Not an Onion Title: Rehab for Millennials Aims to Turn Them Into Adults
December 7, 2016 8:12 PM   Subscribe

"Yellowbrick was founded a decade ago specifically to treat 'emerging adult' brains. It helps its patients navigate the extended period between childhood and adulthood." At a cost of $27,500 per month and a minimum commitment of 10 weeks, parents of prospective patients are paying dearly - and some would say being sucked dry - in the name of launching their failed-to-launch 20 or 30-something child.
posted by tafetta, darling! (75 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
2016: The year Metafilter had to start putting "Not an Onion Title:" in front of most post titles
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:16 PM on December 7, 2016 [86 favorites]


proposing we name this timeline the onionverse
posted by entropicamericana at 8:26 PM on December 7, 2016 [55 favorites]


🤔
posted by b1tr0t at 8:28 PM on December 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


In retrospect, being part of Generation X was great: it was cool to be a slacker without it necessarily dooming you to a life of underachievement - and if, as in my case, it did, everyone just completely forgot you existed anyway.

Sorry, millennials, I feel for you. I expect to be reading articles like this well into your 50s.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:30 PM on December 7, 2016 [29 favorites]


Maybe if Millennials could find work that could let them afford student loans plus a mortgage they'd leave the nest.
posted by Talez at 8:30 PM on December 7, 2016 [92 favorites]


Honestly, I no longer have the stomach for millennial-bashing outrage-filter. There are better things to be outraged about.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:31 PM on December 7, 2016 [20 favorites]


Guy doesn't do well, ends up with a serious drug problem, but yes, rather than calling it that, let's make it about how Millennials don't know how to grow up.
posted by teponaztli at 8:34 PM on December 7, 2016 [33 favorites]


Previously on MeFi: What Is It About 20-Somethings?
posted by en forme de poire at 8:36 PM on December 7, 2016


Yep, the same here. Honestly all of the millenials I know seem remarkably more competent and confident and adult than I was at the same age, and seem to have done things like work 2 jobs all the way through school to pay for the outrageous tuition that I had handed to me on a plate by the state. I'm pretty much counting on them to be the ones to pull us out of the nose-dive we seem to be in.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:36 PM on December 7, 2016 [33 favorites]


I feel like Millenials are maturing at perfectly normal rates, they just need to stop posting everything they do online because it looks worse from the heights of old age I have acheived. I have worked in the same industry since the 90s and I ~know~ what all those current senior managers got up to in their early 20s. I threw some of the most epic parties. But back then we kept stuff secret on purpose!
posted by fshgrl at 8:38 PM on December 7, 2016 [22 favorites]


I can't even be bothered to hate on this article about a 15-bed facility in the north suburbs of Chicago that costs $27,500 per month.

It's not an anti-millennial hitpiece, it's just another thing about stupid rich people sending their kids to some fancy rehab which will either continue to pamper their fantasies of suffering or, if they are actually dealing with mental health issues, will charge their parents quite handsomely to treat them.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:42 PM on December 7, 2016 [23 favorites]


Interesting--I read that entire article as basically saying Viner is a quack preying on vulnerable people. I didn't think it was supposed to be a millennial bash fest.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:43 PM on December 7, 2016 [16 favorites]


It isn't actually but the author does throw in a few gratuitous passages about the spoiled kids these days
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:48 PM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


At a cost of $27,500 per month and a minimum commitment of 10 weeks,

sweet jeezy pete

If we had that kind of money we wouldn't be failed-to-launch to begin with
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:50 PM on December 7, 2016 [18 favorites]


Honestly all of the millenials I know seem remarkably more competent and confident and adult than I was at the same age,

I have to agree here. I'd say it applied to most of my friends too. It seems the helicopter parenting idea got way overplayed. I work with twentysomethings mostly and they are very together.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 8:51 PM on December 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


Yeah, the article is totally not about millennials, it's about Viner milking desperate parents. And the farther you get in the more your jaw will drop open.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:56 PM on December 7, 2016 [24 favorites]


Even with all the privilege required to spend time in a 15-person therapeutic community tailored to the common anxieties of one’s class, it would be wrong to suggest the people I spoke to didn’t need some kind of help, or that their mental illnesses were less real than others.

