“Meltdowns” and “Shutdowns” are very serious for Aspies.
When I get overloaded I go into “shutdown”, and I will give you an example:-
Take a big building in any town, all the computers are connected to each other by a “network server”, the server is the main brain that keeps all the computers working properly.
When the server becomes overloaded not only by all the computers being used, but by more and more different programs being added to the system all of a sudden then the system slows down and needs to be “shutdown” for maintenance or an upgrade.
Now I am not saying I am like a computer, but when my emotions and feelings become “overloaded” over a period of time, then this is similar to what happens to me.
I could be in a place “unknown” to me for a long period of time where there is a lot of unexpected noise and light, or with people who I don’t know. All these “sensory overloads” have an effect.
There are times though that I have to go through this and I have to put off the “shutdown” for a long period of time and this will have an effect, for example, an unexpected visit to hospital/a&e to help or support someone; there are many other things that can be added to this list i’m sure.
The thing with putting off the shutdown is that I am pushing my very own boundaries as a necessity. So when I go into shutdown it may take longer mentally and emotionally to come out of it, although I can get over the feeling of being tired very quickly, it doesn’t stop the emotional an mental draining that would normally take place during the shutdowns.
I know that every Aspie is different, and that their meltdowns/shutdowns affect them in different ways, this is just one example of how mine affect me.