A Matter-of-Fact Breakdown of My Recent Autistic Meltdown


Meltdowns can be painful, terrifying and embarrassing. I had one recently and thought I would break down what happened and how it worked up to what it became.

These episodes happen when my information or stimulation input becomes so intensely overwhelming that I am completely unable to function or interact with anyone. Again, for me they are painful, scary, isolating and sometimes dangerous. But they are not something I do intentionally or for attention. I hate them as much as anyone else might. I just wish some people would make an effort to understand it.

Two Days Prior

— I was not heard when expressing an issue.

— I was told something that invalidated one of my serious issues.

The Day Before

— My child threw several loud fits during the day.

— I went shopping and had a lot of new input.

The Day Of

— I overslept and did not keep my routine.

— I didn’t manage to eat early.

— I didn’t get a chore done, and could not get the energy to do it.

— A live-in person verbally triggered my guilt over the unfinished chore.

— An argument.

— And then the meltdown.

Here are the behaviors displayed leading up to the explosive episode, which must be noted.

Two Days Prior

— Mild stress communicated

— Less physically functional

— Increase in irritability

The Day Before

— More difficulty functioning

— Somewhat more irritable

— Distant from everyone

The Day Of

— Before the “Rumblings” Really Started —

— Depressed behavior (bedridden, sullenness, tiredness, distraction)

— Lack of interest in group activities

— Mild frustration with environment

— During the Rumblings —

— Aggressive behavior

— Vocal agitation

— Difficulty staying on task

— When the Alarm Behaviors Started —

— Hands held close to my person, twitching

— Pacing around the house

— Angry vocalizing

— Defensive behavior

— During the Actual Meltdown —

— Yelling

— Crying

— Escaping

— Demanding

— Hardcore stimming (rocking, touching my arms, pulling my hair)

— Seriously aggressive behavior

— Repetitive language

— Showy, aggressive activity

This is what happened and how I got to the meltdown level in my autism.

Image via Thinkstock.

Follow this journey on The Little Tea Lady.

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