Adults at home – Failure to Launch

failure to launch

Help, my adult child is stuck at home!

More and more parents, and their grown up kids are reaching out for help with coping as young adults in a rapidly changing world. It is not uncommon for top A students, who thrived socially and on the sports field to battle with depression and general stuckness as they get older. Failure to launch is a growing phenomenon on an unprecedented scale.

Adult children in their twenties and thirties are often stuck at home and feel resentful to their parents and the world for it. Imagine sitting with all the capability in the world, a heap of fresh childhood dreams and perhaps even the opportunities to build a career, but being stuck emotionally drowning in metamorphically created mud. Failure to launch is an inability to leave home and support oneself, regardless of the underlying cause. Young adults struggling with failure to launch (or failure to thrive) may appear to be “stuck” or not maturing in an age appropriate way. Failure to Launch syndrome is characterized by low levels of motivation, poor work ethic, lack of vision for the future, inability or unwillingness to take responsibility when appropriate, and an inability to manage daily household chores or tasks of daily living.

Many of these kids don’t get the right help with failure to launch issues and inevitably end up withdrawn and at home. Some start to use drugs and others become depressed and angry. Parents are torn with the many options of what to do to help them. Do you send them to a psychologist or therapist and try and motivate them, or do you use tough love tactics? Oftentimes both of these methods don’t work at first, leaving both the adult child and parent even more frustrated. Depression treatment in South Africa can be hard to come by if it is not a psychiatric clinic you are after. A lot of parents find out their child may be smoking weed or drinking too much and send them off to rehabs rather than universities and collages as originally intended.

failure to launch

More often than not this makes matters worse, before they get better. Drug Rehabilitation Centres are filled with failure to launch clients suffering emotionally on a deep level, but are being treated as addicts who need to join Alcoholics Anonymous for the remainder of their lives and go to meetings. There are many ways to skin a cat. This works for many, but far from all. Many parents tell of how their failure to launch child got to know about using drugs in a psychiatric facility whilst being treated for anxiety or depression. The valleys are deep and the right roads are not yet clear, amidst much argument the professionals don’t agree on much, while the problems often get worse.

Origins of Failure to Launch

At the bottom of failure to launch we tend to find emotions, worry, self esteem and terror in an inner world is masked by a sense of grandiosity, anger and a carefree attitude that wears thin fast! Fear of failing is one of the leading causes of failure to launch.  That sounds paradoxical, but it’s true.  Anxiety about an uncertain world, that offers so many chances to fail, can cause a fragile young adult to retreat to the security of the family nest.  Under the right circumstances, failure teaches us better ways of doing things and helps build character.  However, a feeling of constant failure without success can lead to loss of self-confidence, discouragement, and even depression.  The challenge for emerging adults with failure to launch is in finding the right balance between the two.

failure to launch

On the flip side of emerging addictions and crappy behaviour are entitlement, isolation, and unhealthy family systems are common symptoms of both failure to launch syndrome and addiction. That means that when an addiction is present, failure to launch may go unnoticed. Regardless of the addiction type, everyone suffering from an addiction lives an unmanageable life. The increased anxiety and emotional turmoil these young adults experience lead to a decrease in commitments to education, career, personal health, and social activities.

What we do recommend for failure to launch is starting with a doctor and therapy. Mark L Lockwood and the Course In recovery helps a couple of handfuls of people every year who are blessed enough to be able to have the means and the familial support to turn their lives around. Young person retreats to courses in personal transformation help many people move out of stuckness fast. Parents need to learn about codependency, boundaries, self esteem and addictions before deciding on a course of action on dealing with failure to launch. The good news is we see lives turning around often!! It often seems overwhelming for parents to have adult children at home, sitting on so much potential. But there is no need to get stuck and desperate. They say it takes 21 days to change a habit and 90 days to change a lifestyle – and we have seen this happen over and over again. Like all things personal transformation takes a lot of hard, hard work. You need two primary things to begin. Effort and then a belief that change is possible.

Getting past the Failure to Launch

We have relationships with dozens of families from around the world since we began our work a couple of decades ago in the dark ages of rehab. Since then our courses are known as an alternative to rehab. We prefer to look at our courses in recovery as modern means to an epidemic end to a new kind of suffering. Things are faster than ever today. They are super technological and schools are just not equipping young adults for the giant gap they can fall into. It is often an emotional void that sets the limbic brain itself into a panic of fight, flight or freeze. Creativity in this state is soon lost, along with hope, innovation and motivation. Good adult children need good, modern help. You can find it with us at our center in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. The courses are 4 – 12 weeks long (recommended). Whether it is depression, stuckness, bitterness and anger or the start of addictive behaviours we can help.

Mark and his team do things very differently, and achieve a different kind of result for the adult children and their families. Everything is personalized and worked out to help achieve the required level of transformation. Registered counsellors with decades of specialised expertise in this area make all the difference in leading people through the incredible and extraordinary life changing courses on offer. Call 0824424779 or email for further information and to book your healing experience with us. For more help with failure to launch, addictions, depression, stuckness or personal transformation strategies for you or your loved ones get in touch today.

failure to launch

Published by Mark L Lockwood

Mark L Lockwood (BA)(Hons)(psy) teaches spiritual transformation and is the founder of Contemplative Intelligence. Author of The Power of Contemplative Intelligence, Autotherapy and Recovery Magic. Our work is about the science of finding your spiritual self.

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