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gettingonmynerves

683d

How do you know what an autistic meltdown looks like vs a panic attack or something?

Top reply
    • Isle

      683d

      While I agree with the other comment, I just want to point out that sometimes one can lead into the other. For example, sometimes I'll have a panic attack and if the environment I'm in is too stimulating and I can't get away, it'll turn into a meltdown. Vice versa; sometimes I'll have a meltdown and while I'm in such a state I don't have as much control over my anxious thoughts so they'll appear and it'll turn into a panic attack. These combination ones, in my experience, are the hardest to recover from. It takes me a full day to recover from them. Whereas, it only takes me leaving the situation and then about an hour of doing something else to recover from a meltdown and it takes a nap for me to calm down from a panic attack.

    • Isle

      683d

      While I agree with the other comment, I just want to point out that sometimes one can lead into the other. For example, sometimes I'll have a panic attack and if the environment I'm in is too stimulating and I can't get away, it'll turn into a meltdown. Vice versa; sometimes I'll have a meltdown and while I'm in such a state I don't have as much control over my anxious thoughts so they'll appear and it'll turn into a panic attack. These combination ones, in my experience, are the hardest to recover from. It takes me a full day to recover from them. Whereas, it only takes me leaving the situation and then about an hour of doing something else to recover from a meltdown and it takes a nap for me to calm down from a panic attack.

      • GracefulKim

        682d

        @Isle I agree. Recovery from panic attacks takes much longer. They can retrigger themselves too. When I have a panic attack I try to call someone within a few minutes, a voice of reason. Someone who can help me calm down. One of my sisters is great at it. I have two other people I can call if she's working or sleeping (she works an unpredictable rotating shift). But voice of reason people could be another autistic person too, usually one like me who can help you ground yourself again. Like your best friend, maybe a parent. Parents can usually say something to help you find a better prospective. ... Good luck

    • GracefulKim

      683d

      The difference is internal. The meltdown is being flooded with too much stimulation (lights/sounds/current brain capacity). The panic attack is irrational thoughts overwhelming a person. They could look similar from the outside. The difference for me is the panic attacks cause uncontrollable fear. The meltdown can be fixed with just being in a quiet environment for awhile. (About 10-15 minutes seems to work for me but I'll be unable to reenter the environment as it was) the panic attack will keep happening until I'm able to figure out what the irrational thought(s) are (self discovery usually never happens here I usually need these pointed out to me most successfully through a therapist)

      • gettingonmynerves

        683d

        @GracefulKim thank you. This makes a lot of sense. I feel this is how it works for me too. I had a medical worker say I wasn’t experiencing meltdowns, they were panic attacks. And I wasn’t anxious. It was too much sensory stimulation.

☝ This content is generated by our users and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision

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