OK, I'm retracting my previous non-hating-on-this-article comments.

I mean, yeah. Not hating on anyone living with mental illness, or even difficulties in transitioning to adulthood. But couldn't the writer instead have written on some thirty-bed for-profit sheltered care facility where mentally ill people's social security checks got signed over to the owner in exchange for a shared room, three precisely-measured square meals and a forty dollar allowance, where psych meds got doled out by staff people with no training and where the doctor showed up once a month to see everyone for three minutes each and get his Medicaid reimbursements? Because I used to work at a place like that, and it's not too far south of Evanston.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:59 PM on December 7, 2016 [23 favorites]


My son was a slacker, so I encouraged him to be the best slacker he could be. Then he became enlightened.
posted by BentFranklin at 9:00 PM on December 7, 2016 [17 favorites]


millennials, amirite? all of the Beatles were still in their twenties when they broke up after revolutionizing music forever and none of us can ever hope to catch up
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:00 PM on December 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


Goldbrick: dated American slang meaning a slacker who is avoiding work

Are you sure this isn't from the Onion?
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:10 PM on December 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


Because I used to work at a place like that, and it's not too far south of Evanston.

I could give you a list of every place like that in the 6th Circuit. It's a depressingly long list.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:14 PM on December 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


1, Wait for adults to ruin society and capitalism so that their children have no prospects
2. Wait for the children to grow old enough to realize the situation and refuse to engage with society and capitalism in the same way their parents did
3. Charge the parents $27,500 a month to tell the children it's all their fault
4. Profit!
posted by ejs at 9:49 PM on December 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


paying 27,500 a month ain't going to fix capitalism, an economic system with no use for workers
posted by eustatic at 9:56 PM on December 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


At a cost of $27,500 per month and a minimum commitment of 10 weeks, parents of prospective patients are paying dearly - and some would say being sucked dry - in the name of launching their failed-to-launch 20 or 30-something child.

quarter million dollars to un-mess your (legally) no-longer-child's mind-body-soul.
what is it they say about fools and their money?
posted by philip-random at 10:02 PM on December 7, 2016


“I feel like Millenials are maturing at perfectly normal rates, they just need to stop posting everything they do online because it looks worse from the heights of old age I have acheived. ”

And this definitely shows your age, because linking the online persona of a person now to the online persona of them a few years ago is “doxxing” which is universally immoral. The standards of morality change to fit the reality of the humans, and what they can expect of themselves and each other. If that means a gradual brand-new-day philosophy of perpetual alt rotation, so be it. You can not only not step in the same river twice, you can't be the same person stepping.

(For the record I'm both complaining about and endorsing this. The world is too weird for me to have consistent opinions on it.)
posted by traveler_ at 10:35 PM on December 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


Guy doesn't do well, ends up with a serious drug problem, but yes, rather than calling it that, let's make it about how Millennials don't know how to grow up.

The most disturbing thing about the piece was how difficult it is to parse whether the profiled Yellowbrick patients are actually mentally ill or not. Is Sean an overindulged loser who did heroin out of spoiled boredom or a recovering drug addict who needs to learn sober life skills and deal with the trauma of having the kind of parents who ship you off to Bad Kids Boarding and Day when you fail freshman algebra? Are we sure he's a slacker and not struggling with an undiagnosed learning disability? Does the Ivy League student who couldn't turn in his final paper have a debilitating anxiety disorder or just really overbearing parents? Is Issac a pathological liar or a dual-diagnosis patient? The only patients who seem to have a confirmed-outside-of-Yellowbrick mental illness are Lauren, who bounces in and out of Yellowbrick, and Bethany, who gets kicked out, twice, when she gets too sick for them.

There are so many terrifying possibilities: none of the patients are actually mentally ill, they're just on paid vacation to twentysomething summer camp and don't give a shit (that apartment is nicer than mine, goddamn); none of the patients are actually mentally ill, they're just acting out an unhealthy enmeshment with overbearing parents who want them "fixed" and Yellowbrick is enabling all of them; none of the patients are actually mentally ill, they're just unambitious slackers whose parents are willing to pay thirty grand a month to be able to say their son works at Domino's not because he just wants to but because he's disabled; or, and this is where the whole thing becomes nightmare fuel, most of the patients are actually mentally ill, and none of them get any better because Yellowbrick is a very successful scam.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 11:05 PM on December 7, 2016 [48 favorites]


I mean, if I had parents who could pay that kind of money, I wouldn't only be "failure to launch", I'd be "failure to get out of the poolside chaise lounge".
posted by madajb at 11:29 PM on December 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


I've never heard anyone use "doxxing" that way.

