There are plenty of syndromes that have been discovered and studied over the years and many relate directly to popular cultural figures. Peter Pan syndrome is one such syndrome. There are a few different things to think about with this type of developmental syndrome and knowing what you are looking for is the first step to determining if this is a syndrome that may be affecting you or someone you know.
Much like the boy that never grew up, those that suffer from Peter Pan syndrome are those men that have the inability to grow up. These men want to function both as a man when it benefits them and as a child in other situations. A man that has Peter Pan syndrome is going to be very childish. They will often not want to take responsibility for things that they do, things they need to do, and things that all grown men must eventually face. These men want to be both the man when it comes to love and other manly pursuits, and the child when it comes to things like having responsibility and having a job and other things.
These men are not actually functionally altered at all. Most of them still function properly in every day life save for the fact that they may have trouble with relationships, impulses, and other aspects that would make them seemingly like children. Men that are affected by this syndrome are often unable to take responsibility for their own problems and they often seek other ways of coping. Those that suffer from this syndrome are far more likely to be alcoholic, abuse drugs, and to do others things that are recreational and make them feel good rather than things that will help their grown up endeavors.
Peter Pan Syndrome Symptoms
There are a few different things that may indicate that you or someone you know is suffering from Peter Pan syndrome. First, they are often unmotivated to move on in their career. They may have a part time job or a job that is not all that serious just to get money to spend but they really put forth no effort when it comes to seeking any advancement or anything that would mean more responsibility. The next symptom you might look for is a man that has trouble making and keeping relationships. He will often look for casual relationships and will avoid things like children and marriage because they signify the leaving of the childhood stage on the way to adulthood.
These men may also do things that are pleasure seeking rather than practical or safe. Men that have this syndrome will also often focus more on their impulses than on any form of reason. They will also more often than not do things that make them feel good as opposed to doing things that are practical. These men are also more likely to ignore problems than face them head on because it is easier and it is better for them to ignore the issues that are at hand. It is not at all uncommon for men that have Peter Pan syndrome to abuse drugs and alcohol as well as this offers immediate gratification without any real issue or any real responsibility.
Who is Affected By Peter Pan Syndrome
Though this Peter Pan syndrome man is a far more common connotation, it is also possible for a Peter Pan syndrome female adaptation. In most cases, it is not all that common that those that have this syndrome are female but it is certainly possible. With the female side of this syndrome, it is far more likely that those that are affected are going to exhibit immature behaviors. They are also far less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and are more likely to be promiscuous or to do things that are irresponsible. Females that experience this syndrome are also far more likely to gossip and to not be friends with other females their age because they are more likely to be immature.
There are a few different ideas as to why men are more likely to suffer from this syndrome than women and it all relates to childhood and the way that they were raised. In most cases, therapists and psychologists feel that if they are able to look back at the history of the individual, they will be able to pinpoint some of the things that caused the syndrome to develop over time.
The Peter Pan Syndrome Causes
There are a few main things that psychologist believe cause something like Peter Pan syndrome. The first is of course the permissiveness of parents. In households where a child is coddled and allowed to do whatever they want, they are more likely to develop a sense of entitlement, another trait that is common with Peter Pan syndrome. These individuals feel that they do not need to grow up or take responsibility for anything they do because they have been handed everything their entire lives.
Another cause that may be a factor in this type of syndrome is the way a parent chooses to address issues. Children are like sponges and they pick up on everything that they see. If they have a parent that is dismissive and does not take charge and take care of issues on hand, they are more likely to mime that behavior and also ignore issues that pop up over time. Those parents that do not discipline their child and do not make them take responsibility for what they do are also more likely to have a child that grows into an adult with Peter Pan syndrome.
There is no real way to pinpoint what causes this type of syndrome and many suppose instead that it is a combination of these different factors that make a man or woman that has Peter Pan syndrome. In most cases, you can help prevent this type of syndrome in later life with parenting that is hands on and that requires the child take responsibility for their actions without being too harsh.
Peter Pan Syndrome Treatment
There is no fix all for this type of syndrome. In most cases it is hard wired and there is nothing really that can change it over night. Instead, therapy is the best option when it comes to remedying this type of problem. Allowing the affected person the chance to talk about their concerns, about why they do the things they do, and about what they think the best solution is can often help enlighten those that are seeking help as well as those around them. You can often find help online or at your local therapist to find out what they are going to do to help you get over your syndrome.
Another great option for treatment is immersion therapy. This means adding a bit of responsibility here and there to force the person to see what they are doing wrong and to force them to make a change. This is not something that works every time but it can be a good first step. You may also be able to confront the individual in other aspects of the syndrome like lack of drive or motivation or even if they are a drug user or alcoholic. Confronting the issue head on is the best way to deal with it and see that there are options out there that can help you deal with it.
Peter Pan Syndrome Test
There are a few different ways that you can see if you have this syndrome or if someone you know has it. The test for this syndrome is often a scenario test. This means that they will present you with a series of questions and scenarios to see just what you would do in a certain situation. This might be something like you are given a chance to advance at work, you will have more work, longer hours, and more responsibility, you also have a chance to go to a party that is on the same day that you would start, what do you do? This type of scenario makes it easy for psychologist to see just what it is that makes your brain tick and if you have any of the classic indicators that you may have Peter Pan syndrome. It is not a conclusive test unless you have a psychologist see what they think about the results.