Delayed life syndrome: 7 main symptoms, causes

Greetings, friends!

Delayed life syndrome is a special form of perception of reality in which a person has been living for many years in anticipation of a turning point, after which real life will finally begin. Psychologists do not consider this condition to be a mental disorder, but it may well lead to neuroses, depression and other mental disorders. Today we will analyze in detail what coolant is, why it occurs, what consequences it threatens and how to get rid of it.

What is delayed life syndrome?

The syndrome of delayed life is an attitude towards reality in which a person thinks that real life has not yet begun for him. He treats her in much the same way as a teenager who prepares to become an adult and independent. As a rule, a person appoints a certain turning point, after which everything should change dramatically for the better. It can be a move, buying a car, promotion, transfer to another job, or another important event. real life. He perceives it as a rough draft that does not really matter. And this perception helps him not to worry about the fact that right now he is spending a huge amount of time by no means to those things that he really would like to do.

Usually coolant is found in young people who have not yet realized the real value of time. They do not think that they are missing out on something important or are wasting years of their lives that could have been spent more productively. Awareness of this problem, as a rule, coincides with the onset of a midlife crisis – when a person suddenly realizes that youth is slipping away, and there is nowhere to postpone life further.

How did the term appear?

The term “life deferred syndrome” (or “life deferred neurosis”) was introduced by the Russian psychologist Vladimir Serkin in his 1997 work, in which he studied the so-called “northern scenario” – an approach to life characteristic of residents of northern cities with a harsh climate, they are patient with difficult conditions, dreaming of how to save money and move to a more favorable place where they can start a new life. Enjoying this anticipation, they calmly relate to the fact that now their life is not so beautiful – after all, it is only preparation for something greater.

Vladimir Serkin described the essence of the postponed life syndrome in a rather similar way and explained this state is different from neurosis. The diagram of a typical neurosis is described by the phrase “I want to, but I cannot.” The scheme of the neurosis of the postponed life is somewhat more complex: “I want to, I can, but I don’t allow myself.”

Signs of the postponed life syndrome

This state is manifested in differently. Many people live with him for years without even realizing that something is wrong in their life. If you suspect that you are exposed to cutting fluid, pay attention to the presence of such alarm bells as:

  1. Constant anticipation and anticipation. Pay attention if you are not inclined to constantly wait for certain moments (such as lunch, end of work or vacation).
  2. The feeling that something is missing. This sign can manifest itself in small things, and in quite serious matters. For example, let’s say you would like to go on a date, but you feel like you first need to lose a couple of pounds, get a haircut, or work on your clothing style. Or maybe you are dreaming of moving or changing jobs, and it seems to you that then life will radically change for the better.
  3. Waiting for the end of the day or week. This is the most obvious sign of coolant. If a person just watches the days pass by, they most likely think that their real life has not yet begun.
  4. Waiting for the right moment. Perhaps you notice that you periodically postpone important things, because the right moment has not yet come. Many people wait for something all their lives: when they grow up, when they graduate, when they get a promotion, when they get married, when they can buy an apartment on a mortgage. Yes, these are important life milestones. Still, living in anticipation is not the best tactic.
  5. Not being able to enjoy the present It so happens that a person’s life develops well: he received a good education, works in a prestigious position, and has successfully married. But at the same time it seems to him that this is still not the life he wants to live.
  • The tendency to compare oneself to others. This is another sign that a person is dissatisfied with himself and the current living conditions.
  • The tendency to seek excuses for oneself. Failure to accept responsibility for one’s own life may well be a sign of coolant. If a person blames the circumstances, he may well put off plans for self-realization until the time when the circumstances become different.

If you have discovered in yourself at least 2-3 of the listed signs, this indicates a predisposition to delayed life syndrome. You urgently need to change your life strategy and try to devote as much time as possible to the present moment. Of course, this is not a reason to give up big plans. However, it is important not just to dream about something, but to do the maximum to achieve these goals today.

Causes of coolant

Trying to better understand what is life deferred syndrome, psychologists have found that it is not an independent mental disorder, but arises under the influence of a number of reasons. Most often it develops in the presence of such factors as:

  • Educational errors . “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today” is one of the most important sayings that we all learn in early childhood. Parents and educators teach each child that all things must be done on time. If this simple truth is not learned in childhood, serious problems can arise in adulthood.
  • High Researchers have found that cutting fluids are much more common among workaholics. They can be successful in business and even in their personal life, but at the same time they have a feeling that real life should be different. Deep in their hearts, they dream that one day they will complete their business and leave with their family somewhere, where they will finally have a rest from all this fuss.
  • Self-doubt. Low self-esteem can make a person think that right now he is not ready or worthy of something. As a result, he postpones important decisions for the future, sincerely believing that he will be able to prepare. He will definitely learn English, lose a couple of kilograms, slightly pump up his muscles, start running in the morning and get rid of bad habits. True, he does not yet know exactly when this will happen.
  • Escape from reality. If a person is emotionally vulnerable or just too often gets into stressful situations, his psyche activates various protective reactions. One of these reactions is detachment from reality. Man takes care of himself tries to relieve emotional pressure, instilling in himself that one day there will be a real life that he can enjoy, but for now he needs to endure and work.

