24-year-old Danielle Jacobs posted this video to share what it's really like to have Asperger's syndrome.
The video above can be difficult to watch — Danielle Jacobs' self-described "meltdown" includes elements of self-harm. But, despite knowing that the video's content is challenging, Jacobs wanted to share it so that everyone can know what having Asperger's (a high-functioning form of autism) is like. One of the effects of the syndrome is that it can cause people to become overstimulated and "crash." Here's what Jacobs posted as the video description:
This is what having aspergers is like. Please no negative comments this really happened and it's not easy to open myself and share what it's like on a daily basis. This is what's considered a meltdown. Yes Samson is alerting. I trained him to alert to depressive episodes and self harm not both but he alerted. It appears the response is late but it's actually supposed to be as I'm coming out of the meltdown as I tend to have a panic attack after.
Jacobs was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome in 2013, and she got her Rottweiler, Samson, shortly after to help cope. Jacobs told BuzzFeed News,
I immediately began training him for service work for Asperger's syndrome, PTSD, TBI, and anxiety disorder. He alerts to meltdowns, anger, depressive episodes, flashbacks and nightmares, stimming, provides balance and counterbalance, and alerts to panic attacks.
I don't have Asperger's, but I have dealt with depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. In my personal experience, the one thing that often feels scarier than experiencing those things is showing them to other people — sharing your most vulnerable, emotional moments with others. But the more we do share those vulnerable moments, the more we can all understand and empathize with each other. That's why I really, really respect Jacobs for sharing this moment.