A man with the Peter Pan Syndrome was granted bail by a Mumbai Court on Monday in a case of kidnapping and sexual assault of a 14 year old girl. Advocate Sunil Pandey, representing the accused, said that he was suffering from the syndrome and that the relationship between the two was ‘consensual’.
“The victim’s family knew about their relationship. But, her family didn’t like their relationship due to the boy’s illness and poor background and also had a grudge against his family members,” the advocate told the court.
The court also observed that the victim’s statement “prima facie shows she herself left her parents’ house and joined the company (of) the accused”. The Mumbai Court also concluded that the girl had sufficient knowledge and capacity to know what she was doing, despite being a minor.
What is Peter Pan Syndrome?
“Peter Pan Syndrome in layman’s language can be called an overgrown child. But it is far more complicated as people suffering from Peter Pan Syndrome can be insensitive towards others’ needs, doesn’t want to work or make concrete long-term plans and want to live for the moment,” Gurgaon-based clinical psychologist Maanwi Sharma told India Today.
She said, “This syndrome can be confused with narcissistic or antisocial behaviour as they can’t express empathy and are impulsive in behaviour, can be addicted to alcohol. They can be aggressive and can act in an inappropriate way. But they can be dealt well in a playful way to conduct their daily routine.”
The syndrome takes its name from Peter Pan, a fictional character depicted as a mischievous young boy who goes on adventures.
Is the syndrome a real disorder?
The Peter Pan syndrome is widely recognised as a pop-psychology term and is not recognised as a disorder by the World Health Organisation. In the current case, there in no material record to suggest that the accused was suffering from a mental illness.
Some psychologists have furthered the usage of the term but it is still considered a pop-psychology subject. Signs of the syndrome include neglecting responsibilities, both in professional life and personal matters, emotionally vulnerability and an inability to hold on to jobs among others.
Such people often tend to have emotional outbursts, lack of interest in personal; growth, a pattern of unreliability and often narcissism and substance abuse.