Page 1 of 2 [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

EvilKimEvil
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,041

30 Apr 2008, 1:55 am

All my life, I've had these awful experiences and I'm not sure if they are considered panic attacks or meltdowns. Actually, I'm not sure if the symptoms fit with either. So what else could they be? This is what I experience:

-Sudden onset, triggered by an extremely stressful situation

-Out-of-control sort of feeling

-Shaking, trembling - sort of like extreme shivering

-Hyperventilation

-Difficulty breathing

-Extreme lacrimation

-Choking sensation

-Spinning sensation (vertigo)

It lasts for about twenty minutes and can take a few hours to recover from.

Fortunately, it's been a long time since I've had one because I've been avoiding the triggers. But I still need to know what they are because chances are, it will happen again.



Liopleurodon
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 16 Jan 2008
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 214
Location: The Tethys Sea

30 Apr 2008, 2:03 am

Sounds exactly like what happens to me. I call them panic attacks. But hey I could be wrong, too, and since they're usually triggered by sensory overload of some sort, they could well be meltdowns. I suppose I don't really draw a distinction between the two.


_________________
Do I look like a freaking people person?


wsmac
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Aug 2007
Age: 59
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,904
Location: Humboldt County, Little Blue House on the Hill

30 Apr 2008, 2:23 am

I thought meltdowns were more of an emotional response that also manifested itself with verbal and physical outbursts.

From your description, I would also say something similar to a panic attack, although you would need to have the 'feeling' of panic.

Take a look at the symptoms...

On the surface, these sound like an emotional reaction...
-Sudden onset, triggered by an extremely stressful situation

-Out-of-control sort of feeling

-Shaking, trembling - sort of like extreme shivering



-Hyperventilation ... this one pretty much describes what the following blue lines are probably stemming from...

-Difficulty breathing

-Extreme lacrimation

-Choking sensation

-Spinning sensation (vertigo)



It lasts for about twenty minutes and can take a few hours to recover from.

This last one sounds right for such a stressful, emotionally and physically, experience.

One of the quickest ways to counteract hyperventilation is to have the person breath into a small paper sack.
This recirculates the CO2 and helps bring the system back in order.
It also helps to get the patient to slow down the rate of breathing.

It is my understanding that in some places, EMT's are no longer trained to offer up the paper sack.
It worked wonders in my years of driving ambulances.

Slow... deep breaths will help prevent hyperventilation, but when a person is all emotional and unable to put forth the right effort... they will experience these signs and sypmtoms.
A person will also pass out eventually if left untreated... this is only harmful if they hurt themselves while falling down, so it's good to get them to sit down, although in an anxious state-of-mind, it's very difficult to get them to do anything you want them to.

I do hope you don't experience these anymore.. but if you do.. just remember about breathing properly...if you can that is.


_________________
fides solus
===============
LIBRARIES... Hardware stores for the mind


LabPet
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 4 Jan 2007
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,824
Location: Canada

30 Apr 2008, 2:26 am

I do have panic attacks and can be rather 'high strung.' However, I have SCREAMING MELTDOWNS FROM HECK. I have NIGHTMARE MELTDOWNS. I am not even almost kidding - sheer horror. I have been taken to the ER, SCREAMING, and screaming, and screaming, and screaming..........without end. I lack speech and I cannot stop screaming and I am in nervous shock. I have had deep muscle injections of an Ativan cocktail so I can calm down and collapse/rest. THAT'S a meltdown.

Panic attacks are bad, yes. But for me, a meltdown is like being locked inside a box and thrown into the deep ocean with no way out. I do have a prescription, which I am to take twice daily, Clonazepam. I do not like taking medicine but I follow my dosing precisely. But I cannot really state this helps my meltdowns. I have screamed, cried uncontrollably, in nervous hysterical shock, until my throat is bloody raw. Then, there is the recuperation time. Granted, some meltdowns are not as serious as the ones described, but varying degrees of SCREAMING PAIN.

If I begin to feel...'melty' I remove myself from any given situation asap. I have synaesthesia and can become overloaded with stimuli. That, in tandem with stress, being misinterpreted, and feeling - far away (?) = MELTDOWN CRISIS. I honestly do not know if there is anything that can help me. I have no doctor, currently, and the one who last prescribed, a neurologist (I no longer see him) actually thought a meltdown was (direct quote - he knows little of autism): "Is that when an autistic child hears noise, like at a certain pitch, and becomes anxious?"

