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Signs and Symptoms of Failure to Launch Syndrome

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Failure to launch syndrome is an often misunderstood condition that affects a lot of young people. If you are a parent or other loved one concerned about a young adult child who is having difficulty becoming independent, learn to recognize failure to launch syndrome symptoms to see if this may be what’s happening. 

Failure to Launch Syndrome Symptoms

What failure to launch pertains to, is an adult child who experiences trouble achieving independence from their parents and moving fully into living an adult life. Failure to launch syndrome symptoms can include:

  • Not working or holding unsteady employment
  • Not working enough hours a week to support living independently
  • No real ambition to pursue a career
  • Believing an unrealistic career will happen
  • Not attending college or only taking a small number of classes inconsistently
  • No ambition to complete college or some kind of job training
  • Consistently procrastinating making decisions or taking action
  • Content to allow parents or others to finance their living expenses
  • Low energy and often isolating themselves
  • Symptoms of mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety
  • Excessive consumption of drugs or alcohol

Why Does Failure to Launch Happen?

It can be difficult for a parent to understand a child who is exhibiting failure to launch syndrome symptoms. Their child may be convinced that they will somehow luck into an unlikely career, such as becoming an internet star or being paid to play video games. They may struggle with feelings of anxiety or depression that make it difficult to conceive of cutting the apron strings and moving out of their home. Many individuals who struggle with failure to launch have become experts at manipulating parents and others into believing they just need more time before they make a solid commitment to launch into independent living. 

In some cases, the parents themselves fostered a sense of dependence in their children without realizing it could have a long-lasting, negative impact. Helicopter parenting, which involves being overprotective of a child and trying to make their decisions for them, can end up creating an adult who does not have the skillset to become independent. The child may fear making the wrong decision or not having a safety net and placate that by staying in a parent’s home, attempting to continue the life of a teenager or adolescent.

Confronting Your Child About Getting Help

Parents who want to help their children can benefit by talking to them in a way that makes it clear that the time to change has arrived. The parents often have an advantage in the conversation if they have already spoken to treatment professionals who can provide counsel on how to help their child launch into adulthood. A child who has not had to face true and impacting consequences related to their refusal to transition into adult living likely will not be motivated to change unless a line is drawn by their parents.

Even those children who have a real fear about finally growing up often also want to be able to move on and become excited about finally becoming truly independent. Parents can explain to their children that they have selected a program that addresses failure to launch and give them an option: either attend the program willingly or move out of the home and become financially responsible for themselves by a set date. Setting this boundary may not initially be received well, but it is often necessary to jumpstart movement on the part of the child. It not only shows that the parents have reached a breaking point but that programs do exist that understand what the child is going through and can help them.

Failure to Launch Syndrome Symptoms Can Include Addiction

Pew Research reported that in 2020, 52% of young adults lived with one of both parents. The majority of adults aged 18-29 live with their parents, numbers which haven’t been seen since the Great Depression. The pandemic accounts for some of this shift, as well as typical reasons why adults move back home for a while, including temporary financial difficulties and divorce. 

However, many cases of adult children who either return home or never leave have to do with an addiction to drugs or alcohol that keeps them from making a clean break from their family support. Many treatment options for substance use disorders exist, with all of them offering some level of recovery for drug and alcohol addiction. Sober living homes often offer an added bonus that helps people with failure to launch learn not only how to live independently but become excited about it. 

Sober living homes provide a residence where people who are in recovery from addiction live together as they begin their sober lives. These types of homes often teach life skills such as planning a budget, job searching, housekeeping, paying bills on time, and preparing healthy meals. For those who do not have confidence or experience in these typical adult chores, this can prove invaluable.

Treatment for Failure to Launch in Los Angeles

If you or someone you love experiences failure to launch syndrome symptoms, professional treatment can help turn everything around. Miracles Sober Living provides treatment for young men for addiction and co-occurring mental health issues in a beautiful setting in Southern California. We also offer life coaching to help young people create plans for moving into a solid, independent future.
Contact Miracles Sober Living today and get started on living an adult life you can be excited about. Call us at 866-727-3457.

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