July 10, 2016

Dear Narcissist Problems "Wendy"

Dear Narcissist Problems,

Is it possible to ask for some advice and remain anonymous?

Does anyone have any information about Peter Pan syndrome and manic depression? I have researched as much as I can. But I'm really not sure if PPS is a narcissist? Thank you



Dear “Wendy”,

     This is a great question!  When I first opened this question and the details were lacking my first thought was “What in the world is Wendy even asking and why?!?”  Then I thought about it for a minute and it makes a lot of sense to be asking this question.  My own narcissist was a woman but I gave it some thought and even she may have suffered a bit from a Peter Pan type Syndrome.  Let me be clear, my narcissist was my mother.  Aside from her grand ability to manipulate, triangulate, and con people she always behaved as a small child.  I think she may have worked a total of two weeks in her life and she expected everyone she came into contact with to care for her needs.  I mean the woman had me cleaning her house by the time I was 5 and I even learned how to fold laundry around 4.  The older I got the more I noticed that she was utterly unable to care for herself.  Other than making sure she was wearing makeup and her hair was curled the burden of her needs was placed on her alcoholic 2nd husband and her children, well me, so one of her children.  She would even speak like a little girl and laugh like a little girl usually when she was trying to be “cute” aka to manipulate or con someone.  If you think about it all people are narcissists to a degree when we are young but most of us grow out of our self-centeredness when we are children. 
 Your question sent me on a quest for answers.  Even though I’m pretty sure these two can be related I’d like to see what experts have to say.  I found an article written by Victoria L. Godwin from Prairie View A&M University in the journal of Interactions: Studies in Communication & Culture titled “Never grow old, never die’: Vampires, narcissism, and simulacra” that might be able to answer some questions for us.  While this article mainly focuses on vampires and narcissistic fantasies is stated that “whereas vampirism arrests physical ageing, the Peter Pan syndrome arrests emotional maturation.  Children never grow up, and their continued dependence never reminds parents of ageing, death, and replacement by new generations.”(Godwin 2011).  So while this article is not specifically discussing Peter Pan syndrome being linked with Narcissistic Personality Disorder there does seem to be a connection.  Perhaps this connection is involved with the child’s stunted growth by their own narcissistic personality disordered parents.  Moreover, perhaps this display of childlikeness is actually a lure used by a predator in sheep’s clothing.  Another statement made in this article was that “the fear of death takes on new intensity in a society that has deprived itself of religion and shows little interest in posterity” (Godwin 2011).  Even though they are referring to vampires in this article it does make sense when speaking of an adult narcissist who is displaying characteristics of having Peter Pan syndrome too.  The relationship between Peter Pan and Wendy is also similar to what we see when women are dating or married to a Narcissist.  The person in a relationship with the narcissist ends up responsible for the emotional and many times financial needs of their partner.  Godwin noted that when

“Dan Kiley writes about the Peter Pan syndrome (1983) wherein men refuse to grow up, and the Wendy dilemma of women who mother and otherwise take care of men they are convinced are unable to take care of themselves (1984). Whereas vampirism arrests physical ageing and preserves physical youth, the Peter Pan syndrome arrests emotional maturation and preserves a narcissistic adolescent condition of irresponsibility, rebellion and self-centeredness.”(2011).    

And this is what happens in a relationship with any narcissist whether we are taking care of them emotionally, financially, or both.  I hope this answered some questions for you as I’m not really sure what you have read on this subject so far but from my opinion yes I do believe that narcissism can be related to the Peter Pan syndrome.  Good luck to you and if you have any further questions please feel free to write in!


Narcissist Problems

Godwin, V. L. (2011). 'Never grow old, never die': Vampires, narcissism and simulacra. Interactions: Studies In Communication & Culture, 3(1), 91-106. doi:10.1386/iscc.3.1.91_1