What is Failure to Launch Syndrome?

A father talking to his son about the newfound responsabilities of becoming an adult and moving away from home.

At some point in life, we may find ourselves struggling to transition from one stage to another, whether it’s starting a new job, moving out of our parent’s home, or simply taking on new responsibilities. However, this struggle can become more pronounced and persistent for some individuals, resulting in what is known as Failure to Launch Syndrome (FTLS).

FTLS is a condition that affects individuals who have difficulty transitioning into independent adulthood. It is characterized by a lack of motivation, procrastination, and an inability to take on new responsibilities. This condition can manifest in different ways, and the symptoms can vary from person to person. Below, we will explore the common symptoms of FTLS and what you can do to overcome them.

Symptoms of FTLS

Lack of Motivation

One of the most prominent symptoms of FTLS is a lack of motivation. A person suffering from FTLS may struggle to take on new responsibilities or pursue their goals consistently. They may feel like they are stuck in a rut and lack direction and purpose in their lives.


Another common symptom of FTLS is procrastination. Individuals with FTLS may struggle to complete tasks and find themselves frequently putting things off until the last minute. They may feel overwhelmed by the thought of starting something new or feel like they cannot complete a task to the best of their ability.


Individuals with FTLS may strongly depend on their parents or other caregivers. They may struggle to take on extra responsibilities or make decisions without seeking guidance from others. As a result, they may feel incapable of making decisions on their own or lack the confidence to do so.

Difficulty with Social Interactions

FTLS is a condition that often causes individuals to struggle with social interactions and forming relationships. They may have trouble making friends or maintaining long-term romantic or professional relationships. Many people with FTLS report feeling socially awkward or anxious on a daily basis and may avoid social situations altogether when possible because of this.

Low Self-Esteem

Individuals with FTLS often have low self-esteem and lack confidence in their abilities or suffer from chronic feelings of inadequacy. Their belief may be that they are not capable of taking on new responsibilities or pursuing their goals due to various factors that they see as impossible. As a result, they may compare themselves to others and feel like they are falling short.

How to Overcome the Challenges of FTLS

If you or someone you know is struggling with FTLS, there are steps you can take to overcome this condition. Here are a few strategies that may be helpful:

Seek Professional Help

A mental health professional can help you to identify the underlying root causes of your FTLS and develop a treatment plan that works for you. This may involve therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Talking to a mental health professional can provide a safe space for you to express your thoughts and feelings and help you better understand your condition.

Set Realistic Goals

Setting achievable goals can help to build sustainable motivation and increase self-esteem. Start with small goals and work your way up to larger ones. Celebrate your successes along the way, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you experience setbacks.

Practice Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is important when dealing with FTLS. This may include getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet. Self-care can help reduce stress and anxiety and help you feel more energized and motivated day in and day out.

Take Responsibility

Taking responsibility for your own life and decisions is essential. This may involve taking on new daily responsibilities or making difficult decisions, but it can ultimately lead to greater independence and increased self-confidence. Remember that it’s okay to ask for help along the way and that taking responsibility does not mean doing everything on your own.

Contact The Life Adjustment Team For Help

FTLS can be a challenging condition to overcome, but it’s not impossible. By seeking professional help, setting realistic goals, practicing self-care, and taking responsibility for your life, you can overcome the symptoms of FTLS and transition into independent adulthood. If you or someone you know is struggling with FTLS, don’t hesitate to seek help.

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