I read your ask/reply about mistaking meltdowns for anxiety attacks, and it's something that I think I've been doing too. For me, if I get stressed or overwhelmed I start crying, need to cover my eyes, feel like everything I touch is going to cause me pain, and I feel like I'm either about to explode out of my skin or that I'm stuck inside. Does this sound like a meltdown? How do I talk to my therapist about this?
This sounds like sensory overload to me which can often lead to meltdowns/shutdowns. Since crying is involved, it could be a meltdown, but this sounds like almost exactly how I experience sensory overload.
I would suggest reading up on sensory overload to get a better understanding of it and how it can present before talking to your therapist. (you can read through our #sensory overload tag or check out our resources page for more info). This will help give you the words to explain your experience. I would explain my experience as follows:
“Sometimes, everything becomes too loud, too bright, and too much. Everything that touches me hurts and I want to rip my skin off. There’s this horrible energy in my chest that makes me feel like I’m going to explode. From what I’ve read, I think this experience might be sensory overload.”
I hope this helps!