NO. NO. NO. Compare his statement to my meltdowns. Multiply by an order of magnitude. Worse, I've had certain 'professionals' who really thought the word 'meltdown' was/is a 'made-up' word (it is not - a real phenomena), analogous to what a neurotypical calls an 'upset state,' where they feel temperamental or panicky - NOT a meltdown!! !! !!

WHY, why, why can't a doctor &/or professional 'get this?' I've explained to infinity and back to neuro/psych professionals. Unfortunately, I have yet to find one, in my area, that knows what an autistc meltdown is.

The ER doctors know! Like when I've physically COLLAPSED outside in the parking lot from screaming. Neuro/psych professionals are deluded. I really wish one was current - like knows how to read a science med journal? Also, WHY does are we (autistics) stuck with the stupid word 'meltdown,' which sounds silly anyway? Isn't there a more.....credible term?

MENTAL SCREAM. Does anyone else have meltdowns like this? Yes, distinct from a panic attack. Further (may I complain?), WHY are certain individuals rude when one (me, or any other) are having a panic attack? WHY can 'they' not see that panicked individual is....having a panic attack! During a panic attack (or the monumental meltdown), I really wish other's would have sense enough to recognize another is in DISTRESS!! !! ! They do NOT need to be treated harshly! For ex: If one were having a seizure, stroke, etc. would an outsider treat them so miserably?

I truly wish I could never have a meltdown....but I cannot control my meltdowns, or panic attacks either. Having another yell at me, when they do not understand, does NOT help, I promise.


_________________
The ones who say “You can’t” and “You won’t” are probably the ones scared that you will. - Unknown


LabPet
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 4 Jan 2007
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,824
Location: Canada

30 Apr 2008, 2:29 am

To add, a panic attack is bad/scary. But a MELTDOWN is a medical emergency. And should be treated as such.

This is WHY I wear a medical alert ID.


_________________
The ones who say “You can’t” and “You won’t” are probably the ones scared that you will. - Unknown


Shayne
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Gender: Male
Posts: 444
Location: South Florida, USA Age: 24

30 Apr 2008, 2:48 am

LabPet wrote:
But a MELTDOWN is a medical emergency. And should be treated as such.



define then meltdown if you will, maybe others have a different definition.

i did read your post, i know you described it there, but not sure if you tried to put a true definition to it

do you say all meltdowns are medical emergency?

meltdown does sound like a serious word to me, ive never heard it used in a silly way before.

would you suppose that the severity of your meltdowns enable you to minimalize anyone else's if they do not reach the level that yours reach?

im not insinuating or even suggesting just asking.


_________________
Come play Scrabble .
Message me on WP . We will play.


Last edited by Shayne on 30 Apr 2008, 2:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

EvilKimEvil
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,041

30 Apr 2008, 2:55 am

Yes, I've heard that meltdowns are a lot more severe than panic attacks. I've also heard that panic attacks are emotional by definition. My "panic attacks" are triggered by certain types of stressful situations, but they are a physical experience, not an emotional one. That's what confuses me.



Shayne
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Gender: Male
Posts: 444
Location: South Florida, USA Age: 24

30 Apr 2008, 2:58 am

EvilKimEvil wrote:
Yes, I've heard that meltdowns are a lot more severe than panic attacks. I've also heard that panic attacks are emotional by definition. My "panic attacks" are triggered by certain types of stressful situations, but they are a physical experience, not an emotional one. That's what confuses me.


you say its a physical experience, are you talking about triggers or symptoms?

one could have a physical reaction to emotional distress.


_________________
Come play Scrabble .
Message me on WP . We will play.


Shayne
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Gender: Male
Posts: 444
Location: South Florida, USA Age: 24

30 Apr 2008, 3:09 am

couldn't emotional stimulation contribute to a meltdown in the same way as other physical triggers..

we have been talking about emotional and physical as if they are differentiated..

but isnt emotion something physical thats inside our brains?

we definately sense our emotions as we would sense anything else.

we could then be overloaded and intolerant to our sense of emotion as we might any other sense.


_________________
Come play Scrabble .
Message me on WP . We will play.


Shayne
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Gender: Male
Posts: 444
Location: South Florida, USA Age: 24

30 Apr 2008, 3:15 am

wsmac wrote:

One of the quickest ways to counteract hyperventilation is to have the person breath into a small paper sack.
This recirculates the CO2 and helps bring the system back in order.
It also helps to get the patient to slow down the rate of breathing.



this practice can also be fatal.