This thread makes me feel young.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:39 PM on December 7, 2016 [14 favorites]


I mean, yeah. Not hating on anyone living with mental illness, or even difficulties in transitioning to adulthood. But couldn't the writer instead have written on some thirty-bed for-profit sheltered care facility where mentally ill people's social security checks got signed over to the owner in exchange for a shared room, three precisely-measured square meals and a forty dollar allowance, where psych meds got doled out by staff people with no training and where the doctor showed up once a month to see everyone for three minutes each and get his Medicaid reimbursements? Because I used to work at a place like that, and it's not too far south of Evanston.


I mean that article should be written too but the point of it is rather different from this one and yet they are also arguably complementary.
posted by atoxyl at 12:55 AM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've never heard anyone use "doxxing" that way.

Yeah doxxing is linking someone's online person to their real identity.
posted by atoxyl at 12:56 AM on December 8, 2016 [15 favorites]


That's because nobody uses doxxing that way. Linking to somebody's Facebook isn't doxxing. Digging up non-public information and publishing it to people who want to hurt a person is doxxing. This seems like an important distinction.
posted by SakuraK at 1:00 AM on December 8, 2016 [22 favorites]


I mean I'm not a medical doctor but anyone working in genomics can tell you, as Carrie Bearden did in the article, that personalized medicine (of which prescribing pills based on genetics is an example) is a long way off, even for diseases we understand way better than mental illness. qEEG gives you an order of magnitude less information than fMRI, and (at least as far as I know) even that isn't really useful as a diagnostic as opposed to a research tool. I also noticed they were using neurofeedback (the jaguar game), a treatment for ADHD with inconclusive-to-dubious support in the literature. And then there's the bit about them publishing in their own non-peer-reviewed journal, yikes. If that's a fair characterization (and it's not just that they put their press release pieces in a newsletter or something) it's one of the biggest red flags the factory makes.

(Maybe it's benign but the fact that Sean's therapist apparently kept pushing this place specifically also really weirded me out, btw. Did they have some connection to the people running the program, or were they just a big fan? Either way, if Sean had posted something like "hey my therapist keeps pushing this experimental quasi-inpatient program on me, should I pay $27K a month for it?" on AskMe I bet a lot of people would have been like "dude I think you should get a second opinion.")
posted by en forme de poire at 1:23 AM on December 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Goldbrick: dated American slang meaning a slacker who is avoiding work

Cob nobbler!
posted by thelonius at 1:27 AM on December 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Squat cobbler?
posted by kewb at 3:05 AM on December 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


But Sean’s parents—simple people, he says, who “live life and trust the assembly line” that turns out well-adjusted adults—were understandably freaked.

Hm well you know I don't like to point fingers but I think this person just...wasn't parented?

I do sympathize with the desire to pay someone to teach you how to live. I remember specifically wishing something like that existed when I was 23. Sometimes for my job I had to go to a rehab center for adolescents and even though I knew it was wrong I just felt really jealous that they got the time to just focus on fixing their brains and learning how to live.
posted by bleep at 3:23 AM on December 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


Started to describe this article to my wife by saying, "Someone has realized there is a lot of money to be made." On the other hand, and I'm glad for anyone who knows folks that defy the millennial narrative, my completely anecdotal, microscopic-sample-size is depressingly stereotypical. In spite of that, in all cases i know reasons I or anyone else might not be succeeding in life (whatever that means) in the same situation as the millennials I know. And these are priviledged folks....

This article tries hard to walk the line between condemning the facility and the millennial residents. I guess the writer has a strong sense of fairness? I mainly benefitted from a couple of throwaway phrases, like "adult relationship with family." I mean, hell, I'm over 50 and looking back to make sure I can check off the "adult relationship with family" box I think I could only possibly start to claim that when my first parent died ten years ago....

Who the fuck makes up the success criteria cause I really want to be on that committee. There's money to be made.
posted by grimjeer at 5:03 AM on December 8, 2016


Sounds like this goes in a different direction but I was envisioning something more like how Sarah Jessica Parker meets Matthew McConaughey in Failure to Launch
posted by dismas at 5:10 AM on December 8, 2016


Linking to somebody's Facebook isn't doxxing. Digging up non-public information and publishing it to people who want to hurt a person is doxxing.

As I understand it, doxxing is linking an online persona to someone's real name or real life information- so publishing the Facebook profile of someone on Twitter would absolutely be doxxing.
posted by corb at 5:49 AM on December 8, 2016


One morning, over at Elizabeth's beach house, she asked me if I'd rather go water-skiing or lay out. And I realized that not only did I not want to answer THAT question, but I never wanted to answer another water-sports question, or see any of these people again for the rest of my life.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:50 AM on December 8, 2016 [6 favorites]




"Booby hatch?" What the hell? Is that sort of like a "freak wharf?"
posted by Bob Regular at 5:58 AM on December 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Are parents so desperate to oust their kids from the nest? If so why not.. kick them out? Why waste so much money on some quack's bootcamp?

I mean, from my perspective my Mom didn't want me to move out. It was more financially beneficial to both of us for me to keep living with her.
posted by INFJ at 6:08 AM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


They want to help their kids, not just kick them into the street. That is admirable. But the "rehab" metaphor is concerning, since many of the drug/alcohol ones are all about charging people many thousands of dollars for basically 12-step meetings, so that their families feel like they have tried everything.
posted by thelonius at 6:14 AM on December 8, 2016


But there is nothing wrong with their kids?
posted by INFJ at 6:32 AM on December 8, 2016


The guy in the article sounded OK to you?
posted by thelonius at 6:37 AM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


At a cost of $27,500 per month and a minimum commitment of 10 weeks...
If you squint the right way, this sounds a lot like it's catering to the (in some cases entirely justified) anxieties of well-off boomer grandparents. Just like everything else in America, really.

This aligns neatly with some of my recent experience (discovering that many apparently-well-off gen-X-ish parents in my circles are actually still leaning on their parents pretty hard) so of course I think it's the correct interpretation.
posted by Western Infidels at 6:52 AM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yes, he does. He sounds fairly normal, but made some stupid decisions. What young adult doesn't make stupid decisions?

What I take issue with is this:
Rather than acting like sensible adults, young people were spending their post-collegiate years “finding themselves.” They were marrying later, shacking up with roommates, unable or unwilling to lock themselves into stable careers or even a permanent home. They “boomeranged” back to mom and dad’s, as captured in a New Yorker cover where a kid hangs his PhD on the wall of his childhood bedroom, parents gazing on in anguish.
I don't see what part of that requires a bootcamp at $27k/month. You want your children to behave like adults? TREAT THEM LIKE ADULTS. Charge them rent.* Make them buy their own food and do their own laundry. You can't coddle them and at the same time gaze on in anguish and expect something to change.

(*if they're unemployed, find some solution that works for you. Have them find another way to earn their keep. Run errands, do minor house repairs and updates, etc)
posted by INFJ at 6:54 AM on December 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


He never graduated college, he's in recovery from opiate addiction, he has no real interests, no friends, no relationships, he's pushing 30 with a job driving pizza. I'd be concerned, although I don't know if the $27k/month "rehab "is going to help him or not.
posted by thelonius at 7:01 AM on December 8, 2016


For the target market, the location is spot on. It's a quick drive from the wealthiest Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:14 AM on December 8, 2016


(not like I was doing that much better at 30)
posted by thelonius at 7:22 AM on December 8, 2016


> "Rather than acting like sensible adults, young people were spending their post-collegiate years 'finding themselves.' They were marrying later, shacking up with roommates, unable or unwilling to lock themselves into stable careers or even a permanent home."

I don't even see how that's not behaving like a sensible adult.
posted by kyrademon at 7:59 AM on December 8, 2016 [18 favorites]


I'd have to run the numbers here, but if you're a 20-something and this kind of money was invested for you in some kind of a trust fund wouldn't it allow you to pretty pick up bits and bobs of money playing guitar and working at coffee shops or whatever it is that stereotypical "failed-to-launch" people supposedly do and still live at least middle class?

