1. Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

Explosive Anger Meltdowns

Discussion in 'Autism Science Discussions' started by Rasputin, Dec 15, 2019.

  1. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2019
    Karma:
    +832
    I was wondering if anyone knew of any research articles or other resources that address coping mechanisms to avoid explosive meltdowns. It does not happen often, thankfully, but when it does it happens suddenly, with great intensity, and is generally uncontrollable. Most recently it was triggered by a breach of trust, loss of confidentiality and apparent collusion between two individuals that could have implicated me had I not become be aware of what was going on. My immediate response was to withdraw, but then this individual drew me into a meeting with someone in a position of authority. Then the individual who breached the trust commented he had a problem with me. I immediately experienced explosive, uncontrolled rage, and now will have to deal with the resulting fallout.

    I have seen other adult aspies have more frequent, but less intense meltdowns. With me I always see things in black and white terms, and if my integrity is questioned or if my trust was violated all hell breaks loose.

    I have not been formally diagnosed, but am 100% certain that I have Aspergers based on discussions I have had on this forum. I somehow made it to age 61like this, but for some reason it is becoming more difficult to mask as I get older.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
    • Friendly Friendly x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  2. Varzar

    Varzar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    315
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2019
    Karma:
    +594
    Also not formally diagnosed, but also Asperger's here afaic..
    For a very long time I was terrified of getting in any kind of altercation with anyone. I was terrified because I could feel the anger inside myself, and I felt that if I lost control of that anger I wouldn't be able to regain control without seriously hurting/killing someone. It was the trauma of growing up with bullying and inability to get along or understand others that made me that angry.
    My wife has helped me a great deal over 20 years dealing with some of that anger, and restored some of my ability to trust another human being. A byproduct of this is that now when I get angry about something, I actually do "release the energy" in the way of yelling or hitting things usually.. But.. I remain in control (no people get hurt).. I feel the venting helps, because I'm not bottling it in any more..
    So.. I guess I feel like the fact I get "angry" openly more now is actually a positive for me..

    Not sure if this helps you with your situation at all, but.. I guess you're not alone in your anger.. :)

    With regards to work.. I was in IT.. 7 years ago I melted down due to mostly office politics and idiocy.. I left the industry, moved to a farm where I built my own house, and now grow my own food. I work by myself 99% of the time with just my dogs for company. I would never go back. My wife works remotely (also in IT)... So she makes the money we need while I grow food to save money, and do all the cooking, cleaning and such.. I imagine this wouldn't work so well for most people. But finding a way to work by yourself definitely saves a lot of stress if it's possible.
     
    • Like x 4
    • Winner x 2
    • Agree x 1
    • Friendly x 1
    • Optimistic x 1
    • Creative x 1
  3. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

    Messages:
    2,452
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2019
    Karma:
    +4,420
    l definitely talk/shout anger out. I have been involved in a completely ridiculous situation going on 5 years now. However,l have no desire physically to hurt anybody or damage property, but do a bit of yell therapy, then l feel l released the anger. It's a situtation l have zero control over and l refuse to be bullied or intimidated in my lifetime. It's just who l am. (blessed with titanium girl balls, lol) In office situtation, l will not show emotions.

    l run as fast as l can at the gym. But chocolate does help too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Creative Creative x 1
  4. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    679
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2019
    Karma:
    +1,392
    Here's what I read about meltdowns... An autistic meltdown is a complete loss of emotional control. Screaming, crying, yelling, and even kicking, hitting, biting,...this is what happens during a meltdown. If you think you may be building up to one or you fear that an upcoming event (such as the meeting you went to) may trigger one, try this: use a sensory "item" like a stress ball, go find a quiet space or room and sit in there with the lights off and stim, take a brisk 15-minute walk, and/or do push-ups (or anything that involves heavy work).

    I've never had a meltdown before, because I've always been able to hold it together long enough to get home, dim the lights, sit on the floor, and rock (my stim), sometimes for hours. So, if you can stim and/or remove yourself from the situation, do it. Otherwise, you're probably not going to be able to stop the meltdown.

