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.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Woman and her daughter cutting paper

To President Donald Trump From the Mother of a Child on the Autism Spectrum

Dear President Donald Trump, As I write this, you have yet to release your new health care proposal, which would in effect replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), something you’ve promised to get rid of since you began your campaign for presidency. As I write this, I’m also watching my almost 4-year-old autistic daughter play [...]
Main Entrance Of Modern Hospital Building With Signs

I Am Autistic and Was Abused as an Emergency Room Patient

In May 2009, I had a violent meltdown that lead to law enforcement and an ambulance ride to the ER. Upon arrival I was greeted by a screaming baby, which my ears could not tolerate. I covered my ears and began screaming in distress, and immediately I witnessed the ignorance, prejudice and abuse of my junior high [...]

Mom Shocked When Son With Autism Comes Home With New Shoe Accessory

Mom’s son with autism was given no-tie shoelaces because he was not able to tie his shoes. Read the full story.
young boy sitting amongst rocks

Lessons From a Trip to India With My Son on the Autism Spectrum

We recently went on a much-awaited and much-anticipated trip to India to meet our family. This was my son’s first trip in a long time — since he visited India three years back when he was a little over 4 years old. So I was apprehensive. For those who don’t know, from where I live, [...]