meltdown anecdata

Discussion in 'Braaaaiiiinnnns...' started by seebs, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    So I just discovered that there's some enormous disconnects between what different people think is involved in "meltdowns".

    And I am looking for anecdata about meltdowns. Sensory overload, BPD, PTSD, whatever. If you have things where the part of you that normally drives is really not adequately in control, I am interested in this.

    But specifically, I'm interested in (1) PMs, that (2) I can collate, remove names and details from, and use as a post on the topic.

    Because I think there's a lot of misunderstandings going on here.
  2. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Okay, some anecdata from people who have meltdown type feels:

  3. palindromordnilap

    palindromordnilap Well-Known Member

    Huh, TIL. It's kinda hard to tell but I'm pretty sure it's also a pretty much guaranteed meltdown trigger for me, as is globally getting ignored or dismissed. (When I tell people such as my parents or therapists that, they tend to assume it means "not having my opinions/feelings instantly regarded as right", but it's simply "being acknowledged as valid").
    • Like x 1
  4. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Another anecdata:
    Also, yeah, just refusing to acknowledge an experience/feeling at all is actually a pretty reliable trigger for rage or at least anger in about 90% of people, I think. This is why the #1 thing for effective damage control is just to say "yeah, okay, you're mad and that is understandable". Acknowledge that the thing happening could be upsetting.

    And another followup:

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
    • Like x 1
  5. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator


  6. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

  7. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    My meltdowns tend to take the form of screaming+crying.
    They tend to be caused my stress and overload, acutely by feeling like people aren´t listening to me or dismissing me instantly. Also in there is twisting the meaning of my words, or telling me what I "Really Feel"
    Another trigger is boudary violation and making me feel backed into a corner. It takes several of these stacked to cause a meltdown.
  8. furrylatula

    furrylatula a pissed off homestuck girl

    yo does it have to be through PMs or can we just post here because im utterly allergic to private communication
  9. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator


    You're welcome to post here if you don't want/need things private, sure. The privacy/forwarding thing is just because, as side-effect of these misunderstandings (and related to some forum drama), some people who have meltdowns are closeted about their mental health problems because they fear being attacked if anyone finds out about those problems.
    • Like x 1
  10. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

  11. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    Mostly I have shutdowns due to sensory stimuli, and meltdowns due to emotional stimuli. The former is much more common.

    Shutdowns start out slow - I start responding less, moving less, so people think I'm either tired or not paying attention. At this stage I can see the shutdown coming, so I do my best to remove myself from the situation. If I can't, I go through stages of clingy childishness, zombielike staring, and finally I'll retreat to a dark small place (or the closest approximation thereof I can find) and break down crying. The crying fits are usually short, but there's a long period afterwards where it can be re-triggered at the drop of a hat.

    Meltdowns don't usually look like it from the outside, because even when I get really angry I find it unnatural to yell and scream. I do sometimes cry, but the major feature of meltdowns, for me, is violence. I used to get into fairly serious fights with my sibling when we were both mentally ill autistic teenagers with no idea how to deal with our shit, and to be honest, whoever made the first move was usually a pretty even split. One time they were busy with something else while we were melting down at each other, so I picked up a kitchen knife and made vague threatening gestures. I still had enough self control to not do anything fucking stupid, happily. Prior to that, I'd mostly turned to vindictive sabotage to 'get my revenge', I guess. They didn't happen very often, usually less than once a year, and I haven't had an episode for five years or so. They don't happen online; they're a heat of the moment sort of a thing, and with online interactions you have the delay between replies that happens with text based communication, and also the ability to just get up and walk away if you gotta. I've always had a certain amount of self awareness when melting down like this, and these days I've got the self-control to pull myself out of the situation feeding it before I do something I know I'll actually regret.

    (Not to mention, shit takes too much effort and time to set up a satisfying 'revenge' lmao. I won't lie, I've been seriously tempted, but in general I like to think of myself as a moral person, haha.)
  12. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Mine kind of depend. If it's a sad meltdown I'll just start crying and not be able to stop, and if it's an angry meltdown I'll be so focused on how pissed off I am that I lose control of what I say. I'll recognise I'm about to say something awful and then say it anyway. I don't lose control as much as I used to, though.
    • Like x 1
  13. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    If you cite this in the future as "science" I will personally shove a Student's t right up your ass.
    • Like x 2
  14. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    This isn't even like science. But since the science on whether or not people can "just decide not to" act based on trauma responses has been published for years, and has had no impact at all on people saying that obviously people could control it, I thought I'd try "personal accounts" since sometimes those are real.
    • Like x 2
  15. Triggers:

    Shame. Powerlessness. I think it's better now than it was but there was a time when if I thought I'd done something wrong I would shut down for the rest of the day even if it was something really minor. Powerlessness is still super hard for me - even if it's something like having to print out a homework assignment and trying a couple of different computers in the computer lab and none of them will connect correctly to the printer.

    What it's like:

    Being swallowed up by crying. Like there's no room for any other cognition or any other emotions. Or - usually it's more like this violent mix of frustration and grief and self-loathing occupies 95% of me and the cognition underneath isn't completely absent but it's really, really hard to hear.

    I also have sensory-overload meltdowns that are different in that if I'm able to get out of the sensory-overload situation, then I'll come down from the meltdown really quickly. I'm also more likely to be snappish/irritable than crying. A few months ago my neighbor's dog was barking for hours on end every day - it normally went to doggy daycare but had to stay home because of a quarantine. I could have, honestly, gone to the library or a coffee shop or somewhere else, but the barking was so constant that I was literally unable to even think that far.
  16. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    More anecdata for three different kinds of things:

  17. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

  18. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    And another one:

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