The transition from “childhood” to “adulthood” can be confusing, and young adults can notice a big impact on their mental health. There can be a new sense of responsibilities and expectations, from ourselves or others. Except there is no class in school that teaches you how to “adult”. I bet you’ve heard more than once that you’re an adult now and need to get it figured out, but there is less willingness in the world to support you while you do that. That hardly seems fair or like a set up for success. No one expected you to learn to walk, talk, read, or write on your own. Yet, somehow when young adults could benefit from therapy, it is seen as a failure of some sort.
The phase of life that we refer to as “young adulthood” usually spans the ages 18-25. Though some would make the case that even up to age 30 should be included in that group. Think about all of the huge milestones that can happen in those years! Leaving high school, starting school either in your hometown or out of state. Maybe it’s college, but it can also be trade school learning the skills that keep this country running. A lot of young adults also experience living on their own, or without family, for the first time. Learning how to pay bills, grocery shop, set up all of your own appointments and completing all your own paperwork. Your choices are your own for the first time, and so are the results of those choices.
Next comes getting into the professional world which can be daunting and discouraging. Getting into and out of serious relationships, having children, and getting married can all be significant life events during this time in life. The current state of our world looks a lot different than the world your parents and grandparents grew up in and there is a growing sense of just how hard things are for most people. While lot of this part of life can be exciting and “the best of years of your life”, with this level of change it is not at all unusual for people to find themselves feeling overwhelmed, scared, lost and generally in need of support.
It’s easy to find ourselves doing what we’ve always done and assuming that’s fine, until it’s not. Often when we look back on situations or periods of our life that were difficult, we can see early red flags waving at us hoping we’ll notice them and do something differently. Hindsight is a real asshole sometimes, isn’t it? Most of us don’t recognize them for what they are because we simply don’t know that they are warning signs at all.
10 common signs that you may be struggling more than you realized:
First thing to know is that you are hardly alone in any of these experiences. Like most things in our culture, we don’t talk about it so people are caught off guard when they start to realize something isn’t quite right. It takes a lot of courage to be honest when we’re struggling, especially if we don’t have a good support system already around us. I’m sure you’re expecting me to recommend therapy, and you aren’t wrong. It’s kinda my thing. But, I also don’t believe that everyone needs therapy for every struggle and I certainly don’t believe that therapy is the only support that people need. In fact, the more supports outside of therapy that you have, the better results you are likely to see!
Ways to bring more support into your life:
All of these can be so helpful! You may still feel like you need more support in addition to these things. This is what I do! I truly enjoy working with young adults to address their mental health needs and to provide support as they navigate this new part of life. We will work together to find your personal values and goals for your life and to find ways to get you there. I am very aware that living in America today is actually pretty difficult, especially for young adults just starting out in the adult space. Let’s work together to build you the toolkit you need to feel more in control, more connected, and with more clarity in your life and where you’re headed. Reach out now at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 15 minute consultation!