Adults have meltdowns too…

Adults have meltdowns. I have sensory meltdowns – less frequently than I used to which is good, but I still have them. I will become so overloaded by something like a loud noise or change in routine and that’s enough to set me and my emotions on edge. It’s hard to manage my emotions when this happens and there’s only so long I can bottle up how I feel before I need to cry. I always feel better after crying – even if it tires me out!

The last meltdown I had was on my family holiday in Cornwall a couple of weeks ago. I stay with my family and grandparents in their cottage there. I’ve holidayed there every year since I was born. But the change in routine threw me and the first week I found it quite hard to manage my emotions. I felt desperately down mood wise and upset for no real reason. I should be able to enjoy holidays but I really don’t. I find the unstructured time difficult so much so that I created a schedule for the 2nd week so I knew what we were all doing when.

Yeah I feel silly when I cry. No other 21 year old I know cries when their environment changes or has such heightened senses like I do. It’s tiring when your senses are on high alert 24/7. But I’m managing even if I do have blips like meltdowns every so often. I still try and challenge myself because I’d rather try something and have a meltdown and cry than not try it at all.

Check out this awesome article from an adult on the autistic spectrum and what a meltdown feels like for her:

Image by Thomas James:

10 thoughts on “Adults have meltdowns too…

  1. I live in Cornwall and I have problems dealin with the overcrowding in the summer, so I am not surprised that you felt overwhelmed.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know some of how you must feel – I feel terribly out of sync when I go to London. Mine is because of the noise and the lights. I get totally overloaded. I live just outside St Ives in Cornwall and find it really difficult when there is so many people in one place.

        Saying that, I hope you managed to get some peace down here – or at least back at home 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for writing about this, and for the link to the article on The Mighty. My son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder when he was almost 3 (he had already been receiving speech therapy when his therapist saw several red flags). He is now 12 and will be entering a new school in a few weeks (going from having one teacher all day to having a different teacher for each subject, and going from a small school of grades kindergarten to six, to a school of grades 7 and 8 with over 300 kids per grade). Lots of big changes to get used to. I have a meeting with his special education team at the very beginning of the year, and you have given me some wonderful information to impart to his new teachers. At the beginning of every special education meeting I had with each of his teachers in elementary school, the first thing I would ask everyone is if they knew what Sensory Processing Disorder was. No one knew. Not even the school psychologist. The first thing I do at these meetings is educate my son’s teachers so they can interpret his behavior correctly to figure out when he’s struggling; and how to help him. When it comes to school, the last thing I worry about is if my son can memorize the facts they are spitting out to him and expect him to regurgitate back to them.


    1. Not a problem! I’m glad his speech therapist picked it up early I wasn’t diagnosed until I was around 8. I can totally relate with him I found it so so scary going from my small primary school to a bigger school and changing teachers every hour! However I did survive – I found keeping stress balls/key rings to fiddle with in my pockets of my blazer and trousers helpful for when it was too much to cope with. I didn’t even tell my school I had spd but they knew something was wrong as I would always go up and see the special needs coordinator and counsellor and cry during my lunch breaks. That’s exactly how my mum felt she was just worried about if I could cope in a most classroom let alone learning. Just let your son know he is not alone in the way he is feeling and that he will survive it just takes a lot of will power and can be very tiring! 😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much. I could spend hours and write volumes to help my son’s teachers understand. But I’m also a realist and understand that they have over 300 other students that are new this year, and their resources are limited (attention span, time, energy). I want to give them a one page hand out with a description of what’s going on with my son, how it affects him in the classroom, how they can see if he’s having trouble, and how to best help him if he’s struggling in the classroom. My favorite book when my son was little is Raising a Sensory Smart Child. I’ll check out your bookshelf.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel exactly the same way when I go on vacation, but like you I rather deal with my flare up than miss out on something fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! I’m so focused on my 9 year old son’s SPD I never considered my own…funny he is sensory seeking (I love to cuddle him and have his feet pressed on me etc) but I think I’m actually an introvert and experience these sensory overload meltdowns you talk about!
    Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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