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wundayatta's avatar

Have you ever had a major meltdown? What happened?

Asked by wundayatta (58377 points ) March 24th, 2009

I have a dual purpose for this question. First, I am interested in how people have understood their own major meltdowns, and what they did about them. I’d also appreciate knowing what you think lead to this meltdown. And, as usual, please describe what happened.

My second point is to notify people that I am back in my own skin. Alot of people have asked me to inform them when this happens, and this is the most effective way I know.

I guess I had a mental meltdown of some kind, over an issue I still care about, but that probably wasn’t worth disappearing over. I’m sorry that I behaved that way, and worried a number of people. Sometimes I get these flare-ups of low self-esteem and I make very questionable decisions.

Some of us have banded together to set in place a backup system. We hope to prevent this problem should any one of a number of us disappear unexpectedly again. Anyone who would like to join this system is welcome. Jeruba has been assigning buddies who are responsible for keeping an eye on each other (in a non-stalkerish way).

Finally, I hope people will let me know whether they asked for forgiveness as I am asking forgiveness now.. If so, were you forgiven for the meltdown, as I hope people will please forgive me now? I am sorry for the worry I caused. I’m ashamed of the way I behaved and I will do my very best to not do this sort of thing again.

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26 Answers

GAMBIT's avatar

Glad to hear you are back in your skin daloon.

elijah's avatar

It seems lately I am always on the verge of a meltdown. Just part of who I am I guess. It’s been a stressful time for me. I guess I don’t handle them well, but I try and take my meds every day to avoid the worst days.
I’m glad you are back, and I would love to be part of the buddy system.
I’m happy to see your name and lurve have been reinstated :-)

jbfletcherfan's avatar

daloon…......well, you know.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I had one at 13. We were supposed to go as a class to see the Nutcracker at the Performing Arts Center, but stopped at the mall for lunch. Some lunch I got. I had no money, so I was given a PB&J on Wonder Bread and apple and a milk. Everyone else ate pizza and burgers. And made fun of me. Even my admission for the trip was on charity and everyone knew it.

I decided to hide out at Waldenbooks. For the rest of the day. I think I fell asleep for a bit behind some stacks. No one managed to find me, though apparently, the whole class searched the whole mall. No one went to the PAC. When I finally left, I knew I’d be in HUGE trouble. I didn’t care. I don’t even know why I decided to pull such a stunt. I had to convince a bus driver to let me on the bus when I had no money, but somehow I did.

I got home and there was my teacher, the principal of my school, two cops and my guardian. All of them livid. I couldn’t have cared less, which was weird, because to this day, Mr. C is my favourite of all my past teachers. I really let him down by doing this.

“Where were you?” “We were all worried about you!” That one wasn’t true. My classmates made fun of me all the time. “You could’ve been hurt!” “What’s come over you?”

Once Mr C, Mr A (the principal) and the cops left, I steeled myself to get the extension cord whipping of my life. I asked to go to the bathroom first.

And what do you know? Menarche. It was the one time I didn’t get a beating. At school, though, I was in detention for the remainder of the school year, nor was I allowed to go on the winter break ski trip (which my guardian wasn’t allowing anyway, because she didn’t have the $60 for me to go). The rest of my class thought I was insane. Some probably still think so 26 years later, if you ask them. Nothing like that has happened since.
__________________________

I’m glad you’re back, daloon, and that you’ve learned something important about yourself through what happened. It happens in the unlikeliest situations, doesn’t it?

mattbrowne's avatar

We had a major meltdown in Chernobyl in 1986 which also created all sorts of the more personal meltdowns. Like trusting the safety of nuclear technology.

wundayatta's avatar

@aprilsimnel: what disturbs me was that I felt it all honestly. I believed I was doing the most appropriate and best thing all throughout it. I had no sense at all that it was an overreaction, and people said that over and over.

I felt like I was completely misunderstood. I didn’t understand why people weren’t agreeing with me. I still think my issue is and was a reasonable one. It was just the strength of my feeling about the issue that was over the top.

Yeah. Weird. I don’t know where these things come from.

cookieman's avatar

I have had more than a few over the years. They never last more than a day and are all brought on by not dealing with stress properly.

I’ve become much better at spotting their arrival and diverting them. I actually feel one coming on now, but I’m hanging on (by a thread?) to see if something changes in the next few weeks. If not, I will take action to avoid it.
_______________________

@daloon: Its nice to see you back to your old self.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@daloon – I know you felt it honestly! :) The difficulty is in separating “feelings” from “facts”. I’ve dealt with that plenty of times. Sometimes, I’m not sure what facts are, either, so… it’s hard. But we cope as best we can and we turn to others we feel safe with for help. ::hugs::

essieness's avatar

@daloon You are SO forgiven. It happens to the best of us.

