turn “off.”

    Everything you report I so know so much what you mean. When things go awry I get burnouts in staged progressions, becoming more and more disassociated until I have seizures, which used to be grand-mall (large-scale) ones but I have painstakingly got them down to petite-mall (small-scale) ones.

    I can take a series of overloads, before a seizure happens, and I avoid going any further when and where possible.

    X said:

    Are you always aware that you are about to go into "shutdown"?

    Not always no, but I can definitely recognise how to limit them in terms of how many I do have and how harsh they are ~ obviously the more exhausted or stressed I get the more problematic things get.

    X said:

    What strategies to you use to help recover from them?

    Every three and four days I have a major soak in a deep sauna-hot bath with 600 grams of bicarbonate of soda, half a kilogramme of pink Himalayan rock-salt, and twenty-five grammes of magnesium flakes dissolved in the water ~ so as to soak and leach out as much of the hypertensive toxins (ketones, lactic acid and all that) from my body. I also after bathing or showering use a moisturising skin lotion with seven drops of Mandarin essential oil, which I find remarkable relaxing and calming in all senses physiologically.

    Everyday bar one each week I take a high-strength vitamin C tablet and a multivitamin tablet in the morning, and in the evening a 14-strain gut-flora capsule (as stress is incredibly damaging to the friendly and essential gut bacteria population/s of our intestines) ~ with meals.

    Obviously, as far as any of this information goes, always consult personally with a fully qualified health practitioner before acting on it, should you or anyone else be so inclined.  

    X said:

    How do you describe what they are to others and try to manage their occurrence? 

    I generally refer to them as being 'burn-outs', 'flake-outs' and 'flip-ins' for the shut-downs and seizures, and 'overloads' for the initiation of the seizures or shutdowns.

    In terms of managing shut-downs or overloads or whatever else you might call them, I do a constant deep-gentle pelvic breathing exercise, where essentially you imagine your bladder and womb are your lungs and breath as such from the heart, which keeps things way more viable in general.

    Of course, the strategy of all strategies for dealing with burn-outs really is ~ know your limits in pedantic detail and do anything other than to go beyond them, sort of thing.

  • Deepthought .. I confess I followed you to here so that I could thank you so very much for what you wrote on closed threads. I am overwhelmed by your deep thought and kindness in taking the time to do that not just for me but for everyone affected by it. I didn't know if I had said stupid or terrible things and it's good to know that you could see what I was trying to do . Thank you very much.  I'm sorry I didn't feel up to posting on the actual post. 

  • I like this thread. It is a very useful one. I get shutdowns/but outs and have done since I was a teenager way way before I came to understand why. They have increased rather than decreased in adulthood. I didn't know what they were or why. But from reading and learning about various conditions chronic fatigue, pain and overload I have been able to put them more into perspective. This is where pacing comes in and being able to say no and giving yourself timeout and stopping before completely exhausted comes in to play. But I find it hard to recognise it's happening in time. Sometimes I know it's almost inevitable because most of my family lives away. They don't just come for an hour or so and go home , they come for days or a weeks at a time. So it is intensive and I can't do anything about it but try to have some time out (which they don't understand). Sometimes if I really want to do something and it includes physical and sensory overload I just do it anyway then have to rest. If I have too many small burnouts in a row then it lasts longer each time and then in danger of deeper depression. The best idea is to have strategies if you can but I'm not much good at putting them in practice. Deepthought has some very good ideas I love the sound of the bath and mandarin oil but unfortunately I just have to make do with a shower. 

  • ...I'm trying the  pink Himalayan rock-salt!!!

    My shutdowns also seem to be more frequent....but more passive...My SO hates it (he finds the silence or monosyllabic responses ignorant).

    I feel that my life has just worn me out and down...so I feel much more vulnerable and exposed.

  • I feel even more so today the one person who came in intermittently to help me has resigned from the company she worked for. And no one to come to the pip apt that's just been landed on me this morning. So am down to my elderly dad plus nil. Mm think something is telling me it's time for a change or someone like Tom miraculously appearing in my area a rare commodity round here. Hey ho. Better roll those sleeves up 

  • Such frustrating and sad news about your support person.....could you arrange for Former Member to be kidnapped....?

    it gets tiresome being the one why has to step up to the plate everytime, doesn't it.

  • I wish I could always have a healthy approach to them.  I don't have a bath, unfortunately - but a swim or a run often helps.  Especially a swim.  Can only really do that in summer, though.  I'm lucky enough to live just 200 yards from the sea, and it's a gentle enough coastline with no deep troughs or rip-tides.  At the moment, with high tides being about the right times each day, I'm managing morning and evening swims.  The water's generally quite warm, too - though most people would probably say it's 'freeeeezing!'  To me, it's the most wonderful thing to be in the water swimming along, then to just stop and turn over to float, looking up at the sky.  This morning it was raining, too - lovely, gentle, warm rain.  Passers-by must've thought I was nuts.  Well... so I am!  The water's usually fine from May until September.  In the winter - just when I need it most, really - I have to leave it.  I can't handle public baths.  Chemicals.  Noise.  And people, of course.

    Other times, I try to manage it with writing in some way - if I have the mental capacity for it.  Other than that... it's, I'm afraid, alcohol.  And then sleep.  I have a complicated relationship with alcohol.  I know it's a depressant.  I know it isn't good for me physically.  But actually, sometimes, I can drink myself to a stupor... and then awake feeling 'fixed' in some way.  It's like it's fused my circuit board, and the switches have all been reset.  I've never tried other drugs (okay, dope once... but it just made me laugh too much!), but I often wonder about some of the hallucinogenics.  Knowing my luck, I'd be a bad trip personality.  But I have friends who say it's been like mentally wiping the slate clean and refreshing it.  That would be nice.  I don't know so much about 'expansion of consciousness' - but then, I've never tried, so I wouldn't.

    Recovery?  I don't know.  It's just like a mood swing.  It eventually moves on.  Until the next one.

    You can't kidnap me, by the way.  The cat would starve! Slight smile

  • We'll have to kidnap Daisy as well! She'd like my Bengal! I also have Dreamies! So talk it through with her.

    Chances of expansive space are key whether it is an open sea, or an open landscape. For me, spending a week either behind a computer screen or in a classroom .... liberating space is crucial..but I don't get a chance to get out as much as I'd like!

    I to self medicate/ soothe with alcohol...namely to try to enforce relaxation and turn the volume knob of the brain down! With no one at home to de-stress after the day...a glass or two of wine, some headphones music to bring on positive vibes or to chill is a daily routine....

    like you, I am aware that this has (a) negative effects and (b) is not sustainable 

  • BTW the statement "I don't have a bath" is a concern......I hope that the local marine wildlife have a handle on this! Lol

  • Pity about that! I too don't like public baths for the same reason but open air ones are ok if you are near one. The sea swims sound cathartic, I've read that before. I am more or less tee total for the same reasons you drink really. I don't like the feeling of alcohol and fear of it being another addiction but the occasional half or glass is fine. Space yes that does it for me , space at the coast or on the hills.. or woodland or by rivers. Or engrossed in a film or two or book if I can concentrate. I'm a dog girl rather than cats but my guinea pig has to surfice and is very cute.