Age Regression - What is it? What is it Used For?
Ciao lovelies! Today’s post is a follow up to THIS post about how there is no expiration date on fun! Today’s post is going to be about how expressing your “childish” side and indulging “childish” wants or hobbies can be super healthy to your mental state! In other words, we’re going to be talking about the unconventional “age regression therapy.” (TRIGGER WARNING- Mentions of sexual abuse, self harm, eating disorders.)
(Please note that in this post we are not discussing the hypnosis level of this therapy! We are simply talking about tapping into your inner child for the sake of stress relief and coping with traumas. Also DISCLAIMER- I am not a medical professional or a licensed therapist. I am simply recommending this from personal experience, not from a place of expertise.)
Even though this practice is increasing in its popularity, many have misconceptions about what this is or what it’s good for. The most simple and truthful definition is this “Age regression is when somebody reverts to a child-like state of mind, often as a coping mechanism for things like PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.” And this meaning is what we are talking about today.
Unfortunately for the sake of this post, there aren’t a lot of reputable sources for age regression, many of these sources get it wrong, and most places that even mention it mistakenly assume it is a sexual thing, when it is absolutely not. And that is why I wanted to write this article, to create a article that regressors can link back to and use to explain this to others, to end stigmas against regression and to stop the spread of misinformation.
MYTHS ABOUT AGE REGRESSION:
“Age Play and Age Regression are the same”- This is incorrect. Age Play is when someone pretends to be a younger age for a sexual reason. Age Regression is when someone feels like or goes into a younger head space for therapy/coping/stress relief reasons. The two are distinctly different but unfortunately get grouped together by ignorance.
“Age Regression requires you to have a ‘Caregiver’”- This is also incorrect! You don’t need someone to be taking care of you in order to regress, because regression is based off you, your mental state and your coping mechanisms/therapeutic methods.
“You must have had a bad childhood in order to age regress”- Actually, you can have had a perfectly normal childhood and still regress! For one, sometimes the traumas people are coping with happened later in life, so they’re regressing to cope with it now, other times for two, people regress for stress relief not necessarily to relive childhood!
“You can only age regress if you’re mentally ill/Age regression is a mental illness”- Neither of these are true, as you can regress even if you’re neurotypical. Age regression is not a type of mental illness but is instead a coping strategy/therapy method/stress reliever.
Now, I will share with you some people’s personal experiences with age regression to help them. Every story shared was shared willingly with us and we have kept certain people anonymous. The only thing changed in these stories is grammar/spelling. Everything else is left untouched.
“I regress because I was sexually abused as a child and teen. When I regress, it’s like I get a new childhood where nothing bad happens to me. It’s nice to be able to play with toys and color and relax and have the flashbacks and painful memories stop for once. I have told my therapist about my regression and she said it sounds like a very healthy coping mechanism. I used to cut to cope with my PTSD from the abuse, but now I can just regress and be happy.” – Anonymous
“I started regressing at the end of high school without knowing what I was doing because I just thought I was childish. I noticed that when I was regressed I could finally get myself to eat which I had difficulty with because of my anorexia. The hardest part of it all for me is knowing I can’t explain myself to the ones I care about because they might judge me or not understand it.”- Anonymous
"When I was very young I went through a lot of mental and physical trauma, and this continued into my young adult life. I ended up developing a bunch of different disorders causing me to have intense mood swings, flashbacks, night terrors, and panic attacks. I'm in a constant state of extreme anxiety without a cause. But when I age regress I am able to express my emotions and deal with past traumas. It gave me a much needed outlet in what I saw as a world of darkness. It helped pull me out of my depression, and helps me cope in a positive way. I've been regressing for about 3 years, and I have never improved as much as I have in these past years. My regressed state is the only time I'm not constantly anxious and paranoid. My mood swings happen less often and I'm more positive in general. Age regression has changed my life for the better, and become a part of who I am as a person." - Meow-Babydoll on Tumblr.
"I used this therapy to help me cope with my trauma. I was sexually abused in March of 2015 and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in April 2017. I never heard of this until my mom noticed that I was acting like a teenager instead of a 22 year old. This was when I realized maybe I'm regressing to a younger age."-Tiffany Dameron of MHM
What do you think of Age Regression Therapy? Would you ever try it? Have you? Let us know what you think in the comments!
Thanks for reading!