The Short of It
A teenage boy living in Mexico is so afraid to grow up past childhood that he has taken excessive steps to prevent the aging process.
Doctors have diagnosed a young man with gerascophobia, or the fear of growing up, according to the journal "Case Reports in Psychiatry."
This phobia is very rare; in fact, only two other known cases exist, and the sufferers are adults.
One of his biggest fears about growing up is that he will get sick and die. He has even thought about undergoing surgical procedures to stop his body from getting older. The odd behavior that led to his current diagnosis includes losing an excessive amount of weight, disguising his voice to sound higher and walking stooped over.
Live Science reports that the boy is also treated like a child by his mother. She sings to him at night and picks out his outfits for him.
The boy's fear of growing up began around age 11. He has reportedly suffered a variety of childhood traumas, such as sexual abuse and bullying, which may be to blame for his condition.
This young man is receiving a variety of treatments at the Autonomous University of Nuevo León in an attempt to cure him of gerascophobia. The use of drugs and therapy have proven effective for him. Some of his odd behaviors have stopped.
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