6. Mental health issues
A body of research reveals that men who are affected with this syndrome may suffer from a personality disorder. It is believed that this psychological tendency is usually a part of a complex family system.
7. Economic conditions
Psychologist Patrick Cheatham suggests that financial challenges and economic stagnation may also lead to Peter Pan syndrome in young individuals. For them, being an adult might be something to be afraid of. Cheatham explains “I think it takes more hustle, self-motivation, and social skills to guide a career than it did in the past.”
A 2013 study titled Failure to Launch conducted by Georgetown University discovered that structural and technological alteration in the economy in the U.S. can make it difficult for adolescents to transition into adulthood.
How to deal with it
Adulthood can be complicated to navigate. With debts, unemployment, relationship issues and parenting challenges, it can be scary to take up responsibilities and be your own person. If you believe you or someone you know suffers from Peter Pan syndrome, then it’s crucial that you first understand the underlying reasons.
Once you know why you avoid responsibilities you can start taking necessary steps to overcome this condition by yourself. However, if this appears to be a monumental challenge that you are unable to tackle on your own, then therapy can be especially helpful. Experienced therapists often know how to guide you and provide you nonjudgmental help and support. They can help you identify harmful patterns in your life and understand how it affects your chances of having a career and happy relationship.
If a loved one is suffering from this syndrome, then you need to start by establishing clear boundaries. Once you let the Peter Pan in your life know that you will not encourage their damaging behavior, they will be motivated to change their mindset and attitude towards life. You can also take them for couples counseling or family therapy or individual therapy to build a balanced and healthier relationship.
The boy who doesn’t grow up
Although it may sound like a fairy tale, Peter Pan syndrome is a serious condition that can affect the sufferers quality of life. Author Kristen Houghton concludes “The problem is that the charmingly boyish man who refuses to grow up will age just the same as the men who have careers, mortgages and families. He will grow older too, but with much less in his life.”
If you or your partner or family member shows signs of suffering from this syndrome, then encourage them to seek therapy instead of motivating their damaging and burdensome behavior. With the right help, they will eventually grow up.
Here is an interesting video that you may find helpful: