What are the symptoms of an Oedipus complex?


Those people afflicted with the Oedipus complex develop strong attachments with parents of the opposite gender and may demonstrate jealous behavior and command unusually high amounts of attention from their parents. The Oedipus complex is more common in male children, but can affect growing girls, too. In young women, the complex is sometimes referred to as the Electra complex, but regardless of which gender is afflicted, the characteristics and symptoms of this psychological condition are the same.

According to ChangingMinds.org, the presence of the Oedipus complex in growing boys and girls may manifest in the form of jealous behavior and may produce erotic fantasies and occur during the transition into puberty or at an earlier age when youngsters undergo a sexual awakening. Young boys and girls afflicted with the Oedipus complex develop much stronger bonds with parents of the opposite gender: Boys become fascinated with their mothers, and mimic their physical behaviors. Likewise, girls develop fascinations with their fathers (which may be sexual in nature or derive from a need for companionship). In either case, children may see parents of their own genders as threats or competition in drawing the affection and attention of the other parent. Children with an Oedipus complex may also exhibit signs of narcissism, including excessive focus on their physical traits and qualities.

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