The latter reason is present in almost all cases of coolant. It can lead a person to this state on its own, or it can act as a catalyst if there are other reasons.

What is wrong with the delayed life syndrome?

Of course, there is nothing wrong with dreaming and making big plans. This gives us motivation and helps us work more effectively to achieve our goals. At the same time, it is important to maintain interest in the present day, to be able to enjoy life and have a good time with loved ones. And if you have no doubts that you are living a fulfilling life today, and your dreams do not interfere with this, then there is nothing to worry about.

If a person constantly thinks only about the future, avoiding thinking about how well he is living today, this leads him to serious psychological problems. His productivity diminishes over time, which is why it becomes more and more difficult for him to work towards the tipping point. Being guided by false priorities, such a person hardly makes any progress towards the desired goal. He loses time and opportunities, and in return receives only health and mental problems.

In addition, life deferred syndrome often masks other serious psychological problems and not only. A person may suffer from low self-esteem, self-doubt, or unpreparedness for major changes. But because of the coolant, he turns a blind eye to these problems. It seems to him that everything is fine, and now you can work calmly without worrying that life rushes by on crazy speed. But the worst thing is that sooner or later you will have to realize that the “turning point” will not come.

How to get rid of coolant?

If Having figured out what the delayed life syndrome is, you have discovered several signs in yourself, you need to immediately start correcting the situation. The good news is that you can deal with this on your own (although there is nothing wrong with playing it safe with a therapist). To do this, it is enough to follow a few simple recommendations:

  1. Realize your dream now. People with coolant can put off plans for years, which sometimes take only one week to implement. So stop dreaming and getting ready. Start right from today to carry out concrete actions on a daily basis that will allow you to feel the progress towards your dream.
  2. Appreciate the present . This is no big deal. Just remind yourself that time is your most precious resource. And you need to spend this resource wisely, distributing it between work, self-development and good leisure. Learn to appreciate every day, starting today (not “Monday”).
  3. . Each action must be meaningful and expedient. Whatever you do during the day, regularly ask yourself: “How useful am I doing now? Who is it important for? Do I have to do this? ” The more attention you pay to this moment, the less time will be spent on meaningless activities.
  4. present. Delayed life syndrome is a state in which a person completely withdraws from the present, living only with thoughts of a happy future. His life is, as it were, divided into two parts: the present, which does not make much sense, and the future, beautiful, interesting and rich. If something like this happens to you, start actively making your dreams come true and making your life more enjoyable today.
  5. Realize the uniqueness of life. A characteristic feature of people with this pathology is that many of them live as if they are planning to live another life in the future. They work calmly and deny themselves the achievement of life goals, putting it off until later. To get rid of this thinking, you need to remind yourself every day that life is one, and today will never happen again.
  6. Use every chance. People with coolant are calm about missed opportunities, because it seems to them that the moment for self-realization and fulfillment of desires has not yet come. This is a very bad strategy. If life has presented you with a good opportunity, grab it and do not miss it. The chance you have today may not be there tomorrow, so always act according to the circumstances and don’t put off anything.
  7. Plan for the present. We all love to make plans for the future: big, grand and promising. But not everyone is starting to implement these plans, and this is a serious problem. Therefore, it is very important to learn how to plan for the very near future and follow the plan exactly.

Friends, a very important step in overcoming the syndrome of deferred life is to develop the ability to correctly set goals and move in the right direction, not to postpone things until tomorrow. If you want to become more efficient in work and life , learn to set goals and accomplish more in less time, I recommend you the course “Goal Setting” from the training center “Wikium”.

This course will help:

  • Not only dream, but also realize
  • Get inspired for new goals
  • Be more positive towards the goal

What the training is about:

  • 6 lessons
  • Practical exercises and advice
  • Videos
  • Graphic diagrams and tasks

You can:

  • Achieve set goals
  • Don’t waste energy
  • Fulfill your plans
  • Set new standards in development
  • Fulfill your dreams

Remember, friends: the most valuable investment is investment in yourself!


The life deferred syndrome is a very common phenomenon in the modern world, where many people can say about themselves: “I am spinning like a squirrel in a wheel!” Not being satisfied with the present day, such a person gradually withdraws from reality and begins to perceive his life as something unreal.

In his thoughts, a vision of a wonderful life, which he will one day live, “ripens”. He begins to believe that after a certain turning point, everything will work out: he will start playing sports, quit drinking and smoking, enjoy life to the fullest, and all the accumulated injuries, illnesses and problems will simply evaporate.

time, real life rushes by faster and faster. Therefore, it is very important at the first awareness of such a situation to immediately take everything into our own hands. Fortunately, you can solve this problem on your own, without resorting to the help of a psychotherapist. Start by sticking to the guidelines we looked at today and pretty soon you will be able to enjoy the feeling of being in control of your life.