April 15, 2013
In today’s society there are many reasons why a child would still be living at home once the legal age of maturity is reached. Those reasons may vary from developmental disabilities to family dynamics. Whatever the reason having an adult child can put a strain on the family unit. In cases when a child becomes an adult child many questions can arise. The most common would be on causes, characteristics, diagnosis, and treatment options. For the purpose of this paper, this writer will discuss these aspects of adult children. This paper will also discuss support available from government and other resources.
A person can become an adult child for many reasons. However, the main cause is impaired development. This can happen because of an organic issue with the individual such as mental health or physical disabilities. Impaired development can also happen because of environmental issues like over-protective parenting, dysfunctional families, and has been linked to narcissism.
Peter Pan Syndrome
“Peter Pan Syndrome a disorder in which a man is unable to grow into maturity. They may grow physically as an adult but choose to hang on to their childhood in avoidance of assuming responsibility like a mature person. They are men who stay as boys inside. They are also imprisoned in the result given by the freedom of youth. The term “Peter Pan syndrome” is derived from the book “Peter Pan” written by J.M. Barrie about a boy who doesn’t want to grow up and lives in Neverneverland where people do not grow old. Peter pan syndrome can affect both men and women, but it is most often seen in the male population” (Amarendra,Para1, 2012).
Dr. Amarendra states that the signs and symptoms for PPS are based on the following:
Either excessive outbursts of emotion or blunt in affect.
Anger to the point of wrath
Happiness that turns into extreme panic
Frustration that leads to self-pity and depression.
They have difficulty expressing feelings of love
They always feel guilty
According to Dr. Amarendra “Peter Pan Syndrome may be a result of overprotective parents because it hinders the child from growing to maturity and to exhibit their own skills to face life’s challenges. Peter pan syndrome was defined by psychologist Dan Kiley, in 1983. According to him, in every Peter Pan there is a shadow of a “Wendy”. Thus, he also used the term “Wendy Syndrome” for those women who act behind their partners and friends as a motherly figure” (Amarendra,Para 4 2012).
The narcissistic mother, caretaker of the child’s earliest years, is grandiose, chronically cold but overprotective. She invades her child’s autonomy and manipulates him to conform to her wishes. She rejects all about him that she finds objectionable, putting him in the anxiety-ridden position of losing her affection if he expresses dissatisfaction. She responds to his baby rages and fussing with anxiety, anger, or withdrawal. He becomes unable to cope with the ugly feelings that threaten to erupt and destroy the bond between him and his mother, the bond he depends on for survival.
His mother’s grandiosity models a way out of his dilemma. She places him on a common throne, sharing the rarefied air of her greatness. By appropriating and embellishing the aura of specialness in which she has enveloped him he can create a grandiose fantasy about himself to escape to. This fantasy eventually crystallizes into a psychic structure we call the grandiose self. A new narcissist is born.
For all his air of self-sufficiency, the narcissist is full of interpersonal needs. He is more needy than most people who feel they have something good inside of them. If he is to survive, he must find a way to get his needs met without acknowledging the independent existence of the person off whom he wants to feed. To admit that a person is necessary to him gets…