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BreathlessJade
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13 Apr 2023, 11:58 pm

I've learned theres a difference between a burnout and and a shutdown/meltdown. I recently had a shutdown after being so anxious. with tomorrow's evaluation coming up, it's just been so much on my mind. last week i got so overwhelmed i had to lay on the floor in fetal position on living room floor. i couldn't walk and i couldn't talk. so it's been a week, i can walk and my speech is better but i'm really confused when i try to sing. the coordination is just not there. i had a sore throat for a few days but i've never experienced voice loss. it feels more like i just can't produce sound strength wise. is that common?



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14 Apr 2023, 2:17 am

Not sure. Not sure if what I get is common either as it took me a good 30 years of describing the symptoms to doctors and getting no where. I found out about them via asking on this site.

I get a sort of similar experience but not quite the same. For me they don't last that long, but I don't really know how long... But not days and not hours, BUT they sap so much energy when I get a full shutdown that I am vunerable to repeat shutdowns and also I will need to spend the rest of the day in "Me time" relaxing mode, which is why I found the worst case senario which felt like absolute torture was when I would have one or more while in a situation in work.

Mostly I get partial shutdowns as I can usually prevent full on shutdowns by removing myself from the trigger enviroment which caused them to develop.

First the symptoms that I get.

Partial shutdowns... By the time I "Feel" one taking place, it is already happening. Anything physical I am doing starts to feel like I am wearing a heavy suit of armour if I try to continue with whatever I am doing at the time. (If I continue and try to push through to complete whatever I was doing, I end up in a full shutdown... For a short time I may be able to delay a full out shutdown, but the more I delay it, the harder it hits when it comes!
Partial shutdowns feel to me as my body going weak with my balance being affected so I need to overcompensate by giving myself more room to visually ensure I can walk past people or things, especially people as they move! I feel like I need to eat and drink something energetic, and in the past this was the only known preventitive cure I had, not knowing what the shutdowns were called or having a clue what caused them (Oddly due to past doctors claiming they were "Allergy related" it never occurred to me that they were not. (Will continue as have to go, but quickly.... Full out shutdowns I am on the floor and my eyesight goes black like a curtain in a theatre from the top down and I have loud tinitus from a medium note lowering in pitch as I sort of slowly collapse on the floor! Feels a bit like fainting butnit is not as it differs from a faint, as when one faints one needs attention to pull out of a faint, but with this, if someone speaks to me trying to force a reply, while I begin to recover, I will get a repeat shutdown and I will say yes to things I did not intend to just to get rid of the person so I can recover (Tend to do this in partial shutdowns as well as an automatic preventitive measure and dont know what I have said yes to until months or a few years later when it hits my long term memory!)
Will write more later... Recovery takes a good 20 to 30 minutes and sometimes I will force myself endangering a repeated shutdown to remove myself from the trigger zone but then shutdown somewhere else instead! Will say more later...


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14 Apr 2023, 7:53 am

Sometimes when you are overwhelmed, different functions in your brain are affected. I often temporarily lose some functions and which functions I lose can vary depending on how exhausted or overwhelmed I am or what kind of exhaustion and what kind of energy loss I am experiencing. It takes brain energy to do anything at all and different things that our bodies do require different kinds of brain energy. So, if your brain is too exhausted or too overwhelmed to muster up the kind of energy it needs to do said task, it just will not be able to do it. But once it can find that kind of energy again, once it is rested and recovered enough, you should be able to do that task again.

You want to be careful with actual burnouts because very severe burnouts can actually cause you to lose skills permanently but as long as you can recover enough for the brain to be able to function in that particular area again, you will regain the skill.

When I shutdown, I pretty much go into a zombie like state. I involuntarily just kind of stand very still and kind of focus on nothing and on everything at the same time. It's a very different stillness than when I am catatonic or cataplexic. It's hard to describe. I am fully aware of what is happening around me just like when I am catatonic or cataplexic, but it's different in the sense that it's very different kind of disconnect. When I burn out, it's like the life is completely drained out of me and I can't function at all. I can't figure out the words to describe shutdown though. It usually doesn't last long, but it lasts long enough for people to notice. I think my face just goes completely blank and I think my eyes might glazed over or distant. People will definitely see me and realize that I am not "with them" for awhile. I actually offended someone once when I had a shut down because he thought I was doing it on purpose just to take attention away from him as he was talking to the group. He told everyone in the group that I was angry. I guess whatever expression my face had during the shut down must have made me look angry. When I later told him that it wasn't voluntary, he said it didn't matter, I still ruined his talk by taking attention away from him.


