Peter Pan syndrome refers to a condition when an adult person tries to shrug off responsibility by refusing to grow up. Although they mature physically, their level of mental maturity is similar to that of a child. This syndrome has been named after a popular fantasy character Peter Pan who was a resident of Neverland – the place where people never grow old. Although Peter Pan syndrome can be seen in both genders, it is more popular in men than women.
Common Symptoms of Peter Pan Syndrome
- The tendency to blame others
- Facing difficulty with commitment issues
- Illustrating a lack of adequate interest in career and life goals
- Difficulty in handling critical situations
- Easily getting lured by escape methods like alcohol and drugs
- Expressing zero desire to make any lifestyle changes.
- Suffering from uncontrollable outbursts of emotion.
- Happiness can take the shape of extreme panic.
- Difficulty in relaxing.
- Displaying manipulative tendencies and carry out emotional blackmail for achieving their end goals.
- Difficulty in expressing love and affection.
- Frequently suffering from frustration can even lead to depression and self-pity at times.
Causes Of Peter Pan Syndrome
- Environmental influences
- Over-protective parenting
Diagnosing Peter Pan Syndrome
This disorder has not yet received recognition as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association or WHO and is still regarded as Psychopathology. In spite of this, it can be heart-breaking to watch any of your loved ones exhibit this form of behavior. With no defining treatment available, you will have to resort to off-beat cures like strength-based therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy, transpersonal counseling, solution-focused therapy, family therapy, and similar treatment modalities.
Treating Peter Pan Syndrome
- The Healing Sound of Silence method wherein the affected individuals is kept away from all addictive objects such as the internet, drug abuse, alcohol, computer games, and even television. This can provide them with enough time to focus on real-world issues
- Embracing the 12 step philosophies to recognize the available support systems. Affected people can slowly learn about self-care and start treating every single individual with love and compassion.
Michelle Overman from E-counseling.com says that people suffering from Peter Pan syndrome might not be able to adequately care for themselves after being cut off from society. They require the constant help of someone for leading a healthy and happy life. It becomes next to impossible for them to carry out a zero-responsibility lifestyle if the support is stopped in one way or the other.
They also need to be taught certain basic forms of responsibility which in turn can boost their self-confidence by revealing what they are actually capable of handling. It also demonstrates the perks of being an adult to them as they get to take the final call in every single decision.
You can be guaranteed of experiencing some sort of pushback while treating people suffering from Peter Pan syndrome. As they wholeheartedly resist the idea of growing up, they will require tough love and thorough encouragement during this whole process. If fear had been holding them back, then you will have to ensure an environment where the affected people can win over such forms of fear. You can also seek out professional support in the form of counseling for dealing with this issue efficiently.