I have good news and hopeful news for young adults with mental health issues.
But first: the bad news.
Mental health issues are at epidemic proportions in our young adults. Millennials and Generation Z clients with anxiety are through the roof but for those with extreme narcissism or undiagnosed border-line personality traits, the prognosis seems bleak.
A great deal of our clients find the proper breathing techniques, meditations and a good life coach for young adults can be all they need to deal with mild to moderate issues of anxiety, depression, anger issues etc., For those with more advanced mental health issues, the proper meds combined with a mentor can make a world of difference.
But for those with extreme narcissistic tendencies or diagnosed or undiagnosed borderline personality traits, very little works. There is a way now for these young adults with these mental health problems to also find a way forward… but first… I’d like to share with you a case study.
Meet Skeeter and his mom Benjamina.
When people sign up to have a young adult mentored, they go through a form. We then ask that they share a bit about their story. Here is a modified version of Skeeters’.
Tell us a bit about your situation.:
My son is trying to navigate life and deal with the consequences of his choices.
He is creative, bright and charismatic, but he is feeling uncertain about his future, depressed within himself, and swings from high highs to low lows.
He can come calm and clear and then be erratic and unpredictable.
My experience of my son is that he has difficulty focusing in a classroom, has a great sense of humour, very insightful, very sensitive, can be manipulative and possessive. Skeeter is also very self absorbed and can be defensive/aggressive. He loves to argue his point and prove people wrong. Skeeter has anger issues and can go from 0-60 quickly.
First session: Skeeter chooses his three goals:
1) Work on his anxiety
2) Time Management Skills
3) Work ethic
1) Drama – every time I do something and I have a decision and I tend to bring choices that bring more drama into my life.
2) I don’t put as much importance on what other people are doing/thinking.
3) Perfectionism – “I can’t do x until my y is done”.
First indicators of success:
1) When I enter a situation calmly being completely centered in my head.
2) Being where I need to be – consistency – order in life.
3) Me taking care of business and not second guessing myself.
Great first session.
Great second session. We start implementing ways to get s**t done and Skeeter feel good about it.
Third session… no show. Call him. Text him. Email him. No response.
Fourth session… I call from our office line (different phone number). He answers and then says: “Oh Ken!.. can I call you back?” Never calls back. (sigh).
Email mom. Explain the whole thing.
Session Five: She gets Skeeter to Skype for next session with her in the room. We explain what’s happening and how he has a choice to make. He says he likes the process and will be there from now on.
Session Six: I get a text from Skeeter.
Could you call at 8 instead of 745 Ken
Yes. I’ll call at 8
I won’t b ready at 8 Ken im just gonna call you when I’m done it won’t be too long and it will be in between my time of 8-9
your time is 7:45 to 8:45 . you can call anytime in that and we’ll talk until 8:45
(We end up talking at about 8:10 for 15 minutes. Apparently he accepted an extra bit of work last minute and his boss made him go back to work as he had simply snuck away to speak to me without telling me that or asking his boss. When told to go back to work, Skeeter says he will call back in 10 minutes… no call.) Text at 9:55
I don’t know why I keep messin up
Makes me just wanna give up forreal
you got to think about wanting to do better, feel you deserve better and plan a bit ahead. at least for our talks as a start.
Call his mom. Skeeter will not meet for the last two sessions. I offer to meet with his mom and I do some research. What can I offer someone who seems extremely self-involved, would rather sabotage things and live for the drama and tends to lie with no thoughts of ramifications?
I find it!
Schema Therapy. Schema therapy is excellent for young people with mental health issues that don’t seem to improve with traditional therapy or mentoring. They specialize in people with narcissistic issues, personality disorders, treatment-resistant depression and more.
I have a session with Benjamina, share my observations and give her a link.
The next day, I received this email:
“This has been very helpful for me. Thank you. This is why met. This resonates so much. I have found a woman Wendy Behary in Jersey. She wrote, Disarming the Narcissist and holy s**t the one passage on recognizing a Narcissist was spot on!!!! I feel so liberated and relieved knowing that this body of therapy exists. So truly thank you sincerely! I think this is the direction and guidance he needs”.
As a mentor for young adults, when we take on a client, we never give up on them, even it that means sometimes they need something else. To most of you out there, go find a great mentor, it will change your life. For those of you who find nothing works, there is always something. This is one for those missing Millennials of Mental Health.
Know a Millennial in need of mentoring? Check out www.MentoringYoungAdults.com
Interested in mentoring Millennials? Check out www.MentorsProfessionalWorkshop.com