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14 Apr 2023, 10:19 am

Skibum. What you describe as a shutdown is what I describe as mindblank. What you describe as catatonia (Or the other similar word I have not come across yet u til you said it), I describe as a shutdown.
Is interesting... I once remember pulling out of one of the stare fixations where I was sitting in the car in a carpark and I heard shouts from this lady (Any sudden movement or noise and my mind will suddenly pull out of it) and I then realized that I was staring at her. I didn't know I had been staring at her. I knew she was there buy didn't know I had gone into a motionless stare. Usually had them when exhausted, so times when I have hit burnout where I have lack of sleep I will also have these awake stare moments.
Mindblank... That comes for me where my mind gets stuck and I cant talk and only seems to happen in certain enviroments such as when I go to talk to my doctor as I will be nervous.
I can backtrack to free up my mind if I talk about something totally different in a type of "Default" setting where my mind unsticks itself. I automatically taught myself to speak round the world and back to get back to the origional topic I wanted to raise, as by doing that I would come at the topic from a different angle and avoid mindblank. The best way to describe it is I go to talk about a subject I have in my mind (Usually not in spoken thought form as my mind somehow translates things into spoken thought first? (I know I work extremely well in pictures)) and somehow I go to talk about it and nothing. Absolutely nothing! No thought. Nothing! Can't say a word. Can not think "Forward". Have to back upmind and shift sideways to another subject (Default subject) to get mind to switch on to think so I can talk. Does this make sense?
It is not fits as I have been tested for that about a year ago with probe things on my head when they did a EEC (Think it is called an EEC? A brain scan thing where they use a jelly stuff to stick the sensing probe wires on so that they can scan the brain to check for fits or possibly other things. While I was there they checked to see if I was sensitive to light).
Anyway. Is interesting!


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14 Apr 2023, 10:30 am

BreathlessJade wrote:
is that common?


I usually post this link when someone questions shutdowns as it's usually insightful.

https://everything2.com/user/Zifendorf/ ... s/shutdown


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14 Apr 2023, 10:32 am



https://youtu.be/1CNY6BbtgS8

A short Youtube thing to show a shutdown which is almost exactly how I get them except my eyesight fad :) s to black downwards like a stagecurtain from top to bottom and I get loud tinitus from .edium tone to quite a low tone as my eyesight turns to black. While this is happening I end up on the floor as if my batteries have suddenly run out! I lose all power to move my limbs either before or usually during when I lose my eyesight. Is NOT a faint as I am concious and a common occurance is people stepping on my fingers or hands as they try to walk past and it really hurts but I cant move or use my voice to say "OOOW! " so they think it ok (Once had brothers kids repeatedly jumping up and down on me as if I was a toy to play on and brother did nothing to stop them while I was in a shutdown. I feel the hurts amplified when in a shutdown but am completely unable to do anything! Is frightening to me when others are around me because I fear being trodden on when in this situation asam vunerable, and worse than that is if a medically trained person tries to force me to speak as thattakesme into repeated shutdowns!)


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14 Apr 2023, 10:36 am

Recidivist wrote:
BreathlessJade wrote:
is that common?


I usually post this link when someone questions shutdowns as it's usually insightful.

https://everything2.com/user/Zifendorf/ ... s/shutdown


Is that the one where one type of shutdown is whatI get where the experience of drivinga car onewould be ok,but as soon ad one goes to get out of the car one can't do it as oneshuts down? (Exactly my experience... Was soo accurate that I scrolled up as I thought that I had written it and forgotton I had written it!)


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14 Apr 2023, 10:53 am

Mountain Goat wrote:
Recidivist wrote:
BreathlessJade wrote:
is that common?


I usually post this link when someone questions shutdowns as it's usually insightful.

https://everything2.com/user/Zifendorf/ ... s/shutdown


Is that the one where one type of shutdown is whatI get where the experience of drivinga car onewould be ok,but as soon ad one goes to get out of the car one can't do it as oneshuts down? (Exactly my experience... Was soo accurate that I scrolled up as I thought that I had written it and forgotton I had written it!)


I remember posting this link for you on my old account SaveFerris a while back, and you found it useful.


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14 Apr 2023, 11:56 am

Recidivist wrote:
Mountain Goat wrote:
Recidivist wrote:
BreathlessJade wrote:
is that common?


