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Psychiatrists Identify Fear of Growing Up

Like Peter Pan many people have fears or reservations about the growing up. Fortunately, most of us get over it. But there's a bizarre, tragic exception known as gerascophobia, or the fear of growing up. A recent article in Case Reports in Psychiatry describes a case about a 14-year-old boy who tried hard not to grow up. The two psychiatrist authors write:

He does not eat much because according to his own research food contains nutrients needed for physical development; in addition, he adopted a stooped posture to hide his height and began to distort his voice, using lower volume and higher pitch than usual … If people tell him that he is taller or older, he becomes extremely upset and cries. Due to the restriction in food intake, he has a weight loss of more than 12kg. He is currently in the 25th percentile. …

After treatment the two doctors reported that the boy had improved, but they also added, "[The patient] continues to express a fear of commitment and responsibilities that he feels will be required of him in adult life."

Possible Preaching Angles: It seems that sometimes followers of Jesus, or perhaps entire churches, have an irrational fear of growing up into our full stature in Christ.

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