New, and does anyone relate to this?

Hi, I've literally only just signed up to this page. I was recently diagnosed with autism last month after waiting 10 years. Along side with autism I have been diagnosed with extreme anxiety, which makes it even more difficult to cope in certain situations. 

I was discussing autistic meltdowns with my close friends who is also autistic, and he was saying to me that he feels helpless while I'm having a meltdown because I don't like being touched or even talked to during it. Does anyone else have this? I know a few autistic people who find it helpful for people to psychically comfort them when they're extremely stressed, but I absolutely hate it and I find it makes me feel even worse. Is anyone else like this? I feel quite alone in this situation.

Thank you :) 

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  • I'm the same.  I think of it more in terms of a 'panic attack' (I'm not a fan of the term 'meltdown'), and I usually get one in a situation of extreme anxiety.

    The last time a serious one happened was a couple of years back, when I was working on a supermarket produce section.  I was working entirely alone on the early shift, trying to get the previous day's produce out on display before the new delivery arrived.  Obviously it was important to empty the storeroom, both because of the need to rotate stock and to make space for the new stuff.  I still had a lot of stuff to shift out when the delivery arrived: 11 pallets of goods, which had to be stripped down and stored before the store opened in two hours' time.  I continued to try to empty the storeroom to make way for the new stock.  But then a manager came up to me and asked me what the hell I was doing.  I explained... but he insisted I got cracking on the pallets first.  I then tried to say I needed to make space for them, and that the stock needed rotating - but he wasn't having it.  'Work the pallets! Now!'  That's when my brain shut down.  If I did what I was told, then newer stock would end up going on display and we'd then have to change it all later, creating more work.  So I knew that the way I was doing things was 'right' in principle.  But a manager was telling me they were wrong.  I couldn't cope with that.  I walked away and went to one of the chiller rooms, where I locked myself in.  I was in there for about ten minutes, just staring at the wall, unable to mentally process anything.  All the time, of course, I was making matters worse for myself because the clock was ticking against me.  But I couldn't move.  And I didn't want any intervention from anyone.  I wanted to be entirely alone.   In the end, I came out of it and went out and did what the manager had asked me to do - which, as I expected, created a lot more work later on.

    It's a horrible feeling.  The only time I've come close to it since is when I got lost driving on a delivery job, and ended up adding two hours onto my day.  That threw me out for a couple of days - but I managed to keep it together.

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