I usually post this link when someone questions shutdowns as it's usually insightful.

https://everything2.com/user/Zifendorf/ ... s/shutdown


Is that the one where one type of shutdown is whatI get where the experience of drivinga car onewould be ok,but as soon ad one goes to get out of the car one can't do it as oneshuts down? (Exactly my experience... Was soo accurate that I scrolled up as I thought that I had written it and forgotton I had written it!)


I remember posting this link for you on my old account SaveFerris a while back, and you found it useful.


Ah. That is it! Is what made me discover what I had. I can't click on the link with this tablet as it throws me out of Google when I try, but I remember the words in the link.


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14 Apr 2023, 12:55 pm

Mountain Goat wrote:
Skibum. What you describe as a shutdown is what I describe as mindblank. What you describe as catatonia (Or the other similar word I have not come across yet u til you said it), I describe as a shutdown.
Is interesting... I once remember pulling out of one of the stare fixations where I was sitting in the car in a carpark and I heard shouts from this lady (Any sudden movement or noise and my mind will suddenly pull out of it) and I then realized that I was staring at her. I didn't know I had been staring at her. I knew she was there buy didn't know I had gone into a motionless stare. Usually had them when exhausted, so times when I have hit burnout where I have lack of sleep I will also have these awake stare moments.
Mindblank... That comes for me where my mind gets stuck and I cant talk and only seems to happen in certain enviroments such as when I go to talk to my doctor as I will be nervous.
I can backtrack to free up my mind if I talk about something totally different in a type of "Default" setting where my mind unsticks itself. I automatically taught myself to speak round the world and back to get back to the origional topic I wanted to raise, as by doing that I would come at the topic from a different angle and avoid mindblank. The best way to describe it is I go to talk about a subject I have in my mind (Usually not in spoken thought form as my mind somehow translates things into spoken thought first? (I know I work extremely well in pictures)) and somehow I go to talk about it and nothing. Absolutely nothing! No thought. Nothing! Can't say a word. Can not think "Forward". Have to back upmind and shift sideways to another subject (Default subject) to get mind to switch on to think so I can talk. Does this make sense?
It is not fits as I have been tested for that about a year ago with probe things on my head when they did a EEC (Think it is called an EEC? A brain scan thing where they use a jelly stuff to stick the sensing probe wires on so that they can scan the brain to check for fits or possibly other things. While I was there they checked to see if I was sensitive to light).
Anyway. Is interesting!
I don't think you understand what I was describing. Catatonia is its own diagnosis. It is not an Autism thing perse. One type of catatonia is affected by another underlying diagnosis. There are three types of catatonia. I have akinetic catatonia and I do believe that it is related to my Autism although, it does not have to be related. But I think mine is. My Catatonia isn't just a motionless stare. It's complete frozen in place immobility of my entire body for a significant amount of time. For example, I might be walking somewhere, and I will just freeze solid in mid step. I will stay in that position until my brain resets unless I am physically picked up and moved to another location where I will remain frozen until my brain resets. These episodes do not happen often at all. Like I have only had it happen three times that I can remember. Mine doesn't last for days, months, or years like some people, but it can last for like an hour. Depending on the severity of it, I might be able to be woken out of it by a touch but sometimes even that won't wake me out of it. I just have to wait until my brain resets.

Shutdown is very different. It is a motionless stare. But it is not the frozen in mid action or mid step that happens in catatonia. Shutdown is more mild in the sense that I am motionless but not like frozen solid like a sculpture. I can be brought out of that much more easily if someone engages me through speech or touch. Shut down is usually from exhaustion and overstimulation. Catatonia is much more serious and can require very serious medical intervention.