_________________
Come play Scrabble .
Message me on WP . We will play.


LabPet
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 4 Jan 2007
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,824
Location: Canada

30 Apr 2008, 3:17 am

Shayne wrote:
LabPet wrote:
But a MELTDOWN is a medical emergency. And should be treated as such.



define then meltdown if you will, maybe others have a different definition.

i did read your post, i know you described it there, but not sure if you tried to put a true definition to it

do you say all meltdowns are medical emergency?

meltdown does sound like a serious word to me, ive never heard it used in a silly way before.

would you suppose that the severity of your meltdowns enable you to minimalize anyone else's if they do not reach the level that yours reach?

im not insinuating or even suggesting just asking.


You asked good questions, and I shall clarify. First, yes, I was speaking for myself; I cannot possibly 'know' what a true meltdown is for another. So, for me, when I have a SERIOUS meltdown, it truly is a medical emergency. That is, I'm can approach nervous shock. For another, there may not be this severity - understood.

Good that to you and I, and others here, take the term meltdown seriously. However, I assure you, many do NOT know! Even those in the medical profession have no idea what an autistic meltdown is and just think it's a 'made up ' word. It is not.

I would never minimize or qualify another's meltdown - ever. I saw a little child have a meltdown (yes, I recognized it) at the grocery story and I felt awful for him - he was crying hard. So I do not judge another's by level or severity. I can only know what a meltdown is for me.

I am unsure if an autistic meltdown is quantifiably defined. By this I mean, if one was treated for this 'condition,' I doubt medical personnel would know or recognize, without more information. Even so, the term 'meltdown' is not medically defined - I've checked. And meltdown is distinct from an anxiety attack. Any individual can have an anxiety attack, but a true meltdown is regarded as uniquely autistic.

There is certainly an emotional/psychological component, of course, but physiological too since associated with sensory modality. Which probably distinguished a meltdown from an anxiety attack, at least on one axis.


_________________
The ones who say “You can’t” and “You won’t” are probably the ones scared that you will. - Unknown


LabPet
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 4 Jan 2007
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,824
Location: Canada

30 Apr 2008, 3:37 am

Shayne wrote:
couldn't emotional stimulation contribute to a meltdown in the same way as other physical triggers..

we have been talking about emotional and physical as if they are differentiated..

but isnt emotion something physical thats inside our brains?

we definately sense our emotions as we would sense anything else.

we could then be overloaded and intolerant to our sense of emotion as we might any other sense.


Yes, there is a tenuous balance between 'emotional' and 'physical,' where is that boundary? Unknown. For me, as most other Auties, I have FEW emotions (like 4). Therefore, I have no conducive outlet for what I feel, which is sensory/perceptual. I do know neurotypicals are better at balancing those perceptual interpretations since they can 1) assign meaning and 2) relegate an appropriate emotion. I lack both these features, which exacerabates the meltdown downward spiral.

The definiton? I don't know. I do not know that there is a consensus! Tough question.....


_________________
The ones who say “You can’t” and “You won’t” are probably the ones scared that you will. - Unknown


LabPet
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 4 Jan 2007
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,824
Location: Canada

30 Apr 2008, 3:41 am

Shayne wrote:
wsmac wrote:

One of the quickest ways to counteract hyperventilation is to have the person breath into a small paper sack.
This recirculates the CO2 and helps bring the system back in order.
It also helps to get the patient to slow down the rate of breathing.



this practice can also be fatal.


Fatal if prolonged - I think wsmac just meant until the hyperventilation, which can cause one to go into shock, is regulated. That's all. This is why, as he said, 'the patient (is) to slow down the rate of breathing,' by taking slow deep breaths, instead of panting.


_________________
The ones who say “You can’t” and “You won’t” are probably the ones scared that you will. - Unknown


pixie-bell
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 22 Jun 2007
Age: 33
Gender: Female
Posts: 82
Location: Scotland

30 Apr 2008, 4:42 am

Labpet is right, they vary from one individual to the next and are hard to describe, let alone define.

A 'meltdown' for me is when I lose the capacity to speak or do anything at all and involves screaming, lashing out (at others and myself), crying uncontrollably and then sleeping for a very long time! Several hours of sensory overload=a day's sleep and am unable to move.

It is similar to the physical symptoms of depression where your brain is aware that you have to get up but you can't...does anyone know the reason behind this inability to move?



Shayne
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Gender: Male
Posts: 444
Location: South Florida, USA Age: 24

30 Apr 2008, 10:02 am

this thread deserves more attention than it's getting..


MORE POSTERS PLEASE!


_________________
Come play Scrabble .
Message me on WP . We will play.