I wish this story wasn’t true. Yet, according to Fusion.net, there is a Trauma center in Chicago called Yellowbrick, which allows Millennials to pay $28,000 a month to help them figure out why they haven’t become fully-functioning adults.
These are people in their late-20s/early-30s who don’t have jobs, are living with their parents and don’t have stable family lives. Yellowbrick is characterizing this as a mental illness. I’m wondering if Millennials even care that they make the rest of us look bad. The piece reads:
The article, with little irony, describes a treatment center fostering independence in college-age youth through the 24-hour availability of staff who instruct residents in basic life skills: scheduling, cleaning, “showing up.” It mentions a boy so stuck he couldn’t bring himself to turn in a final paper at an Ivy League school.
Maybe it was my sense that at 22 I was a full-fledged adult (a certainty that has diminished every year since) but at the time I found the article infantilizing and absurd. The Yellowbrick model struck me as an extension of the institutions, like private colleges, that stunt the development of the privileged by treating them like children—a symptom of the affliction rather than its cure.
Osberg also discusses several former patients who don’t seem to exhibit any diagnosable issues. She adds:
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.
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.
Oh. My. Gosh. So, basically, they can’t handle real life? How did we get to the point where people in their late-twenties still can’t separate themselves from their parents? They claim criticism helped them develop PTSD:
When I met with one of Yellowbrick’s specialists, he spoke to me of “complex trauma,” which occurs when hurtful experiences—for example, a child’s parents deriding them—are repeated over a period of years, creating symptoms similar to PTSD. Some historians have catalogued as many as 80 different names for post-traumatic stress, from combat stress to nostalgia to “disorderly action of the heart.”
I can’t say how these Millennials will screw our country. The good news is some are calling Yellowbrick out for what it really is, a huge and expensive con:
That’s the implicit takeaway from Fusion’s impressive profile of Yellowbrick, a mental health facility and trauma center for a certain kind of patient: relatively privileged millennials who can’t seem to adjust to the demands of adult life.
It’s a scam, of course. There doesn’t seem to be anything especially wrong with these people, in a medical sense—or, put another way, they’re suffering from the same kinds of fears, traumas, and stresses that plague practically everyone. But the patients have been convinced—scammed may be the better word—to believe that their struggles are diagnosable, treatable, and fixable. With the right therapy and medicine, and for the right price, 20-somethings who can’t hold jobs, finish school, or form lasting relationships will be transformed into fully functioning adults.
Did I mention that Yellowbrick costs $28,000 per month? There’s that. Patients must commit to stay at least 10 weeks, but many stay much longer—until their parents run out of money.
Now if only we can teach Millennials that victimhood is a scam. You want liberty? Take responsibility for it. There is nothing fun about spending thousands of dollars to live in a trauma center where you spend all day coloring.