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Signs and Symptoms of Failure to Launch Syndrome

It seems as if every family has a young adult who has experienced a difficult journey in maturing and independence. Though not a true diagnosis, failure to launch syndrome is a real thing. Individuals experiencing failure to launch syndrome signs and symptoms can feel like failures. With extreme anxiety and difficulty in achieving goals for their future, these young adults often move back home with their parents. Parents of these young adults do not understand the problems and why their adult child is not thriving after raising them to adulthood. This phase of life can be the basis for negative feelings, lack of understanding, and addiction. In addition, failure to launch often presents to siblings and outside friends of the family as irresponsibility and inadequacy. 

What is Failure to Launch Syndrome?

The transitional phase between adolescence and adulthood can present difficulties for those experiencing failure to launch syndrome. Young adults seem to flounder and have trouble achieving the goals of self-sufficiency and independence. Experiencing anxiety and extreme frustrations, these young people move back home to live with parents who do not understand what is happening. Failure to launch syndrome signs and symptoms are often mistaken for laziness and a sense of irresponsibility.

Failure to launch syndrome signs and symptoms include a sense of no direction for the young adults. In addition, an inability to define life choices regarding where to live, occupation goals, and college opportunities begin to spur negativity from family and friends. Blaming, frustration, confusion, and lack of understanding combine into a storm of self-doubt and loathing. Finally, these young adults without healthy coping mechanisms, drugs, and alcohol for self-medication develop into an addiction. 

Signs and Symptoms

Failure to launch syndrome signs and symptoms are hopelessness, indecision, lack of confidence, and a lack of direction. Young adults appear lazy and unmotivated. Unfortunately, most parents and siblings do not understand what is wrong.

Signs and symptoms of failure to launch syndrome can include:

  • Lack of motivation and the appearance of no purpose in life
  • Poor decision-making skills and an inability to form a healthy work ethic
  • No vision for future endeavors
  • Poor self-care habits
  • The appearance of irresponsibility
  • Isolation and lack of meaningful relationships
  • No ability to deal with emotions, feelings, and stressful situations
  • Dropping out of college or poor academic achievement
  • An inability to support one’s self – moving back home with parents
  • Unemployment or failure to keep a job
  • Substance or alcohol abuse
  • Anxiety and depression, but appearing apathetic
  • Social anxiety

Without understanding or treatment from a professional, symptoms can escalate, the situation worsens, and these young adults find themselves stuck and alone. Failure to launch syndrome signs and situational symptoms include lack of employment, an inability to commit to college courses, and no desire to interact with others. Young adults with this syndrome have difficulty pinpointing the problem themselves. Without the ability to find the words to describe what they are feeling, they reach out to drugs or alcohol for relief. 

The Relationship Between Failure to Launch and Addiction

Failure to launch syndrome ignites the self-destructive behaviors that fuel addiction. A co-occurring mental illness is a high probability in these individuals. The signs and symptoms of failure to launch syndrome exist with many mental illnesses. All parties surrounding the young adults are confused and develop misunderstandings about the situation. In fact, treatment can involve all family members to achieve successful recovery. 

The mental health disorders often associated with failure to launch include:

  • Anxiety disorder and depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Gaming or gambling addictions
  • ADHD or learning problems
  • Mood and personality disorders
  • Substance abuse disorders

Parents of young adults experiencing failure to launch syndrome inadvertently contribute by enabling negative behaviors. Mental health professionals can identify the issues and work with all family members to find a resolution. Treating both mental health issues and unhealthy addiction is the resolution to the problem. Unfortunately, failure to launch syndrome signs and symptoms can be confused with the co-occurring mental health and addiction symptoms. 

Find Mental Health Treatment for Failure to Launch Syndrome

Failure to launch syndrome signs and symptoms can be confused with co-occurring mental health symptoms. Therefore, qualified professionals must design an integrated treatment plan for mental health treatment for failure to launch syndrome and co-occurring mental health disorders and addiction. Successful treatment can include life skills training, individual therapy, addiction treatment, and even mental health housing. In addition, a versatile treatment center offers services concentrating on core issues and underlying causes and conditions. 

A combination of evidence-based therapies can treat all aspects of the situation. In addition, parental participation supports the recovery plan. Identifying failure to launch syndrome signs and symptoms can lead to supportive efforts and a quick resolution. Leaving the enabling behaviors behind will benefit everyone. After all, education and therapy for all parties is the goal. 

Failure to Launch Syndrome in California

Parents faced with a young adult moving back home, remaining unemployed, and depressed and anxious can contact us at Riviera Recovery to seek help. Riviera professionals are well versed in addressing failure to launch syndrome signs and symptoms. Act now to find resolutions for this problem instead of wasting precious time enabling unhealthy behaviors. Plus, our pet-friendly facilities offers many programs that may be of interest to you. We list our phone number on our home page and throughout our site. Contact us today!

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