One of the episodes on the popular "Law & Order SVU" series features the 28-year-old woman who has passed for years as a high schooler. More specifically the plot line is about a murder during extreme fighting.
Psychiatrists might trace that back to early trauma. However, the syndrome really isn't that unusual.
It is difficult going from the protections of being a school-girl to taking on all the tasks of adulthood. That's exactly why graduating from college or, worse, an advanced degree program could be unhinging.
Of course, most of us can't pass physically for a teenager. But we can block the onset of being fully mature.
Substance abuse is the road more traveled on that. As the "big book" for Alcoholics Anonymous hammers: Many drunks are immature. That accounts for the inappropriate childlike personalities of alcoholics. For a while it's charming. Then that gets old.
Another is the path taken by the devastated father in "Manchester by the Sea." That is, we turn inward and hide in a very small world.
A third is to become mean. As the old saying goes: Hurt people hurt.
The irony is that the pain of not growing up can be more brutal than getting a hang of being an adult. Also, those who cling to a protected status become the office pest and a public nuisance in society.
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