Why do we call a meltdown a meltdown ?

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Should the term "meltdown" be withdrawn from service and replaced with something else ?
Yes 17%  17%  [ 6 ]
No 54%  54%  [ 19 ]
Do not know 29%  29%  [ 10 ]
Total votes : 35

Woodpecker
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16 May 2009, 8:49 am

I fail to understand why we call an anxiety attack or a moment of deep emotional torment a "meltdown". To me a meltdown sounds rather nasty and dangerous. It sounds very much like the three mile island accident which is the classic loss of cooling nuclear accident.

I have never heard of a aspie or an autie who is able to melt metal the way that poorly cooled reactor fuel back in 1979 managed to melt its cladding and wreck much of the plant. Should we search for, consider and adopt a replacement term for a "meltdown" ?

PS. I will not claim that I am the first person to consider the question of is "meltdown" the correct word. The Autistic b***h from Hell has commented on this matter already

http://autisticbfh.blogspot.com/2008/07 ... 8412055893


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starygrrl
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16 May 2009, 8:58 am

To me meltdown is pretty good term. I may not melt metal, but i have detroyed some really good friendships and relationships when i am having one.



Sora
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16 May 2009, 8:59 am

Woodpecker wrote:
I fail to understand why we call an anxiety attack or a moment of deep emotional torment a "meltdown".


I find meltdown to be appropriate as in my meltdowns my conciousness indeed is going lost, my control melts and I probably react just like a nuclear accident (haha I like the comparison).

Nothing about anxiety or emotional reactions in my meltdowns though.

Another thought about this:

maybe rather than replacing the term meltdown completely if people don't like to call their reaction 'meltdowns', people who have the following two could find new labels for anxiety attacks and emotional issues?

Because as I said, I have meltdowns and the term seems very appropriate to me for this, but I personally do not use it to describe the emotional issues thingy or a classical anxiety/panic attack, though I grant others to call them so of course.


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MattShizzle
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16 May 2009, 9:00 am

TMI wasn't actually a meltdown - Chernobyl was.



nothingunusual
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16 May 2009, 9:04 am

From what I gather the term comes from the idea of anxiety or stress building-up over a period of time, peaking and then the massive crash and loss of cognitive function and what-have-you. If I imagine it as a graph, the wording makes sense to me.

Though I agree that it's not a very nice way to put it. I used to think 'meltdowns' were purely expressed as a temper tantrums or fit of aggression until recently. So I definitely agree that it's not the best descriptive, considering there are so many different kinds of behaviors expressed by different individuals.


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1234
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16 May 2009, 9:16 am

When I hear the word 'meltdown' I see the inside of a computer getting overheated which makes the inside start to melt and smoke...the melted plastic dripping/pouring downwards as it's pulled by gravity...
making it incapable of functioning correctly.

And since the brain is somewhat the hard drive (is that the word? despite the image I get, I'm computer illiterate) of the human body, through which all runs... it's a nice comparison.

But maybe I'm just being weird.



sgrannel
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16 May 2009, 4:00 pm

I think it fits. An abrupt phase change that causes loss of form and function occurs. Afterward, a period of recovery/cleanup is required! I think I have alienated people with meltdowns about 10 years ago. These days I have internalized them better, but they still leave me feeling impaired from time to time. As long as I don't have to talk, you might not even be able to tell I'm having one!


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Angnix
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17 May 2009, 9:43 pm

I think it's fitting because one literally feels like an emotional volcano going off. I can't control my emotions, and having too many at once is overwhelming.


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MattShizzle
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17 May 2009, 9:44 pm

Hmm I almost picture an aspie version of the Hulk who's been given crap one too many times...



Zoonic
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17 May 2009, 10:13 pm

I never had a meltdown, I just had tantrums.



mechanicalgirl39
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18 May 2009, 2:30 am

Angnix wrote:
I think it's fitting because one literally feels like an emotional volcano going off. I can't control my emotions, and having too many at once is overwhelming.


Yup, same here, my mother tries to get me to learn to calm down, and it just doesn't work. I can't shut emotion off.


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-Vorzac-
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18 May 2009, 5:38 am

Personally, I felt the term originated from radioactive meltdowns at nuclear power stations.



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18 May 2009, 6:00 am

ah, meltdowns. They're like an old friend of mine ;) I have also destroyed many relationships in the midst of one



conundrum
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15 Feb 2015, 5:24 pm

I think it depends on the person, and situation.

The majority of mine tend to be what I call "shutdowns" - stuff builds and builds, and then I suddenly can't function too well - my thought processes "turn off", I start to feel numb/panicky (bad combination), and I have to operate on automatic pilot. These usually culminate in a migraine and/or need to lie down in a dark, quiet room when I can finally escape the situation.

I've had a few actual "meltdowns" of anger, but usually when I'm alone. :D I feel pretty drained afterwards.

So...yes and no?


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lostinlove
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15 Feb 2015, 5:56 pm

I also have meltdowns and shut downs and consider them good terms. My meltdowns have also resulted in the loss of friendships. I find I tend to shut down in order to try and prevent a meltdown, not sure if anyone else does that?