Where’s my buddy… oh Tiiiiiiitsssss…

I have had several meltdowns. I don’t really like to rehash them just because I try not to live in the past. My situation is a little weird though because of my Addison’s disease. When I start to get sick, one thing that happens to me is my mind gets very foggy and I have a hard time thinking clearly. I’m not sure why this happens (nobody really knows, but most Addisonians have this issue), but it does. I can become very irrational and make very bad decisions. When I start feeling myself spiraling out of control, I try to stop, step outside of myself, and analyze the situation as if I were another person. If I can, I’ll load a bowl and sit out on the deck and just smoke and relax. Anyway, most of my meltdowns have happened because I didn’t stop myself from getting wacky and just went with it. I ended up making bad decisions which led to some meltdowns. I’m so rambling.

@daloon Again, glad to have you back. Let us be here for you next time you start to wig out, OK?

zephyr826's avatar

My meltdowns tend to be short-lived, and usually I can delay them until I get out of public, but not always. I screamed at my high-school students once last year, because they were being mean to each other (a cardinal sin for the former nerd-girl). I kicked a filing cabinet in peep-toe pumps, and dented the cabinet so hard that that drawer had to be pried open with a crowbar.
That’s when they instituted a “Mademoiselle’s mood meter” on the whiteboard. It looked a little like one of those “How much can we raise?” thermometers, and certain students were supposed to fill in how high they estimated my blood pressure to be after each class, to warn the others.
Fortunately, this year has been slightly less stressful, and I haven’t had to use the mood meter yet.

tinyfaery's avatar

I have an emotional breakdown every 3 years or so. My psychiatrist says I’m a slow-cycling bipolar. My meds have pretty much eliminated my highs, but the depression comes on heavy at times, and my emotional breakdowns consist of non-stop crying and suicide ideation. I tend to internalize rather than strike out. DBT has helped me deal with the everyday issues that arise, and have done a lot to keep me from offing myself in those moments.

cdwccrn's avatar

So many of us suffer don’t we, at least at times.? That’s why we need our friends. I would not might at all being a buddy to a fellow flutherer.

janbb's avatar

Welcome back, daloon. I’m glad you got your ass back here (in your own incarnation.)

I can’t think of any specifics right now, but I know I’ve over-analyzed and distorted situations at times in the past.

fireside's avatar

@daloon – good to see you back! It is much easier to link to you properly now, instead of typing ”@daloon”: and then linking to the daloonagain profile : )

The meltdowns I have are not typically the flash flood that you experienced. My couple built up over time at a previous job. It was really a response to hypocrisy, backbiting and lies that pushed me over the edge. It took a while to see what was happening and I realized that i had been trying too hard to create something there that someone wasn’t interested in doing for their own personal interests.

I have to smile as I look back on it because, yes, it was a pretty major meltdown. I don’t feel bad about what I did, even though directly challenging my boss numerous times in front of his bosses resulted in me losing my job.

It almost happened again last year, but I as able to see the signs sooner.
Then I knew it was time to either get perspective, or get out.

wundayatta's avatar

Thank you all fore the welcome backs! I wasn’t gone long in terms of time, but in terms of internal turmoil, it was much longer.

I liked your image, @fireside, of a flash flood. That is exactly how it was. Coming from nowhere, and gone just as fast. It makes it hard for me to recognize the signs, since there really isn’t much warning. Also, I’d been doing very well for months, and then to have a little blip like this… surprising to say the least.

My shrink said that over time they would be longer between them, and they’d be increasingly less difficult. I don’t think my family even noticed. I guess I took it out on all of you. Lucky you, eh?

fireside's avatar

Hey, it all works out in the end.
Now there’s a buddy system. : )

Mtl_zack's avatar

I just had a nervous meltdown yesterday. I HATE the people who hung out with me in high school, and I’ve been hallucinating them for several months now, like if someone looked slightly like them, I thought it was them and I’d freak out. When I see them, or think about them (which is unavoidable because they hang out near where I now hang out), I get physical pains. I have “re-made” my life several times (at lest 4 times in the last year), because they keep on “invading” my life, and my new friends are connected somehow to them. Yesterday, I saw them at least 4 times, and I hurt so much, emotionally and physically, that I puked, and I was crying and totally freaking out. I was shaking all day. Now, my parents are treating me like a mental patient, and I left many good, decent friends because of them, and I made associations between them. and I’m going to a therapist tomorrow to see what’s wrong and how to fix it. Apparently I have an obsession with them, of some sort.

fireside's avatar

Good Luck, Zack!

I hope you are able to put the past behind you and find a way to deal with or avoid those people.

