When a young adult struggles with an addiction, an eating disorder, or a mental health issue such as severe anxiety, depression or a suicide attempt, most parents’ first concern is getting their son or daughter well. But after he or she has made progress in treatment, the next biggest worry is often: Is it going to last?
For many young adults, the key to whether they will be able to enjoy lasting recovery or whether they will continually relapse into old behavior is how resilient they can be in the face of life’s ongoing challenges. The transition from adolescence to adulthood is one of the most challenging times of life.
“Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from misfortune,” says Dana Bender, director of Core Competence Services at Yellowbrick. “It’s not a skill inherent in most people, but one that can be taught and practiced. Young adults most often learn resilience from parents, teachers, or other role models and from their own experience coping with difficulties and maintaining a positive attitude in the face of adversity.”
Many of today’s young people are less equipped to deal with setbacks than in the past, expecting quick solutions to problems and feeling increasingly paralyzed by the pressure to succeed.
“There’s a whole trend of perfectionism that doesn’t allow for people to make mistakes or fail at things they try to accomplish” Bender says, adding that pressure often leads people to turn to alcohol, drugs, food or other destructive behaviors to avoid experiencing the negative feelings that arise when something doesn’t go their way.
To have long-lasting recovery, young adults need to learn how to cope with disappointments without resorting to substances or other negative behaviors to try and feel better. That’s why Yellowbrick puts a strong emphasis on teaching young adults the skills needed to help them build their resiliency.
At Yellowbrick, Bender says therapists work with young adults to help them realize that “failure” is an important part of the process of moving forward, and to help them break down tasks into smaller steps to build self-esteem and demonstrate effective methods for reaching their goals.
Bender says when young adults realize they have the power to improve their lives, they can become empowered and feel hopeful and optimistic that their current circumstances won’t last forever.
Here are five tools that young adults can use to build resiliency:
If you or someone you know is a young adult suffering from mental health problems, contact Yellowbrick today.
Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.