Speaking with candor and eloquence, A.M. describes how she overcame Failure to Launch Syndrome by finding a passion in life (in A.M.’s case, it is music), engaging in cognitive behavioral therapy, and working with a life coach who helped her improve essential life skills. Initially confused by her attraction to women, A.M. eventually learned to accept herself completely as a human being, woman, and lesbian. Aided by the loving support of her family and community support groups, A.M. has developed into a strong, self-aware, life-embracing adult who now speaks to other young adults about coping with Failure to Launch Syndrome.
What happened to A.M. is currently happening to other 21st century young adults. Lacking the motivational, emotional, and communication skills necessary to successfully “launch” their lives, these 17 to 28-year-olds are finding it difficult and painful to navigate post-high school life. Consequently, they often find themselves living with their parents again, unable to relate to peers who have “launched” themselves without difficulty, and dealing with familial tension. Like A.M., many young adults who fail to launch develop depression, severe anxiety, low self-esteem, and sometimes an addiction to drugs, alcohol, eating, or the Internet. Furthermore, some people suffering from Failure to Launch syndrome may have undiagnosed psychological issues, such as Asperger’s, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, PTSD or, as in A.M.’s case, issues with sexual identity.
A.M. provides hope and guidance for young adults who have tried to launch themselves into the world, but inexplicably failed to live up to everyone’s expectations. She points out how much cognitive behavioral therapy, discovering a passion in life, and having a life skills coach helped her gain insight into why the decisions she made lacked the ability to help her sustain her “launch”.
The transition from high school graduate to working college student and, ultimately, college graduate can be traumatic for those who lack certain life skills, resiliency, psychological health, and the support necessary for launching themselves into a life they love and embrace. Additionally, cognitive behavioral therapy works wonderfully to help young adults like A.M. understand how much their thoughts influence their emotions and perspective on life.
A.M.’s testimony on how she eventually took control of her life by coming to terms with Failure to Launch syndrome, her sexual identity, and her anxiety represents the lives of so many other Millennials searching for reasons why they feel lost in a world that seems to expect too much from them, a world that failed to provide them with instructions on how to pursue and achieve these expectations.