(edit: playing along with the premise here, not judging millennials. I think they're exactly like every other crop of 20-somethings..._)
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:16 AM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I caught the bit about genomics too. That kind of thing isn't ready for deployment in a clinical setting, especially for mental illness. It's laughably not ready. Trying to use it at a 33 person clinic (as opposed to, say, a major genetics facility or a university lab) is like going to the used car lot today and trying to buy a fully autonomous car
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:17 AM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


You can't coddle them and at the same time gaze on in anguish and expect something to change.

It may be splitting hairs but I don't this it's so much coddling as letting the status quo continue because they seemingly don't pay much attention (in Sean's case). His parents don't seem to take action until the problem is smacking them in the face: failing a year of high school or the Suboxone charge on the credit card. Then they throw money at other people to manage the problem: shipping him off to a (seemingly crappy) boarding school after he failed a year of high school, then therapy (only after he quit?) and now yellow brick.

Also, reading Sean's background made me think of my grandfather's wayward youth. The big difference is that my grandfather had more...collateral damage. Instead of dropping out of college he bailed out of a marriage (after having a few kids). Instead of mooching off his parents, who had no money (another key difference), my grandfather bounced between odd jobs that kept a roof over his head. That part may be easier to pull of I'm Northern Michigan with cheap housing. His drug of choice was alcohol and he sobered up only after being told he'd die if he kept drinking. So Sean is already doing a bit better.

And my grandfather was far from the only guy who abandoned a family, didn't have a career, and drank himself almost to death.

So the failure to launch isn't really new. It's just changed a bit with the times. And got a catchy new name that practitioners with questionable motives can use to assure wealthy parents, "Junior really is a bright and talented special snowflake, it's just going to take thousands of dollars to help him attain his full potential. No, it's not your fault at all, it's this generation. Which is why it's going to take so much money but very little of your time to fix him."
posted by ghost phoneme at 8:17 AM on December 8, 2016 [17 favorites]


kyrademon: I don't even see how that's not behaving like a sensible adult.

Indeed, and with per-project hiring in many industries, the high number of job changes expected of a career, and problems with the housing market, not getting locked into a "permanent home" seems sensible.

Mitrovarr: I take quoted treatment costs with a grain of salt after having been hospitalized earlier this year. I suspect there's always at least four different prices for everything, with absurd discounts based on what they can actually get paid by insurance. The end result is that I don't have a lot of confidence as to what my treatment actually cost.

I think parents are absolutely getting milked for cash by Yellowbrick here. I'm just skeptical about the actual out-of-pocket numbers.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:28 AM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also, I have a technically pre-boom uncle who likely fits this stereotype. I'm unconvinced that failure to economically thrive is a generational thing.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:36 AM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also, "They were marrying later, shacking up with roommates, unable or unwilling to lock themselves into stable careers or even a permanent home" bothers me. Those are all sensible adaptations to the modern world!

Put off marriage: first of all, marriage is expensive. Good luck affording it before 30. Secondly, maybe they learned from all their parents' failed marriages? Third, it's hard to advance two careers when you can't move around the country independantly.

Roommates: a sensible way to deal with higher rents and house costs and lower wages.

Stable career: sorry to break this to you, time traveler from the 1950s, but we don't have those anymore.

Permanent home: it's hard to have those, too. Most really serious careers will require you to move at some point, either because you get laid off, or because you need to advance and there isn't a slot available.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:45 AM on December 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


Chez Cookiebastard, we plan on giving our darling Millenial semi-grown Late-Teen and Post-Teen rugrats full-immersion crash-courses in independent adult-style living pretty much as soon as they are done with school, which they had best be done with on-time and within-budget. Which they have known since toddlerhood. We are fortunate enough to have saved, and applied for the right govt. programs at the right time, for undergrad college for them both. If we have a couple hundred thousand dollars more to help these kids launch, we'll spend it on really nice catapults rather than this boot camp thing. Or we'll pay off our mortgage and buy an RV and set up shop somewhere without leaving them a forwarding address and have adventures. Whatevs.