Mtl_zack's avatar

Ya, I might be going to university in another city, so the chances of seeing them are almost zilch. Other than that, I’ll follow what my therapist says.

fireside's avatar

Cool, that will help a lot with the anxiety.

janbb's avatar

Good luck with it, Zack. A good therapist can do wonders. I actually like myself now after having very low self-esteem most of my life.

russellsouza's avatar

I struggle with anxiety, OCD, depression and I tend to overreact to stressors. I melted down a few times in college, studying too much, having people I was close to betray me, feeling isolated. One time I just left the country for a week, and allowed no one to contact me. I told everyone I was going on vacation so they knew I was safe, but no emails, phone, or face-to-face visits. I just walked around Paris constantly, sat by the river a lot and just thought. Another time I let the stress get to me so severely I didn’t sleep for three days, and THEN I really crumbled and had to go to the hospital…

trailsillustrated's avatar

I had a major meltdown and it changed my life. I was working a really really stressful job, had two very young children, and my husband was uncommunicative and angry all the time. He had lost his business at home so I took it upon myself to sell our house and everything we had and emigrate. I was making alot of money, but my hands began to shake. I couldn’t sleep for fear I would be sued for malpractice. I couldn’t work on people with shaky hands, so I went to the dr. and got medication. It worked fine at first, but then quit working so I took more and more. It boomeranged and I ended up getting arrested in palm springs for fighting with a lady in a restaurant. Things went to hell from there. I ended up with a major drug addiction, lost custody of my kids, I ended up living in a rathole and sometimes being homeless. Then one day I went to order a hamburger to go from a fancypants restaurant that was across the street from the flophouse I was staying in. A business man started talking to me ( I was very surly at first)- but I ended up giving him the number to my prepaid throwaway cell phone. I moved in with him about a week after that. After his initial shock about my problems- He put me into treatment ( my sixth time), counseling, and helped me sue to gain access to my children. That was 5 years ago, we are married now. I was in counseling for a couple years and now I trade forex and sell stuff on ebay. Every single day I think about what happened to me and what if… today I live very well, I found out it’s all about forgiveness- sometimes forgiving yourself is the very hardest thing you will ever do.

seventeen123's avatar

I was 14 when I had one. I used to hang out with friends that did drugs & a couple were just pill poppers. I followed that & would take things like lortab, hydrocodone & other crap “for the heck of it”. The consequences that followed were rapid heartbeat everyday, some hallucination, and huge mood swings.
So, I’m in school one day I just sit down & start bawling. I cried for 2 hours! I said everything to my counselor about my life!
Ha, craziest meltdown for me ever.

phillis's avatar

After I gave birth to my littlest daughter, I REALLY felt the effects of not being on my bipolar meds (I had gone off them because nobody knows what that does to a developing baby). There were three different incidences in 5 weeks, one of which landed me in jail (I don’t have a criminal record. Jail is not normal for me). My doctor said it was due not only to having to be off the meds, but the rapid hormonal changes a woman goes through after giving birth. These following stories are excellent examples of why I say that

bipolar disorder turns you into someone you’re not.

In one of them, I had gotten monster furious with an auto dealership. The sales lady was oh, so careful to tell me all the things I needed to bring in order to purchase a car, but failed to tell me that I had to bring my driver’s license. I left the car lot in a fury and hit the interstate. Something my husband said sent me right over the edge. I parked the car on the side of the interstate, got out, and just started walking. To this day, I have no idea where the hell I thought I was going. My husband and children were left sitting in the car watching me walk away. Is it luck, or divine intervention? A woman who stopped to offer me a ride lived the next street over from my neighborhood, and took me home.

Even on a good day, I truly loathe asshole drivers. You know – the ones who park in a parking space half-assed, because it never occurs to them that anybody else needs to park? This lady parked so close to my car that I couldn’t even get the infant carrier past the door and into the seat. I banged the fuck out of her car with my car door over and over again, but oddly (miraculously?) it did no damage. But she saw me doing it, and confronted me. My husband knew how close I was to snapping and beating the shit out of this clueless bitch (my term for her at the time), so he stepped between us and broke it up. Later, the police came to my house and took me to jail, but since there was no damage, no charges could be filed.

The last one scared the hell out of me. I was having HORRIBLE urges to take this squawling baby by the heels and slam/swing her as hard as I could into a wall so that her head burst in a splat all over the place. I know this anger in me during a bipolar episode. I wouldn’t have stopped until she was barely recognizable as an infant. It would not go away no matter how hard I tried!! I had it for a week and it never got any better. I called the health department where I got my therapist and meds because I wanted to kill this child. They (of course) said for me to come immediately.

As soon as I got there, they took her from me to check her for injury and abuse, but she didnt even have so much as diaper rash. The reason why is because I was doing what i was supposed to be doing…..caring for her. That’s why I couldn’t get away from the crying. I had to be right near her to take care of her. We worked it out so that hubby could be home for a few days while I took some sort of fast-acting meds of some kind. That bridged me until my regular bipolar meds could take full effect. Maybe that would help you, too, @wundayatta.

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