Many argue that the transition from childhood to adolescence is one of the most significant changes that a person experiences. Some young people have a harder time with this shift than others. Some experts call this failure to launch syndrome, which any addiction or mental health issues can exacerbate the problem.
The Definition Of Failure To Launch Syndrome
Failure to launch syndrome is not a formal mental health diagnosis. It describes a teenager or young adult who struggles to live independently. Some adolescents are afraid to move forward and take care of themselves personally and financially. This can occur in the late teen years or throughout someone’s 20s.
From the outside, someone with failure to launch may seem lazy, unmotivated or immature. They may be struggling to assimilate the social pressures that come with adulthood and their values.
What Causes Failure To Launch Syndrome?
Everyone is so different that a wide range of factors can cause failure to launch syndrome. For some people, the underlying mental illness is at play. Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder can make it difficult for individuals to cope with stress. Learning challenges or autism-spectrum disorders can also contribute to failure to launch syndrome.
The skills that are necessary to facilitate smooth transitions initiate in the first years of life. Many infants learn that they can trust a specific person or environment and find comfort in those places. As toddlers learn to walk, they may take on a particular level of independence as long as they know that they have a safe place to return to.
According to attachment theory, if young children don’t develop a strong attachment to their parents, guardians or other loved ones, they may have trouble seeking out independent environments. They may be exceedingly needy, frightened or anxious. They may also develop unhealthy attachments that create codependency and a lack of motivation to step out on their own.
This doesn’t mean that poor parenting causes failure to launch. The inability to manage this tough transition usually stems from a mental health disorder, developmental delay or lack of life skills.
How Failure To Launch Syndrome May Disguise Substance Abuse
Sometimes, children who use drugs have symptoms that are similar to those associated with failure to launch. A chemical addiction can also cause young people to experience uncertainty surrounding their finances, cognition, physical health, and mental wellness. As they lose the ability to cope with stress healthily, they may cling to certain comforts.
Many people who battle substance abuse have trouble finding or maintaining a job, establishing mature social connections, keeping up their personal health or finding the motivation to take care of themselves. Appropriate behavioral health services are necessary for treating people who feel stuck at a certain level of development and have trouble seeing the path that can transform them into a fully functioning adult. This is true whether your situation stems from addiction or not.
The type of mental health treatment that you require may differ if you are dealing with chemical addiction issues. The young adult rehab programs at Red Oak Recovery® focus on young people who are in the transition from childhood to adulthood. We understand what you’re going through, and we will work with you to develop a treatment approach that addresses your unique needs in this phase of your life.
For more information about Red Oak Recovery® and failure to launch syndrome, reach out today. Learn how the facility’s gender-specific programs can help you or a loved one on the journey to recovery, call 866-457-7590 now.