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14 Apr 2023, 3:13 pm

skibum wrote:
Mountain Goat wrote:
Skibum. What you describe as a shutdown is what I describe as mindblank. What you describe as catatonia (Or the other similar word I have not come across yet u til you said it), I describe as a shutdown.
Is interesting... I once remember pulling out of one of the stare fixations where I was sitting in the car in a carpark and I heard shouts from this lady (Any sudden movement or noise and my mind will suddenly pull out of it) and I then realized that I was staring at her. I didn't know I had been staring at her. I knew she was there buy didn't know I had gone into a motionless stare. Usually had them when exhausted, so times when I have hit burnout where I have lack of sleep I will also have these awake stare moments.
Mindblank... That comes for me where my mind gets stuck and I cant talk and only seems to happen in certain enviroments such as when I go to talk to my doctor as I will be nervous.
I can backtrack to free up my mind if I talk about something totally different in a type of "Default" setting where my mind unsticks itself. I automatically taught myself to speak round the world and back to get back to the origional topic I wanted to raise, as by doing that I would come at the topic from a different angle and avoid mindblank. The best way to describe it is I go to talk about a subject I have in my mind (Usually not in spoken thought form as my mind somehow translates things into spoken thought first? (I know I work extremely well in pictures)) and somehow I go to talk about it and nothing. Absolutely nothing! No thought. Nothing! Can't say a word. Can not think "Forward". Have to back upmind and shift sideways to another subject (Default subject) to get mind to switch on to think so I can talk. Does this make sense?
It is not fits as I have been tested for that about a year ago with probe things on my head when they did a EEC (Think it is called an EEC? A brain scan thing where they use a jelly stuff to stick the sensing probe wires on so that they can scan the brain to check for fits or possibly other things. While I was there they checked to see if I was sensitive to light).
Anyway. Is interesting!
I don't think you understand what I was describing. Catatonia is its own diagnosis. It is not an Autism thing perse. One type of catatonia is affected by another underlying diagnosis. There are three types of catatonia. I have akinetic catatonia and I do believe that it is related to my Autism although, it does not have to be related. But I think mine is. My Catatonia isn't just a motionless stare. It's complete frozen in place immobility of my entire body for a significant amount of time. For example, I might be walking somewhere, and I will just freeze solid in mid step. I will stay in that position until my brain resets unless I am physically picked up and moved to another location where I will remain frozen until my brain resets. These episodes do not happen often at all. Like I have only had it happen three times that I can remember. Mine doesn't last for days, months, or years like some people, but it can last for like an hour. Depending on the severity of it, I might be able to be woken out of it by a touch but sometimes even that won't wake me out of it. I just have to wait until my brain resets.

Shutdown is very different. It is a motionless stare. But it is not the frozen in mid action or mid step that happens in catatonia. Shutdown is more mild in the sense that I am motionless but not like frozen solid like a sculpture. I can be brought out of that much more easily if someone engages me through speech or touch. Shut down is usually from exhaustion and overstimulation. Catatonia is much more serious and can require very serious medical intervention.



When I am in what I describe as a shutdown, If people talk to me I get repeat shutdowns.


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15 Apr 2023, 9:12 am

Mountain Goat wrote:
skibum wrote:
Mountain Goat wrote:
Skibum. What you describe as a shutdown is what I describe as mindblank. What you describe as catatonia (Or the other similar word I have not come across yet u til you said it), I describe as a shutdown.
Is interesting... I once remember pulling out of one of the stare fixations where I was sitting in the car in a carpark and I heard shouts from this lady (Any sudden movement or noise and my mind will suddenly pull out of it) and I then realized that I was staring at her. I didn't know I had been staring at her. I knew she was there buy didn't know I had gone into a motionless stare. Usually had them when exhausted, so times when I have hit burnout where I have lack of sleep I will also have these awake stare moments.
Mindblank... That comes for me where my mind gets stuck and I cant talk and only seems to happen in certain enviroments such as when I go to talk to my doctor as I will be nervous.
I can backtrack to free up my mind if I talk about something totally different in a type of "Default" setting where my mind unsticks itself. I automatically taught myself to speak round the world and back to get back to the origional topic I wanted to raise, as by doing that I would come at the topic from a different angle and avoid mindblank. The best way to describe it is I go to talk about a subject I have in my mind (Usually not in spoken thought form as my mind somehow translates things into spoken thought first? (I know I work extremely well in pictures)) and somehow I go to talk about it and nothing. Absolutely nothing! No thought. Nothing! Can't say a word. Can not think "Forward". Have to back upmind and shift sideways to another subject (Default subject) to get mind to switch on to think so I can talk. Does this make sense?
It is not fits as I have been tested for that about a year ago with probe things on my head when they did a EEC (Think it is called an EEC? A brain scan thing where they use a jelly stuff to stick the sensing probe wires on so that they can scan the brain to check for fits or possibly other things. While I was there they checked to see if I was sensitive to light).
Anyway. Is interesting!
I don't think you understand what I was describing. Catatonia is its own diagnosis. It is not an Autism thing perse. One type of catatonia is affected by another underlying diagnosis. There are three types of catatonia. I have akinetic catatonia and I do believe that it is related to my Autism although, it does not have to be related. But I think mine is. My Catatonia isn't just a motionless stare. It's complete frozen in place immobility of my entire body for a significant amount of time. For example, I might be walking somewhere, and I will just freeze solid in mid step. I will stay in that position until my brain resets unless I am physically picked up and moved to another location where I will remain frozen until my brain resets. These episodes do not happen often at all. Like I have only had it happen three times that I can remember. Mine doesn't last for days, months, or years like some people, but it can last for like an hour. Depending on the severity of it, I might be able to be woken out of it by a touch but sometimes even that won't wake me out of it. I just have to wait until my brain resets.