Rather than acting like sensible adults, young people were spending their post-collegiate years “finding themselves.” They were marrying later, shacking up with roommates, unable or unwilling to lock themselves into stable careers or even a permanent home. They “boomeranged” back to mom and dad’s...

I was privileged enough to be able to launch early-ish (19) without a degree, and without any great hardship, working as a dish-washer and a groundkeeper's assistant and a waiter, etc, and sometimes living with as many as, like, 5 roommates. I was 35 before I had an "office job." I never moved back in with my parents. That, to me, is one of the things that made me a "sensible adult." YMMV.

This whole Yellowbrick thing seems like a great way for rich parents to get soaked. It looks like a high grift and one of those things that I wish I had thoughhta first.
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:51 AM on December 8, 2016


When I was a teen, the common wisdom was that it's better to do serial mortgages and flip houses every five years. Of course, that assumed having the capital to get a mortgage, the ability to get a mortgage, a housing market with a low risk of ending up underwater, and the ability to invest some sweat equity.

And of course, prioritizing suburban home ownership. I probably could squeak my way into a mortgage out in a lower-price burb, but my carbon footprint would be much higher.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:54 AM on December 8, 2016


sometimes living with as many as, like, 5 roommates

One thing that I really believe is much worse now is affordable housing. When I was a young slacker, you could get a room in a share house in Atlanta for about $200/month. So it was possible to pay for that with a few shifts of waiting tables etc per week, if that's all you could get.

at least they don't have to split the phone bill in monthly, friendship-destroying house meetings like we did, though
posted by thelonius at 9:10 AM on December 8, 2016 [19 favorites]


This is an example of an excellent article ruined by a clicks obsessed chucklehead in editorial slapping that title on.

It's also very, very hard for me to read as someone who grew up in a family and with friends exactly like Sean. Down to the "get tough" school fucking them up in high school. These kids need love, not an external repair facility.
posted by selfnoise at 10:39 AM on December 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


For the target market, the location is spot on. It's a quick drive from the wealthiest Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs.

ok so I'm having a neat idea for a Ferris Bueller sequel right now
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:42 AM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


publishing the Facebook profile of someone on Twitter would absolutely be doxxing

Well, there are plenty of people with Facebook personae that don't link to their meatspace selves. OTOH, making connections between personae that the owner doesn't want made may be called doxxing now? On the third hand, people who run sockpuppets want to blur the distinction between revealing sockpuppetry and enabling death threats, and I'd like to keep the distinction.
posted by clew at 11:36 AM on December 8, 2016


It isn't actually but the author does throw in a few gratuitous passages about the spoiled kids these days

The tone of the article kind of zigzags a bit, but I think the author is both a millennial and annoyed with people pathologizing her generation as a whole. I think she was actually pretty sympathetic to the people she interviewed. I think her frustration is that as a millennial with less resources than some of the Yellowbrick inhabitants, she is sick of people reducing the problems facing millennials into a kind of neurotic stereotype while ignoring the economic factors affecting them (much like a lot of the commenters here have said).
posted by en forme de poire at 11:42 AM on December 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Perhaps America in the 2000s isn't worth growing up into. Ain't no $27,000/mo. cure for that.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:46 AM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Like I think this is sort of the crux of the article:
At times, in my conversations with former Yellowbrick patients, my notebook seemed like the only thing separating me from the people I was interviewing. A month after I visited, I dreamt I returned for a follow-up interview, knocked back a few too many IPAs, lost my job, and stayed.

Which isn’t to say that Bethany—who says in a text message weeks after my visit that she “obviously has issues”—and I are dealing with anything remotely similar. It’s just that pairing pathology with emerging adulthood, finding the symptoms of a treatable illness in years of dead-end jobs or overwhelming performance anxiety as much as in violent acts of self-harm, is confounding and humbling territory.

Who hasn’t considered, in their darkest moments, that their poor life choices might be an indication of something inside them that’s deeply and irrevocably damaged? How much do you have to fuck up your life in young adulthood to never recover? Stability is rare and fleeting. It’s not the reality for most people I know.

