Peter Pan Syndrome was first described in 1983 in Psychologist Dan Kiley’s book “Men Who Never Grow Up”. This syndrome is a problem that is generally seen in men and manifests itself from the age of 30. It was determined that the patients mostly had advanced foster parents and grew up in similar family environments. People with Peter Pan Syndrome may maintain childish thinking, interests, and behaviors despite their adult age. These people may have difficulty in fulfilling their responsibilities and may prefer entertainment and games instead of focusing on their work and career goals. They may also have difficulties in romantic relationships, delay serious matters, and avoid the needs of the real world.

How Do Individuals with Peter Pan Syndrome Behave?

• They want the person they are with to determine the activities to be done. They also want the individual they are with to make the important decisions to be taken.

• They tend to live daily. For this reason, they are not very willing to make long-term plans and take actions.

• They spend their money unwisely. They have great difficulty in organizing their individual budgets.

• They do not train themselves in a special field and acquire new skills. Instead, in the business world, they sway from place to place.

• They avoid criticism or any conflict. In the slightest conflict or discussion, they perform behaviors such as staying away from the environment and locking themselves in the room. In situations where they have difficulty, they can easily experience emotional outbursts.

What Causes Peter Pan Syndrome?

The causes of Peter Pan Syndrome can be complex and diverse. The factors that trigger this syndrome can vary from individual to individual and can usually occur as a result of the combination of more than one factor. In general, the common feature of these patients is that their parents or those who raised them are overprotective. In addition, this syndrome can occur because families cannot prepare them for adulthood. In childhood, the child first tries to disconnect from the outside world because of fear. In early adulthood, the disease begins to intensify. The first serious problems appear in the first steps into adulthood. When it comes to adulthood, the desire to be a child again arises in the individual. For this reason, the individual tries to move away from the adult lifestyle. Thus, he begins to experience great conflicts in his life.

What Are the Symptoms of Peter Pan Syndrome?

• Jumping from job to job, hobby to hobby.

• Being unreliable.

• Making little effort to find a job

• Showing little interest in human relationships or having a family.

• Failure to build a good career and future.

• Continuous financial failure and lack of responsibility in this regard.

• Unwillingness to work or continue to work when unmotivated.

• To hold his family, spouse or former employer responsible for his or her failure.

• Thinking that other people are undermining them.

• Excessive alcohol consumption and drug use.

• Fear of the future, the uncertainty of the future, and a constant longing for the past.

How Is Peter Pan Syndrome Treated?

Peter Pan syndrome is a syndrome that usually occurs in childhood. The symptoms of the syndrome are minimized with the help of psychotherapies in these diagnosed people. The aim of treatment is to bring people back to real life and take responsibility. In addition, measures to be taken before the syndrome occurs, such as treatment, are also very important. First of all, every family should have knowledge about child development. Thus, it will be easier for the child to learn to grasp the language of emotion. As the child grasps his own feelings and is accepted by his feelings, he begins to understand himself. Thus, he learns to manage his emotions in a healthy way.

Many problems experienced in childhood cause damage to the psychology of the child. Especially;

• Abuse,

• Seeing violence,

• Being despised by the family,

• Exposure to the behavior of bully friends,

• Problems that cause emotional void, such as loss of parents, may develop as behavioral disorders in adulthood if they are not repaired in childhood.

Therefore, it is very important that children experience emotional difficulties. Psychological support during these periods is very important for their mental health.

In some cases, children cannot be emotionally repaired in childhood. When these children grow up, they feel that they owe it to themselves to heal themselves as adults. For this reason, they may want to get psychologist support to repair their childhood processes.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Beyhan Perim Seçmen