Shutdown is very different. It is a motionless stare. But it is not the frozen in mid action or mid step that happens in catatonia. Shutdown is more mild in the sense that I am motionless but not like frozen solid like a sculpture. I can be brought out of that much more easily if someone engages me through speech or touch. Shut down is usually from exhaustion and overstimulation. Catatonia is much more serious and can require very serious medical intervention.



When I am in what I describe as a shutdown, If people talk to me I get repeat shutdowns.
That would make sense because the shut down happens because you are too exhausted to deal with that kind of stimuli, so if people try to talk to you when you are that exhausted you can't recover from shutting down.


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15 Apr 2023, 9:33 am

Mountain Goat wrote:


https://youtu.be/1CNY6BbtgS8

A short Youtube thing to show a shutdown which is almost exactly how I get them except my eyesight fad :) s to black downwards like a stagecurtain from top to bottom and I get loud tinitus from .edium tone to quite a low tone as my eyesight turns to black. While this is happening I end up on the floor as if my batteries have suddenly run out! I lose all power to move my limbs either before or usually during when I lose my eyesight. Is NOT a faint as I am concious and a common occurance is people stepping on my fingers or hands as they try to walk past and it really hurts but I cant move or use my voice to say "OOOW! " so they think it ok (Once had brothers kids repeatedly jumping up and down on me as if I was a toy to play on and brother did nothing to stop them while I was in a shutdown. I feel the hurts amplified when in a shutdown but am completely unable to do anything! Is frightening to me when others are around me because I fear being trodden on when in this situation asam vunerable, and worse than that is if a medically trained person tries to force me to speak as thattakesme into repeated shutdowns!)
It's very interesting that you lose your eyesight during a shutdown. I actually don't lose my eyesight in a shutdown. But it is a very real disconnect when it happens to me. I also don't collapse to the floor in a shutdown but I do collapse to the floor when I have an episode of cataplexy. I wonder if you have cataplexy. It sounds like what you are describing here is more like cataplexy. In a cataplexy episode, I physically collapse if I am standing, I have no ability to move my limbs, I cannot speak, and my eyelids also close and I cannot open them. But I am fully aware of everything happening around me. This will last until my brain is able to reset. I don't have increased tinnitus during those episodes though. I do normally have tinnitus all the time though.

I wonder if you actually have cataplexy. Cataplexy is not just something that happens if you are Autistic. It is also a separate diagnosis like catatonia. You might want to see a neurologist to see if you should actually have cataplexy. If you do, it's something that your neurologist should definitely know about and monitor.


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15 Apr 2023, 9:42 am

No idea. I did have a brain scan thing to check for fits. Nothing unusual found. Will need to research what cataplexy is so I can understand it better.


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15 Apr 2023, 10:24 am

Mountain Goat wrote:
No idea. I did have a brain scan thing to check for fits. Nothing unusual found. Will need to research what cataplexy is so I can understand it better.
Yep, cataplexy is not epilepsy. You won't see it in a seizure scan. Definitely tell your doctor about what happens to you and ask if you need to be assessed for a cataplexy diagnosis.

https://www.healthline.com/health/cataplexy#symptoms

I also have mild narcolepsy. I sometimes have sleep paralysis. Cataplexy is related to narcolepsy. I have read that narcolepsy can be more common in Autistic people but I have to research that more. But as far as we know, there is no connection between narcolepsy and Autism.


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15 Apr 2023, 10:39 am

I think I experience partial shutdowns. Usually it happens at work when I get severely overloaded.

Here's how I'm defining these experiences right now:
Severe overload: being extremely irritable, feeling sick & just overwhelmed in general. Still able to talk to customers and may be able to appear cheerful or semi-cheerful.

Partial shutdown: I am running on fumes. Talking to customers is very difficult and I may only be able to respond to very necessary questions. I cannot mask at all and customers can tell I don't feel well, may think I'm just in a very bad mood. I cannot escape the situation so I just deal by forcing myself to do the bare minimum.


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