    We also need to start telling our bosses that we're autistic. Seriously. Corporations these days are constantly harping on about diversity and how they want to accommodate employees with disabilities. You should have been able to tell those men that because of your disability, you could not go into the meeting with them at that moment. Employers can get into a lot of trouble for doing what was done to you if you make it known that you have special needs. Definitely go get an official diagnosis, because it can protect you in situations like this.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 2
    • Creative Creative x 1
  5. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    2,621
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Karma:
    +2,493
    I would say, if invited in to a work meeting without notice, make an excuse and say you are not available just now, but will schedule it (if you think you must) and bring someone you trust.

    It helped me just knowing I had high autistic traits or Aspergers, to understand my limitations and plan for the way I feel, and I seldom melt down now through strategies and strategic avoidance of situations. I do not advise sharing your status in this area, at work. They won't know what it means and are likely to view it negatively.

    Personally I would say I had been very stressed that day, and felt very undermined by what the other person said. Which is no doubt true, and enough to explain your loss of control. However, it's important to care for yourself and use strategies to avoid this getting you in difficulties again. It sounds a tough place to work.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  6. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    6,246
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    Karma:
    +12,729
    There's the rub. What strategies do you use, does the OP use?

    If you are aware of anger only at the explosive point or just afterwards, then it's too late.

    I started trying to be more aware of my thought processes when I am calm.

    Or seem to be calm!

    Often the same processes of thought are quite prevalent and repeat through the day a lot.
    Most of the time it doesnt result in explosive anger, as there isnt the triggers.

    Becoming more aware of your thought processes
    (Use breathing,count 1-10)
    Can help you become more aware of the steps that can lead up to anger.

    Awareness,with curiosity -not judgement- can change the outcome.

    Finding out how you talk to yourself as part of your thoughts
    (Ie mildly annoyed,self chastisement)
    Can also help to break the cycle.

    I've found a large part of anger processes of thought are habitual.
    Most of the time more awareness, can diffuse the bomb.

    Kindness is key.
    As well as forgiveness.

    It's one part of a mild process akin to putting on your own life jacket first.

    If you cant be kind to yourself how can you pass this on to others.

    Btw, I was self angry for many years.

    So I have qualifications :)
     
    • Like Like x 5
    • Useful Useful x 2
    • Creative Creative x 1
  7. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    5,867
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    Karma:
    +12,517
    I have anger management issues too. I find it helpful to know what the triggers are and avoid putting myself in the situation in the first place. Unfortunately, not always possible.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 3
  8. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2019
    Karma:
    +832
    Thanks for sharing. We sound very much alike, which surprises me. I too recall bullying in school, but thought I had overcome any ill effects of that. I also work in IT, and look forward to retiring one day to a quiet life similar to what you have in made for yourself. My wife doesn't generate sufficient income, however, so I have to find an effective means of coping when avoidance is not possible. Anyway, it is nice knowing I am not alone.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
    • Like Like x 3
  9. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2019
    Karma:
    +832
    Yeah I practice avoidance, and tried to avoid this situation. Thanks for sharing.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  10. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2019
    Karma:
    +832
    Good ideas, though I actually did most of the things you suggested. Forgiveness and trust are areas that I struggle with, and it usually takes time for me to forgive. Trust, I am not sure that is possible once it is lost. In this situation I became aware of my state of mind two days earlier, and actually put the person on notice that I needed the to myself. When forced into this meeting, this is what happened.

    When I first heard about stimming I wasn't sure what this was, and did not know if I did this. It turns out that I do, but maybe in an odd way. When in a public situation I will interlock my fingers and discretely apply repeated pressure with my thumbs until a sufficient amount of time passes. I never understood why I did this.

    As with a couple others who have commented, I am going to try to learn from the information you post.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
    • Like Like x 3
  11. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2019
    Karma:
    +832
    Thinx, you and Varzar really sound like you are like me. If you don't mind I might follow your posts on this forum. Maybe I can learn through sharing of experiences?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2019
    Karma:
    +832
    I have been able to relate to some of your other posts, so I am not surprised that maybe you relate to the experience I described. One difference in what you described is it sounds like you retain some control. With me the response is instant, exploding, and can be scary for.all involved, including me. I also like dark chocolate.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
    • Like Like x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2019
    Karma:
    +832
    I haven't reached the point where I am willing to share this with my boss. l have only recently shared this with my wife, and she is in denial. So, for now this forum is serving a useful purpose to me.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Useful Useful x 1
  14. Juliettaa

    Juliettaa Black Sheep. Society of One. V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    659
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
    Karma:
    +1,690
    Sorry to read that your wife is in denial. That must be challenging. Has she given any reason for this?

    With regards to sharing with your boss; whilst I agree with @Kalinychta's post, I only agree with disclosure to an employer where there is a formal diagnosis, not a self diagnosis; unless of course you work for the best, most understanding employer in the world that is (which it doesn't sound as if you do!).

    I disclosed to my employer for 'reasonable adjustment' reasons. Prior to the reasonable adjustments being applied, I was sent to my employer's occupational health doctor where the doctor asked for my diagnosis documents. I was also asked for my formal diagnosis by Access to Work (UK).

    With regards to the meltdown you experienced, I can totally relate. Often the feelings are so overwhelming, so intense, that it's impossible to get any semblance of control. Having an employer that's aware of my neurological differences and limitations really helped me on many levels.

    Perhaps an official diagnosis for you would be a way forward to getting support in the workplace and also to assist getting your wife out of her denial mindset.
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Informative Informative x 1
  15. Wolf Prince

    Wolf Prince My future job title.

    Messages:
    1,143
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Karma:
    +1,836
    I know only too well of the anger you speak of. I have aspergers officially diagnosed. The result be would be the same with me if someone broke my trust and then lied about me to someone else. For me it takes a few days to calm down. Usually comedy really helps the process. Until that happens its very dangerous to be around me. Not that i will hurt anyone.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,093
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2018
    Karma:
    +2,807
    One of the most anger-making situations is being caught in workplace politics. "My immediate response was to withdraw, but then this individual drew me into a meeting with someone in a position of authority." Key words "drew me into a meeting." The right response would have been I can't participate in this meeting right now - NO EXPLANATION GIVEN. If the outcomes are stonewall or have an embarrassing workplace meltdown, stonewall is better.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  17. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,093
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2018
    Karma:
    +2,807
    This is an individual decision, and I support autistic people disclosing as well as not disclosing to an employer. Each person is different, and each workplace is different. There are many downsides to disclosing. I would NEVER tell a person what they "should" or "need to" do in these situations.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2019
    Karma:
    +832
    I have always been a good provider and we rely on my income. Also I completed a Ph.D. in 2014, and she can not understand how someone with Asperger's could be successful working, publishing papers, and In defending a dissertation. I do not know how to respond to this other than to say there are many high functioning people with Asperger's. There are so many false, negative stereotypes that I am not able to disclose this to my employer.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  19. Juliettaa

    Juliettaa Black Sheep. Society of One. V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    659
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
    Karma:
    +1,690
    I don't mean to disrespect your wife, but she sounds ignorant. All it takes is a bit of research/reading and she'll discover that there are countless autistic people who have successful careers and/or have a high level of education.

    It's bad enough knowing you have the potential to face negative stereotyping at work, but to face that at home too must be particularly difficult.

    Have you given consideration to couples therapy? I don't know where you are, but I'm in the UK and the accredited BACP - BACP - British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy has counsellors who provide relationship therapy where one or both is on the autistic spectrum.


    Yes, there are. I agree. And disclosure to an employer is a personal decision. However, from a personal perspective, I wanted change and in order to get that change and for it to work for me and for my employer, I had to disclose.

    I am not ashamed of my diagnosis. If being autistic makes people view me in a negative light, it's their ignorance that underpins their beliefs.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  20. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2019
    Karma:
    +832
    I have disclosed the Asperger's to my wife's sister, and she has seen a glimpse of the "beast". I was having dinner with my wife, her sister and their aunt. In paying the bill my sister-in-law decided to review the gratuity/tip and proceeded to change the amount I was paying. That resulted in am unexpected mini-meltdown which I later apologized for. So it is possible that my wife will eventually come out of denial through discussions with her sister. I had a similar unexpected meltdown with a Barista at a local coffee joint where I was treated rudely. These are mini skirmishes, though my response was sudden and without thinking.

    I am located in the U.S., by the way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019