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subtlecoconut

584d

Would any ASD folks (especially adult AFAB) be willing to share what an autistic meltdown is like for them? For a long time I would classify what I think are meltdowns as panic attacks because I didn’t know how else to describe it, but now I can tell they’re two different experiences.

Top reply
    • rj.crow

      583d

      My meltdowns just feel like every one of my senses is so overwhelmed that I can’t even use them. It’s like my brain is ripping itself apart to try and process everything. It looks either like I’m completely zoned out or having a tic attack. If I blast something familiar into one of my senses (usually extremely loud music) it can calm me down enough to get somewhere safe to melt down.

    • Erebyssian

      583d

      I don't think I've ever had a panic attack, but I definitely have meltdowns due to over sensory kind of stuff. When there's too many sounds or people touching me like that stuff, I want to just grip my ears and hit my head. It's like a bunch of sharp white lines are jabbing my skull and it makes me get so distraught. Like everything around me is 20× louder and worse. I go from being tense and then its 0 to 100 in being upset where I have to sit in a quiet place and cry until I've calmed down. As soon as the problem is fixed and I've been in a safe quiet place for like 10 min I'm back to being cool as a cucumber 😎 Doesn't faze me or anything anymore. I feel very proud that I've learned what is causing me to have meltdowns and that I have narrowed it where I can solve the problem or remove myself from the situation to feel better.

    • rj.crow

      583d

      My meltdowns just feel like every one of my senses is so overwhelmed that I can’t even use them. It’s like my brain is ripping itself apart to try and process everything. It looks either like I’m completely zoned out or having a tic attack. If I blast something familiar into one of my senses (usually extremely loud music) it can calm me down enough to get somewhere safe to melt down.

    • Korbyn

      584d

      Hi! My meltdowns usually start because I don't notice that I'm over/understimulated or getting overwhelmed. All of a sudden it's too late. I first become really quiet. I feel like I just don't want to talk. I get really quiet and start to tic more often. I then become very irritable. Everything seems like an attack, or like no one understands what I'm saying. The panic for me looks like anger and frustration. Lots of grunting and noises and putting my fist to my forehead, or gripping my hair. I pace and rant or just go somewhere to be alone. RiddimGirl's panic attacks sounds like many of my experiences too.

    • Julibean

      584d

      I thought for years I had a panic disorder turns out it was meltdowns. Usually panic attacks are instant and I don't know they're coming they happen pretty rarely for me. But a meltdown I know a day in advance I'm moving in that direction. Most of the time I can do things you bring myself back to center, but sometimes too much is happening or my schedule is too packed and I can't do a ton to prevent it. And sometimes what I think is preventing one is really just delaying it. Panic attacks I ahhe to just ride out meltdowns if I can get myself to a dark quiet place it will at least lessen in severity that doesn't do anything for a panic attack.

    • RiddimGirl

      584d

      The best way i could describe the difference for me is this: my panic attacks feel more like the sensation you get at the drop of a rollercoaster, or that jolt when you think your chair is going to tip, but constant and just as intense for upwards of 10-15 minutes. Meltdowns for me are usually triggered by overstimulation, whether it be sensory or emotionally, or when I’m having to hold back a majority of my emotions/thoughts when going throughout my day. Hope this helps!

☝ 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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