It is very important that people that are close to a person with autism, to understand how invasive, confronting, uncontrollable, heavy and mentally exhausting a meltdown can be in the human brain. Most meltdowns start with an overdose of (earlier) sensory or stress overloads, which will shut down higher-order brain functions.
In a meltdown, (almost) all executive functions (like reasoning, memory, planning and decision-making) are shut down. Everything gets slower with no focus. Language is affected too and it becomes (almost) impossible to communicate adequately with others using normal structured sentences, while finding the right matching words. The brain becomes (very) chaotic because focus starts to wither. This is a moment where it becomes difficult to find a way out of the situation.
When not able to escape the situation, this neurological chaos in the brain can build up and result in a total internal cognitive shutdown or an explosive outburst, which is quite common during a meltdown. This explosive outburst may seem to come from nowhere, but it is mostly an end-result of an accumulation of sensory, cognitive and emotional overload, which may have started hours or even days earlier. Continue reading “When in meltdown, take care!” →
Yesterday, I had this horrible thing happening to me again and it went way quicker than expected. I’ve already felt that the pressure was becoming too much, when my brain started to scream “STOP” towards me, but also to the people around me. It was a truly embarrassing situation, which I had been pushed into!
To avoid over-stimulation and early fatigue, I pre-order every week 2 * 6 liters of biological 3.5% fat milk, because their brand is one of the only ones, which does not turn my stomach and intestinal system into a full war-zone. As many people with autism, I got a condition in my intestinal system. Also, I was quite sick for over a week, with fever and heavy medicines, because of an urinary tract problem, making my left nut being bigger than the size of a Dinosaur-egg! That pain is indescribably high. Continue reading “Our world is not ready for autism yet..” →
There it was, end of May, I had a total thermo-nuclear meltdown. I had this only about a dozen times before in my life, but when it hits me, it hits me really hard.
I had many symptoms which make me a bit worried, but which explains a lot of things which happened in the past too. Continue reading “A full meltdown in detail ..” →
The mind is a strange but beautiful organ, which can do great things. Mine works great and different, with a high IQ when there is no stress at all. But as soon as that demon called stress comes knocking on my door, the house starts to shake on it’s grounds.
If there is one thing which I cannot state enough about this demon, is that stress is disastrous for autism combined with ADHD. When stress gets added to the mix, it has direct effect upon my processing power, sensitivity and thinking processes. My efficiency drops by large amounts the higher the stress becomes, rendering me sometimes not possible to function good in society. Continue reading “Coping with (insane) stress levels” →
I’ve experienced it as a heavy hammer falling from high on my head, after working for 12 years uninterrupted for 18-22 hours a day. Everything went dark, gray, impossible. Even a conversation with a friend was difficult. Searching for help was impossible, nothing was possible to do anymore. Continue reading “How a burn-out felt like” →
Today something very tragic happened on the train from Antwerpen to Den Haag (train 1222 from 10:36). The conductor went totally out of line, because he assumed I was an east-European guy without a ticket; so it escalated from verbal violence straight to physical violence and an unlawful arrest by the authorities. This is a rough translation.
Part 1: Yelling to me for my ticket?..
Conductor: Hey, you there, Ticket!
Me: Ok, moment <while taking off my backpack>
Conductor: No! TICKET NOW!!
Me: hey! May I maybe take it?!
Conductor: I saw you moving from behind to the front, your TICKET NOW IMMEDIATELY!!
Me: I was searching a place to sit and am having a phone call, what is going on?!? Continue reading “Agression by NS personnel on train!” →