The stories the affluent tell about their lives, the neuroses they stoke, trickle down and become the standard for everyone else. On some level, everyone in their twenties is waiting for the Big One to come: the final mistake that can’t be corrected, the thing that keeps a promising young person from turning into whatever passes these days for an actualized adult.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:51 AM on December 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


Throughout the article, I kept thinking of my own "failure to launch" period (i.e. my mid-twenties, between graduating from college and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life and how to go about getting there, mostly spent living in dilapidated rooming houses and on friends' couches and working a succession of shitty jobs), and how, if I'd been able to spend a chunk of that time living in a nice apartment in Evanston and spending my days with people who acted as if they gave half a shit about me, it wouldn't have mattered much just what therapy I was subjected to: psychotherapy, crystal therapy, Defense Against the Dark Arts classes, whatever. Whether it would have done as much good as my going out and making my own mistakes did is another matter entirely.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:33 PM on December 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also I think most people have "life skills" gaps for whatever reason: parents don't have those skills to begin with, parents don't teach them effectively, parents assume their kids are just picking them up osmosis or that they're obvious, adult childrens' living situation is substantially different from parents' (more/less money, different relationships, changes in norms driven by economic necessity), some sexist stuff probably (men not learning skills that are "inessential" i.e. coded female, c.f. emotional labor thread). I picked up a lot of stuff I "should have" learned from AskMe, the internet at large, roommates, and experience. I suspect that's not super unusual. Really strict life skills training as a part of CBT is sometimes used for people with ADHD, but that's more global a problem than just not knowing how to operate a dishwasher, so again it's sort of weird that the center in the article seems to be lumping both those situations together.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:43 PM on December 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Not sure if I believe in "Millenials" as a phenomenon, or even our concept of a "generation" in general. However, there is one phenomenon I've directly observed in the current crop of 20somethings : this sense that it means something to be in your 20s.

I'm 38. When I was in my 20s, everyone my age was either living some extended version of their adolescence, or else doing their best impersonation of someone in their 30s. There was no notion of "I'm in my 20s, and your 20s are for X, Y, and Z." I knew plenty of "failure to launch" cases -- arguably, I was one for a few years. There was no special nomenclature to describe us. We were just "my underachieving little brother who has sooooo much potential, if only he would get off the couch and quit smoking weed all the time." Some of us snapped out of it, some of us died, and some of us are still kinda underachieving. I was one of the more-fortunate ones.

People I've known who are currently in their 20s, a great many of them have this sense that "your 20s are for X." In some cases, X is some form of "experimentation", "finding yourself", "trying new things", "taking big risks", "following your dreams", "traveling for a year", or whatever. But, across the board, there seems to be this idea that your 20s are for something, and aren't just the decade of your life between your teenage years and your 30s.

Not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe it's just a thing.
posted by panama joe at 3:43 PM on December 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


The computer age, automation, and consolidation has radically changed how many "life skills" work these days. That's not always for the better since customer service is one of the first areas to be "streamlined." Assuming there is an office you can go to, good luck finding someone who can actually explain what's on your statement.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 3:44 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that the author doesn't care for this program?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:20 PM on December 8, 2016


"For the target market, the location is spot on. It's a quick drive from the wealthiest Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs."

I mean, we all assume he bought a house on a west side of Sheridan Road (the less desirable side) while tenured at Northwestern and then when he left Northwestern he wanted to keep the short commute, right? That's why he founded this place in fucking expensive and urban Evanston instead of a more rural and peaceful and inexpensive Grayslake, right?

This place is literally two blocks from my high school therapist's office, so, you know ...
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:54 PM on December 8, 2016


qEEG gives you an order of magnitude less information than fMRI

fMRI can produce more data, but much of that is simply mapping into visuals that to our vision-optimised brains feels more salient. However, there's a deeper evidence base for EEG's clinical and research utility in substance use disorders than NMR structure-function mapping.


posted by meehawl at 7:20 PM on December 8, 2016


Based on my interaction with millenials we definitely shouldn't absolve them of their complicity in the election of Donald Trump. Definitely not, most of the (edited to add white) younger people I interact with (I work in tech) are complete idiots about their own lives, their work ability and certainty anything political seems far beyond their reach.
posted by osk at 10:10 PM on December 8, 2016


Hey when's the next 90's party with goofy glasses guys let's play skee ball barf
posted by osk at 10:47 PM on December 8, 2016


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