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How frequently do you have a meltdown or shutdown?
Once a day or more 14%  14%  [ 8 ]
Once a week 23%  23%  [ 13 ]
Once a month 34%  34%  [ 19 ]
Once a year or less 29%  29%  [ 16 ]
Total votes : 56

Waterfalls
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05 Sep 2014, 4:45 pm

How do people define a meltdown or shutdown? I'm not sure where to draw a line between this and just stressed.



babybird
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05 Sep 2014, 4:49 pm

I used to have them quite a lot up until I was about 30 and then they got less frequent. I'd say I can control a meltdown these days, so it's not destructive.

My meltdowns used to be horrendous.


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BirdInFlight
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05 Sep 2014, 5:49 pm

Waterfalls wrote:
How do people define a meltdown or shutdown? I'm not sure where to draw a line between this and just stressed.


I can only tell you my own definition for what those terms mean to me, if that's helpful. Just stressed is when I'm feeling tense, fed up, but I'm managing to still stay functional, get things done, feeling unhappy but able to function.

Meltdown for me is when too many stress factors have piled up in too short and compressed a time period, and without sufficient time for the "just stressed" periods to fade away, the just stressed is now turning into serious frustrations, anger, which in turn starts to be inability to cope. I then have a freak-out -- I scream, I cry and can't stop crying, I'm pacing around yelling out loud a diatribe about the thing or things that have tipped me past this tipping point. It usually happens in my own apartment while I'm alone, but today it happened in public.

So basically, to me anyway, "just stressed" is me gritting my teeth but still functioning. Meltdown is totally losing it, screaming, sobbing, deep distress, massive unhappiness and frustration, bursting out in a total volcano erupting.

Shutdown for me is what follows that. When I start to come down from the volcanic emotions of frustration and "exploded stress," I begin to "numb out." I get deeply non-functioning.

My executive functioning goes to hell in a handbasket. I go into a zombie-like depression caused by the exhaustion of the meltdown and the emotions of extreme distress that brought about the meltdown. It's almost like I go into a state of shock -- shock not at my own meltdown but at the things that caused the meltdown, if that makes any sense. It's like my second reaction to the events that caused my distress, like the next stage in my reaction to them.

Sometimes I've had a shutdown of sorts without the meltdown preceding it. That usually happens in social setting in which I've become too overloaded. I will go directly into shutdown -- I will begin to respond less and less, withdraw more and more, feel numb and a bit "shocked", not want to speak anymore, and I just want to go away into a quiet place.

This is what these things are like for me, I only speak for myself and what I define as the things I call my meltdowns, shut downs or just stress
.



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05 Sep 2014, 7:26 pm

Shut downs only, and once a year or less. Looking at my life overall, then definitely less than once a year. 2014 has been a rare one with two shutdowns.


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05 Sep 2014, 7:54 pm

Waterfalls wrote:
How do people define a meltdown or shutdown? I'm not sure where to draw a line between this and just stressed.

Shutdowns are pretty clear for me. Like BirdInFlight, I go completely nonverbal. I can't hold onto any of my thoughts, they just keep chasing each other around in my head. A lot of the time I'll just curl up and not move till it's over.

Meltdowns are a little different. I don't really get them all that often. I can only remember a handful in my adult life that were definitely meltdowns. For me it's generally just one huge outburst that goes immediately into shutdown.

I get smaller events sometimes that are somewhat similar. For instance, I get that slow fading that BirdInFlight described during large social gatherings. I also get a sort of escalating agitation during arguments or debates that is somewhat similar to meltdowns. But in both cases I maintain some level of control and functioning ability, so I don't really think of them as meltdowns or shutdowns.



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06 Sep 2014, 5:03 am

I'll shutdown a few times a year, it depends on how stressful the day has been. I don't really have meltdowns anymore.



EzraS
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06 Sep 2014, 9:36 am

It depends on what all is going on. Some are from emotional stuff....some are from sensory overload. Can go a week or so without an episode. Sometimes have a few during the week. My meltdowns are usually the severe classic type.



Waterfalls
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06 Sep 2014, 11:29 am

Do we think neurotypical people have shutdowns much? I kind of took them for granted and never thought about this as something maybe not everyone shuts down several times a day some?



lambdamoses
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02 Mar 2018, 5:58 am

Earlier I thought the term "meltdown" means being driven crazy due to sensory overload, but posts on WrongPlanet suggest that many people had meltdowns due to emotion and meltdowns differ from tantrums in that the latter is about getting something. So in this sense, I meltdown almost every day in grades 3-4 as I got bullied and alienated a lot; even calling me by a nickname I didn't like or finding my set squares damaged would make me scream so loud that the entire building could hear. Grades 5-6: most weeks in school. Grades 7-10: a few times a year. After grade 11: 1-3 times a year, and nowhere as destructive as when I was in elementary school. My meltdowns were almost all caused by emotions out of control, but now I'm pretty good at regulating emotions.



Esmerelda Weatherwax
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02 Mar 2018, 9:44 am

Very very rarely. But when I do, it's Richter 9. I go off spectacularly, about once every five years. It typically lasts about fifteen seconds, but it's impressive. Loudness, armwaving, and really really bad words coherently arranged. And then it's done.

There is nothing I can do, apparently, to prepare people for this; the fact that I haven't done it in their vicinity seems to be interpreted as proof that I never really do it, despite all my efforts to explain that I can, do, have done, and will do it again in all likelihood.

Then after the dust settles I get looks of shock and "gosh what was that all about"? Which translates as, "hey kiddo, so not only do we get to poke at you til you blow up, we get to ask you to take care of OUR feelings afterwards!"

And dammit, I always do. Lay my ears back, caretake them, then go home and wait for the stress migraine or IBS to hit.

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Now, I *vent* a *lot*. But that's more like Yosemite Sam - rassafrassa rackafracka, stomping around and cussing mildly under my breath (e.g., damn damn damn $h!+ damn damn damn) ... which was pretty much a normal day at the office for most of my associates too. Sometimes I'd suggest we try it in multipart harmony...


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02 Mar 2018, 9:50 am

I had a big one yesterday. I thought I had lost my cellphone. I was really sweating it and was nervous to the point of having diarrhea thinking about the process I would have to go through to replace it. Luckily, I later found it in my jacket pocket. Wow, did I feel stupid afterward, but I'm glad I found it!



Esmerelda Weatherwax
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02 Mar 2018, 9:53 am

Yikes, that would have been awful. Glad you found it.

With ASD, our guts are not our friends, apparently.


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eeVenye
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02 Mar 2018, 12:24 pm

Voted once/yr, but it is anytime I have to do a "real" paper for school (vs reflection paper or similar), so roughly twice a year.


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02 Mar 2018, 12:45 pm

Sometimes I'll have a couple of meltdowns in a week and sometimes I'll go without them for a couple of months. It mostly depends on the stress levels. I have shutdowns more often than meltdowns.



SaveFerris
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02 Mar 2018, 1:03 pm

IstominFan wrote:
I had a big one yesterday. I thought I had lost my cellphone. I was really sweating it and was nervous to the point of having diarrhea thinking about the process I would have to go through to replace it. Luckily, I later found it in my jacket pocket. Wow, did I feel stupid afterward, but I'm glad I found it!


What other symptoms did you have ?, I get like that quite regularly but never thought it was a meltdown.


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