Since I have been facing a lot of stress and anxiety lately, I thought that I would talk about what often follows when I face a lot of stress: Meltdowns. Meltdowns are common for those who fall on every part of the Autism spectrum, but not every person has them. Likewise what each individual experiences during a meltdown is different.
I will start by talking about what types of things can trigger a meltdown. It can be anything that will bring me stress, such as conversations, people lingering around me for too long, people not leaving when I ask them, too much noise, difficult homework, etc. Meltdowns occur when my senses and brain are so overwhelmed with what’s going on around me that they “erupt” and go into overdrive, or sometimes shut down. When a meltdown is triggered for me, it’s often because I have had to socialize for too long without being given a break to have some quiet time for myself. I can always tell when a meltdown is coming, because I can feel the stress and anger building up inside of me.
If I have been unable to escape from the stress that is bringing on a meltdown, I will go into a full blown meltdown or shutdown and will often have a panic attack, cry, even sometimes scream and try to run away. It’s not often that other people are around to see the results of one of my meltdowns, and it isn’t pretty.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to learn how to keep my meltdowns under control, and it isn’t easy. I still have a long ways to go, but it’s helpful when I have people around me that understand why I have meltdowns and how they can back off to keep me from having one. I’m hoping to get even better at keeping them under control, but it’s a long and difficult road.