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Medication for meltdowns-to take or not to take.


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I have been taking meds for my extreme aspie meltdowns where I would beat my parents-especially my mother-since I was first diagnosed at 13-14 (I'm 17).  For those that don't know what a meltdown is-it LOOKS like a violent tantrum. It's caused by being overwhelmed by people, new things or situations, sensory sensitivities, or an interrupted stim. Anyway I had them bad but I thinking that now that I am no longer diagnosed bipolar and we are slowly getting off some of my meds. Maybe I should get off that too? Is there another way I can handle my meltdowns without medications? In other words is there an alternative solution? Or should I just keep taking them? 

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Considering you are on an ASD section of a crazy forum, I can tell you we do not need a definition of a "meltdown" ROFL.

 

And what medications are you on for specific meltdowns? Just the way you worded the topic I for some reason assuming it is not a antipsychotic (which is more likely to be used in a situation of severe meltdowns like you describe) that you take everyday to stay "stable". However, you know what people say about ass-u-me-ing :P

 

As well, I must ask, considering you are not diagnosed bipolar (anymore) & you do have violent meltdowns I wonder why you would think getting off a medication that reduced the severity and/or number o f occurrences for those meltdowns? If the medication helps your meltdowns, and you have no problems taking such medications I don't understand why you would want to get off of it.

 

But to answer your question, there are some things to help you with sensory meltdowns that are not chemical. However, the techniques are more used to prevent the meltdown and not necessarily to control them when they are happening. The usual things are to try to recognize your type of overloads & your sensory triggers and try to avoid them at all costs. As well, there are things like weighted vests to help you feel a little less uneasy physically which translate neurologically in sensory sensitive environments. There are some techniques that can be used during a meltdown, but when I was younger and had severe meltdowns  like yours my whole world & life was in that meltdown and nothing would help; well except to get the fuck out of there and try to balance out my senses.

 

As well, I like your new username :)

Edited by Gibson
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I've had trouble with violent meltdowns all of my life, and have never heard anything about medication for them. I'm very interested. Could you please name the medication? I might go to my psychiatrists about it.

I've been on both Abilify (Which from your signature you're already on) 15-20mg and Risperdal (Can't remember the dose) but I am currently on Abilify 20mg. I don't know if it helps everyone but it has definitely helped me. I still get irritable but I don't have a meltdown. Because these meds are used in the treatment of psychosis and mania they can also treat things like meltdowns. 

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HopefulFlower do you believe you now have the communication skills needed to prevent the meltdowns? Do you know what is likely to trigger a meltdown? If not it may be worth looking into these. 

 

 

I've had trouble with violent meltdowns all of my life, and have never heard anything about medication for them. I'm very interested. Could you please name the medication? I might go to my psychiatrists about it.

Only Abilify and Risperdal have a license for aggression/irritability in autism. They're not there specifically to control meltdowns, however there are other tools to try and stop the meltdown from happening before it happens. 

 

Meltdowns happen for a reason - a big saying in the autism world is "behaviour is communication" and to meltdown IS a form of communication. It's just people have to figure out what you are trying to say. 

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I've been on both Abilify and Risperdal in the past for extreme irritability and some self-directed aggression; the latter in summer of 2011 and the former in the summer of 2012. I'm 17 as well, and officially received as AS diagnosis at age 10; Bipolar I diagnosis was when I was 16. With me these days it's been difficult to see with these traits (irritability, aggression, etc.) if they're characteristic of autism or mood issues associated with bipolar. 

 

I don't have long-lasting physical meltdowns much anymore; there were some incidences though (which my parents probably won't forget) when I was a toddler/small child where I had meltdowns that carried on from one day to the next. 

 

Currently I'm in general an irritable person but it comes and goes in phases that can sometimes be 3 months, half a year, a year, etc. 

If I am feeling very irritated or angry, or if I know I will soon be in a situation in which I'll most likely feel very irritable, I take Ativan and put in some earplugs. My irritability in these situations usually stems from a short feeling of feeling overwhelmed, then it quickly moves on to stronger emotions. I usually can't throw anything or let my anger out physically in these situations so I tend to subtly cry and shut down instead of have a meltdown. 

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After spending time working out what was causing my meltdowns, I discovered that most of mine are sensory based. Like, the bass sound of a neighbor's stereo will set me off INSTANTLY, as weill shirt tags, too much going on around me at once, and so on. When I've learned to eliminate or reduce those, I eliminated a lot of my meltdowns, or they became less severe. I don't know why - I'm guessing it's just because it's less aggravation all around - but when I eat to lower inflammation in my body, and when I don't have caffeine, I'm less irritable and therefore liess likely to meltdown (or if I do, it's much less in volume).

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