How the Hero’s Journey Can Help Improve Mental Health in Young Adults
As a parent, it’s natural to want to protect your children from harm. But sometimes, in our efforts to do so, we can inadvertently make things worse. Case in point: the pressure that many parents put on their young adults to succeed.
While it’s important to encourage your kids to set their sights high and work hard towards their goals, it’s also important to remember that they’re only human. They’re going to make mistakes and they’re going to have setbacks. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s essential for their development as individuals. What isn’t okay is putting so much pressure on them that they end up feeling like failures. That’s why it’s important to find a happy medium between pushing them to be their best and giving them the space to stumble and grow.
One way to strike this balance is by using the hero’s journey as a framework for understanding and supporting your young adult’s mental health.
What Is the Hero’s Journey?
The Hero’s Journey is an archetype that has been used in storytelling throughout history. Your child sets out on a quest or adventure, faces various challenges and obstacles along the way but ultimately triumphs over these struggles to learn valuable lessons along their journey – just as many young adults face similar situations while they travel through life transformed by experiencing things outside themselves firsthand.
This framework can be applied equally well when looking at mental health issues like depression because it shares some key features with other chronic illnesses: both require regular doses of medication which may need increasing over time due to difficulty anticipating future danger from
Hero’s Journey Breakdown:
- The hero (in this case, your child) sets out on a quest or adventure
- They face various challenges and obstacles along the way
- They eventually triumph over these challenges and learn some important lessons in the process
- And finally, they return home transformed by their experience
This framework can be applied to any number of real-life situations, including mental health. Here’s how:
How To Use The Hero’s Journey to Improve Mental Health
There are 12 stages of the hero’s journey, but not all of them will be relevant to every person. The key is to identify which stage your child is currently in and then provide them with the support they need to move on to the next stage.
The first stage is the “call to adventure.” This is when your child is first experiencing symptoms of mental illness. They may start withdrawing from friends and activities that they used to enjoy. It is important to talk to your child at this stage and encourage them to seek help from a qualified mental health professional.
The second stage is “refusal of the call.” This is when your child may be in denial about their condition and unwilling to seek help. They may think that they can tough it out on their own. Or that their symptoms are not bad enough to warrant professional help. As a parent, it is important to be supportive but firm at this stage. Let your child know that you are there for them but also encourage them to get the help they need.
The third stage is “supernatural aid.” This is when your child accepts help from a professional and begins their journey towards recovery. This stage often includes therapy, medication, and other forms of treatment. Continue to be supportive during this time and celebrate your child’s progress along the way.
From here, the remainder of the stages includes: “crossing the threshold,” “tests, allies, and enemies,” “approach,” “ordeal,” “reward,” “the road back,” and finally “the return.” Not all of these stages will be relevant or necessary for every person, but it is important to continue supporting your child. That will enable growth and recovery much more effectively.
How this applies to young adult life
Your child is going through an incredibly challenging time in their life. They’re trying to figure out who they are and what they believe in. They’re dealing with hormonal changes, academic pressure, and social drama. It’s a lot for anyone to handle, let alone a young adult who is still developing emotionally and mentally.
But just like any other hero, your child has the strength and resilience needed to overcome these challenges. And like any other hero, they need our support along the way. We can be there for them by listening to them, offering advice when asked, and providing a shoulder to cry on when necessary.
We can also help them by teaching them about the hero’s journey and how it applies to their lives. By explaining that everyone goes through similar challenges, we can help reduce their feelings of isolation and anxiety. We can also reassure them that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that they will come out of this experience transformed for the better.
Helping Young Adults Help Themselves
Mental health is a crucial issue for young adults today. With all of the pressures they face at school, at home, and within society as a whole, it’s no wonder that so many kids are struggling. As parents, we need to do everything we can to support our children during this difficult time in their lives—and one way we can do that is by using the hero’s journey as a framework for understanding and supporting their mental health journeys.
By helping our children to see themselves as the heroes of their own stories, we can give them the strength and resilience they need to overcome challenges. We can also provide them with the hope and encouragement they need to keep going, even when things are tough. So if you’re looking for a way to improve the mental health of your child, consider using the hero’s journey as a guide. It just might be the key to unlocking their full potential. If you want to discuss how Pulsar utilizes the Hero’s Journey and see if we can help you and your family, please contact us today.