Failure to Advance
We live in a society where we are expected to grow into functioning adults who go on to work and have families. But what happens when you have done all you could to that end, but your child refuses to take the natural steps forward? Day after day, you watch — hopelessly frustrated – while your child spends his time isolated into childhood pastimes. Rather than pounding the pavement in search of a job, he spends his time on that computer. He eats and sleeps, but beyond that he has done nothing to further himself in life. You shake your head wondering what went wrong. How could he be so disinterested in his own evolution? Maybe you’ve given up on the idea of grandchildren and the usual milestones. At this point, just getting him out of the house would at least feel like some progress. A failure to advance intervention may be in order.
While this family may feel grateful that their loved one is not an addict or alcoholic in the typical sense, the syndrome may still cause much pain and disruption to normal living. Sometimes there are mental health issues, such as depression, obsessive/compulsive, borderline personality or post traumatic stress disorders at the root of the problem. Sometimes it’s substance abuse, but often that isn’t the case. Sometimes it’s a process addiction — an addiction to something that is not ingested, but rather a repetitive behavior that offers those addicted to it some sort of euphoria when they repeat the behavior. And sometimes it’s none of the above. The cause is a mystery. But for those dealing with it, the disorder is as real as any other -the proof is sitting in a room at your house.
Until recently, there were very few options for finding help — sometimes none if there are no mental health issues as the cause. It has become such a problem in Japan that they have their own term for it — Hikikomori. Defined criteria includes those who refuse to, or rarely, leave their house for six months or more with the refusal to interact with others socially or otherwise without co-occurring mental health issues. Some speculate it has to do with Japanese culture, typified by hard work, coupled with the universal problem of graduates having a hard time securing a job in the modern market. But the phenomenon is not limited to Asian cultures. The problem is increasing enough in France that they are developing new treatments for the disorder. Here in the U.S. it is also known as Acute Social Withdrawal, Social Isolation, or as Intervention Services refers to it, Failure to Advance.
Always seeking to stay abreast of current trends and recovery solutions, Intervention Services has developed new strategies for dealing with this growing problem. Their new Sober Coach and Family Coach programs were created to help those whose problems are outside the normal realms that most rehab facilities are unequipped to deal with. The Sober Coach program sidesteps the treatment center (in the absence of addiction) and instead sends a trained professional to the residence to work one-on-one with your family member. If there is a mental health problem, that, of course, should be dealt with by a physician or therapist. If it’s a process addiction (such as the internet, gaming, gambling or porn, just to name a few), the appropriate treatment would be enforced with the client’s coach, who would be there on a daily basis to get your loved one into a place of remission and recovery. For example, the sober coach would be the one to find and guide your loved one into the appropriate type of support group or outpatient therapy he needs. While shadowing his client, the coach would help identify symptoms of backsliding while teaching new coping mechanisms. Hands-on help in practical matters, such as personal hygiene, job procurement skills, techniques to ease non-clinical depression – such as meditation, exercise and proper sleep habits – may also be introduced.
In the case of process addictions, the client would be assessed and assigned to the appropriate treatment if necessary. Intervention Services coaches are professionals trained to identify and assist these types of clients. The coach would then be on hand in the early stages of recovery to divert his client from his addictive behavior(s) and help him find other suitable activities. He may have flawed thought processes that need to be addressed. He may simply need to learn better living and coping skills. His fears and phobias may need to be addressed. He may simply need some mentoring and support. If ongoing therapy is found to be needed, the coach can help the client find an appropriate therapist.
As often as not, in the case of most addictions or behavioral issues, the family needs educating as well. If there is enabling going on, it needs to end. Sometimes there are other family issues that also may need attention. If it is determined that the client needs treatment and is willing, but the whole family is unsure of what to do, the Family Recovery Coach program may be more appropriate. In this case, the Family Coach meets with the whole family to educate and inform them of their loved one’s needs and his process. Then everybody meets to support their loved one as he goes off to get the appropriate help. Sometimes the family needs to learn what enabling is and how to avoid it. It has been said that the failure to advance problem is observed less in poor families because the poor simply cannot afford to take care of their adult child.
Whatever the case may be with your family, there is a solution. At Intervention Services, they’ve listened to what their clients concerns are and have stepped up to meet that need. As leaders in the intervention business, Intervention Services feels no one should continue to suffer. As new information and treatments become available, Intervention Services retains a cutting edge, always evolving to help those in need. Addiction is a fatal disease if left untreated. Don’t let your loved one slip away when there are those who can help with a failure to advance intervention.