Tuesday, April 13, 2021

What is Peter Pan Syndrome?

Peter Pan

You maybe know this type of man: physically grown up, but not able to grow into maturity, avoiding to take responsibility like a mature person. They are feeling well by exploiting this freedom of youth, they simply want to remain boys inside.  They remain unsuccessful at facing fears and responsibilities, and may also acquire other psychological disorders. It seems that people suffering from Peter Pan Syndrome have very low self-esteem, are unmotivated and feel depressed. They do not usually exhibit the self-confidence, motivation and determination that are keys for being successful.

Signs and symptoms of Peter Pan Syndrome:

- feeling guilty

- not able to relax

- manipulative tendencies

- undependable

– difficulties in expressing feelings of love

– excessive outbursts of emotion or blunt in affect

- anger

- happiness that turns into extreme panic

- frustration that leads to self-pity and depression.

The persons affected by this syndrome are having difficulties in building relationships with others, thus, they can feel very lonely. They fail to take responsibilities for themselves, they blame anybody else for their failures. Sometimes, they use drugs and alcohol in order to escape their troubles.

Overprotective parents are most probably the cause to this syndrome. The psychologist Dan Kiley defined in 1983 this syndrome. According to him, in every Peter Pan there is a shadow of a “Wendy”. However, this disorder is not yet medically accepted by the WHO (World Health Organization) and not yet acknowledged by the American Psychiatric Association as a mental disorder. It is regarded as Psychopathology.

How to treat Peter Pan Syndrome

The only time that the person with Peter Pan Syndrome is treated is when the individual shows willingness and awareness of their disorder. There are therapies such as the wilderness therapy, which covers psychodrama, cognitive behavioral therapy, strength-based therapies, solution-focused therapy, transpersonal counseling, family therapy, and other treatment modalities such as:

The Healing Sound of Silence. The individual is kept away from refocusing on other things that will lead to addiction, such as watching TV, computer games, Internet, alcohol and drug abuse. Instead, they are focused on the real issues about themselves; they start with the basics on how to learn to face the real problems of life.

Embracing the 12 Step Philosophies. This is a wilderness expedition where they go out camping and hiking in four cycles, in which they learn to share their experiences and prepare themselves for the next tour. Since this kind of therapy occurrs during camp outs, adventure based counseling is done. They begin to be aware of the consequences of their actions and not only to focus on themselves. They also learn self care and eventually realize that every individual in the group is a part of the whole system, and that they are a reflection of a family and each and every one of them has a role and a purpose.

Transforming into an Effective Adult. This is the so-called “wake up call” for the family, in which a Peter Pan-like person begins to take responsibility. This is the result of the four cycles of wilderness therapy when they begin to be a leader and taking care and reaching out to each and every member of the group.

Since Peter Pan Syndrome is a disorder caused by factors during childhood, any prevention measures should be directed at parents and their awareness on how to raise a child. Parenting seminars should be organized, especially for teenage parents so they are aware of techniques to teach their children about responsibilities. However, the environmental factors still need to be considered when raising a child. Proper values and education are important and children should also be surrounded by the right people as role models.

Source: Dr. Amarendra http://syndromespedia.com/

Stay tuned for the Wendy Syndrome!


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