We’ve all watched Peter Pan at least once in our lives. With Peter Pan’s never-ending energy and his unwillingness to grow up, it may not have occurred to us that he could be a name for a syndrome. Peter Pan Syndrome; It is the name given to a behavioral disorder often seen in children and adults as a fear of growing up. Individuals with this syndrome exhibit childlike behaviors, especially as adults.
The term Peter Pan Syndrome was first coined by Psychoanalyst Dan Kiley in 1983. The name Peter Pan comes from the famous novel by James Matthew Barrie. This syndrome is seen especially in men between the ages of 25-40. Individuals with Peter Pan syndrome tend to run away from their responsibilities. These individuals, like Peter Pan, whose story we read, spend their lives chasing adventure and not wanting to grow up at all. They don’t work hard enough to advance in their careers, but they can still have big dreams. Individuals with Peter Pan Syndrome have a very difficult time establishing healthy relationships. They see the romantic relationship as a responsibility. Most individuals with this syndrome generally prefer to be with strong and responsible partners in their romantic relationships. He sees situations such as marriage and having children as responsibilities that should be avoided. These individuals often find the solution to avoiding their responsibilities in order to lead a comfortable and carefree life by living in the family home.
Peter Pan Syndrome arises for reasons such as avoiding responsibility, not being able to face what adulthood brings, and the overprotective attitude of parents towards their children. Since families who adopt the pilot parenting style solve their children’s problems and take on their own responsibilities, these children are insufficient in taking responsibility and problem solving in adulthood. Children raised with this attitude by their parents perceive the world as dangerous and refuse to grow up. If we look at the symptoms of Peter Pan syndrome: Lack of financial responsibility, difficulty in building a stable career, constantly chasing other jobs and hobbies, holding on to an unrealistic goal without any effort, showing little interest in human relationships, longing for the past while fearing the future, looking for failures. We can count it as blaming someone else.
If you think someone you know has characteristics with Peter Pan Syndrome, be wary of them. At this point, in order for individuals with this syndrome to gain their own individuality, first of all, the attitude of their family and especially their partner towards them is very important. It is also extremely important for parents to accept that their children have grown up and to realize that they are adults now and stop taking responsibility for their child. If these individuals are married or in a romantic relationship, they should behave like the parents of their partners and behave in a way that will make them feel that they are an individual who can stop pretending to be a mother and fulfill the responsibilities of the other party.
If the symptoms mentioned are close to you and you need support in this regard, you can contact our expert staff.
Specialist Clinical Psychologist Damla KANKAYA
Psychology Student Şeyma KACAR