A few years back, the phrase “failure to launch” became more well known as Matthew McConaughey showed his character’s inability to move out of his parents’ home in a film released in 2006. This film made light of the fact that many young adults find themselves in a position of failing to launch from their parents’ home and into an independent lifestyle away from mom and dad. What made for good entertainment at the time is also good food for thought. Why do so many young adults experience a failure to launch?

Transitional treatment centers that are part of addiction treatment facilities or mental health treatment facilities help to prevent problems with graduating from a residential treatment living situation to a more independent lifestyle. After overcoming severe mental health conditions or drug addictions, clients benefit greatly from transitional treatment that helps set up the structure and develop the skills necessary to living on their own. Many young adults lack the life experience of living on their own. Some have not left their parents home yet and those that have may not have the ability to build their own life in a way that would maintain their health and sobriety. To achieve a sober living situation, they use the guidance of transitional treatment to develop new confidence in independent living.

Women effected by borderline personality disorder that complete the WORTH program at New Roads Behavioral Health can be part of the transitional treatment program to help them utilize the skills they learned with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and apply those new learned skills to living on their own. Men can also be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder which is commonly mistaken for Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar treatment and treatment for psychosis can be incorporated into the NORTH Program which is intended for comprehensive psychiatric care.

Clients that have severe mental health disorders, like schizophrenia, often deal with a stigma surrounding their diagnosis. This can make living independently less successful as the stigma may impact how they see themselves as they feel almost doomed to failure.

We interviewed 54 people who were in outpatient treatment for serious mental illness and found that those who accepted that they were mental­ly ill and had a sense of mastery over their lives had the best outcome. The problem, however, was that those who accepted the label of mental illness along with stigmatizing beliefs about mental illness were more likely to have lost their sense of mastery. Internalized stigma, it seems, undermines the possibility that insight will lead to recovery.
Richard Warner, Colorado Recovery

This realization of “internalized stigma” can impede progress. Much of the stigma surrounding severe mental health conditions, like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and even drug addiction comes from a place of misinformation. The fact that most people do not fully understand the full chemical reaction in the brain in association with mental health concerns leads to a fear of the unknown and belief in assumptions that are placed from symptoms that are simply misunderstood. Take for example the symptoms of schizophrenia. These symptoms are grouped into two main categories; positive and negative. The positive symptoms of schizophrenia are delusions, hallucinations (auditory, visual, and sensational) and confused thoughts/speech. Many people that encounter a person experiencing these symptoms may be moderately confused but not bewildered by their interaction. Much of what is going on in the mind of the person with schizophrenia isn’t completely obvious to an observer. So at that point, what judgment can truly exist? Perhaps they are disorganized or rambling; but what comparison can we make between someone with an official diagnosis and the appearance of another seemingly healthy individual that is caught in a stressful situation? To those with the diagnosis, their label is the “excuse” that the outside world gives them, but in reality, what is going on in their mind can’t be fully understood by one interaction.

The stigma surrounding mental health isn’t new. This has been part of our culture for a long time. The only way to combat or overcome this stigma is to educate those around you and show that mental health conditions may cause a person to have setbacks but with the right residential treatment center and professional assistance, living independently is possible. Seeking help and looking for solutions does not make someone less. It adds to their character and builds them up to face the stigma with strength.

Failure to launch may impact young adults with or without mental health concerns. While looking at the transitional treatment centers that can assist in the recovery process it is important to acknowledge that setbacks can happen and that is one reason why these programs exist. If you stumble, they find the solutions to help you pick back up and carry on. Treatment for psychosis and other severe mental health disorders can help regain independence and keep recovery moving forward.

Recovery emphasizes that, while people may not have full control over their symptoms, they can have full control over their lives.  Recovery is not about ‘getting rid’ of problems.  It is about seeing beyond a person’s mental health problems, recognizing and fostering their abilities, interests and dreams.  Mental illness and social attitudes to mental illness often impose limits on people experiencing ill health.  Health professionals, friends and families can be overly protective or pessimistic about what someone with a mental health problem will be able to achieve.  Recovery is about looking beyond those limits to help people achieve their own goals and aspirations.

Recovery can be a voyage of self-discovery and personal growth.  Experiences of mental illness can provide opportunities for change, reflection and discovery of new values, skills and interests.
Independent Living Resources – What is Recovery?

The transitional treatment centers at New Roads Behavioral Health can help clients find jobs, seek higher education opportunities, and find more permanent housing. There are life skills taught to help those in the program learn about managing finances, cooking, and other day-to-day activities. The programs at New Roads also offer off-campus activities and recreation. There are a variety of activities that our programs offer like hiking, yoga, arts, dance, sports, events, and going to local activity centers. If you’d like to learn more about our treatment programs or to schedule a tour, please call: 888-358-8998