The Meltdown Cycle - First Thoughts on my research

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billegge
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27 Nov 2017, 11:34 pm

I had started a thread to analyze a meltdown. Below are my thoughts so far, this is not complete and may even be incorrect. I would like to post this to get feedback. In addition, I still would like people to post their meltdowns and non-meltdowns (happy life) to the thread here (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=356856)

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These are my thoughts so far, subject to change later as I learn more.

A meltdown is the climax of a preceding buildup, the identifying characteristics of a meltdown is a certain kind of "end of the line" actions such as crying, screaming, hitting things, or self hurting. The meltdown mostly subsides after these actions.

Chronologically the meltdown begins at having feeling of something not right and/or is provoked via visual or auditory noises and/or other peoples behavior. The meltdown then can go through a buildup phase which ultimately results in a meltdown. Things that can cause the buildup are the same things that started it or additional stresses in life.

It seems there are 2 psychological levels of things that initiate the starting of a meltdown. The lowest level being sensory - lights and sounds for example. The next level is above sensory and requires cognitive evaluations, such as expectations of others and things resulting in stress.

The coping mechanisms are preventative and mirror the causes. For sensory problems, a coping mechanism may be a fidget spinner which is also sensory. For the higher levels it is avoidance, such as being alone or not going out. The last coping mechanism is holding it in.

Those are my thoughts for now. They may change or get refined.

Only after I have fully understood a meltdown, I will start to look for solutions.



MrsPeel
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28 Nov 2017, 7:52 am

billegge wrote:
The coping mechanisms are preventative and mirror the causes. For sensory problems, a coping mechanism may be a fidget spinner which is also sensory. For the higher levels it is avoidance, such as being alone or not going out.


:idea: That's an interesting observation

But I think you might need a larger dataset to draw any solid conclusions.



billegge
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28 Nov 2017, 7:24 pm

MrsPeel wrote:
But I think you might need a larger dataset to draw any solid conclusions.


Yes, there are too many holes. I had a fascinating idea today, but it may turn out to be nothing. I started wondering if the core of the problem was that we cannot "keep up" with the incoming information and changes. This may turn out to be false, but it leads to a promising solution. The mind can rewire itself, this has happened in bad accidents where part of the brain gets damaged but then it rewires itself around the problem. Using that idea, I wondered if we could fix the speed problem via specialized computer feedback - like playing a game that forces your mind to develop new connections that would enable you to keep up and thus feel less stress and more like normal people. Its just a thought, I need to learn more.



TheAP
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28 Nov 2017, 7:35 pm

For me, I think the cause of my meltdowns is simply that I take certain things personally due to my unusual way of looking at things, and difficulties with emotional regulation mean that I have a hard time controlling my anger or hurt, which results in a meltdown.