What is Age Regression? Is It Healthy? (UPDATED AS OF 2/25/19) - Age Regression Series

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” coping mechanism. (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 coping skill! 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.

EXPERIENCES:

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." - (Please note that our source for this quote has left Tumblr and we have no other accounts to source them to- 1/13/19 update)


What do you think of Age Regression as a coping mechanism? Would you ever try it? Have you? Let us know what you think in the comments!

One last note! Please do be cautious when using this coping skill. I have been informed that it is possible for this coping skill to cause dissociation. Please exercise caution and only do what you feel is comfortable and healthy for you.

If you are an age regressor, we have some more articles for you! Such as:

 - Age Regression Journaling

and

 -Age Regression Self Care


Thanks for reading! Remember to stay awesome, love yourself, and I'll see you in our next post!

22 Comments

  1. Interesting article. I know I find myself being in a "younger" or at least sillier head space when I feel at ease or am somewhere I feel comfortable expressing myself. I have anxiety and depression and often when I'm home or around people I trust, I do things like make weird sound effects or animal noises. Kinda helps me express myself without having to really use words. I always thought of it as a kind of verbal tic. On a related note, in high school, I used to ask people questions like a 5 year old (ie, what's your favorite color?) And those of love would answer me every time, even if I repeated the question a lot. It was a little thing, but them answering my silly questions put me at ease, made me feel accepted by them. (And therefore relieving my social anxieties/feelings of no one caring)

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences! People often use regression or tendencies of regression in various ways, one of which can be coping with social anxiety! Personally, I sometimes find regressing by accident in social situations can make me a little more timid, but it's really up to the person! Thanks for your comment!

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  2. Thank you! Honestly, thank you so so much for this article! It is so hard to find someone who knows what regression is, and I ALWAYS searched for a cute blog where I was feeling comfortable! I finally found it!!! Thank you so so so much for your work!!!

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    1. Aw I'm so glad I could provide a comfortable space for you!! Thank you so much for reading!! <3 -Lunaria

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  3. I'm actually doing a paper for my English class on age regression, mainly because I'm a little and I want to be able to better explain to friends who want to know what being a little means. Thank you so much for writing this article, as it helped tremendously.

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    1. Thank you for reading! I hope your paper went well!

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    2. Oh my gosh me too!! I'm literally writing a research paper for my English class on the same topic for the same reason what a coincidence!!!

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  4. Thank you, as someone who suffered pretty sever trauma as a child and as a teen you showed me that I was valid, that my coping mechanism was healthy, before I knew about this and read this article I felt like a freak, like I was imature and childish, and you showed me that I was not only valid but I was not alone, I newer had a name for what I did until I found this, thank you for teaching me about myself and age regression, thank you

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    1. You are very welcome! I am so glad you can now feel valid! You are so valid!

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  5. I myself am an age regressor. I'm in highschool right now , so it's hard to use it when I really need it which is a bummer. I regress to the mindset of a 2 year old typically because that's the only age that I don't remember there being trauma. I still have a lot of work to do before I've recovered, but age regression has helped me to lessen the amount of physical harm I cause myself.

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    1. I'm glad to hear that you found a coping mechanism that can help some! It can be hard to deal with trauma, especially childhood traumas, so it's important to find a coping skill that can help. I wish you all the best in your recovery!

      Warm regards,
      Lunaria L Moon

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    2. Oh, and in regards to not being able to use the coping skill because you're in highschool- I've heard that Tumblr and sometimes Pinterest have tips for being small secretly/discreetly!

      Best of luck!

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  6. I love your blog about Age Regression it really helped me thank you!

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  7. I love this blog a lot it actually made me realize that I was getting age play and age regression mixed up but I now know that I'm an age regressor to cope with my stress and anxiety. I wasn't sure if I was valid for using it for anxiety. I'm a college student and I want to do it discreetly in classes when my anxiety decides to be a butt but I don't know how to though any tips?

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    1. While I don't personally recommend regressing in a time where you might need to be fully aware (like in class), I do understand that it can help with things like school stress. My best advice is to have some small items you can bring with you that are discreet, like a keychain-plushie or a stim toy. That way you can be half-regressed to cope with the stress in class. I hope this could help!

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  8. I have been told that I have a mental age of 6. I also have anxiety... But I tend to act like a little kid... Well my best friend and I are doing research and is it possible that I am regressing? I mean I'm a little confused so if anyone has any tips or helpful thoughts please comment. Thanks.

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    1. You could be regressing, or you could just have a childish personality, or honestly both! It's all about how you feel. Regression is about feeling like your inner child is coming out for a while. Whereas being childish is just simply about acting like a kid without feeling like one. I hope that could clarify a little!

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  9. I sometimes feel like I need to be small, or become small, and I can't always control it. I can yank myself out if I really need to but it's hard and exhausts me. I mostly do it when I'm overwhelmed (I'm autistic) or tired, especially if im watching something childish. I giggle and find it hard to speak properly and stim a lot more. But more than anything i FEEL young. I thought this was just me being a freak again but this makes me feel like it's a bit more normal.

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    1. It's totally normal! Everyone regresses at times, whether when sick, stressed, or - like us age regressors who cope with stress, trauma, etc- at various times to cope! It's actually growing to be more and more common as people become educated on the matter more and more. You're most definitely NOT a freak for regressing, I promise!

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  10. Im 15 and I've been abused most of my life which caused me to devolpe anxiety and depression I've know about age regression for a long time my counselor recommend it to me but I'm not completely sure if its ok to be 15 and age regresse

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    1. My best advice on this is: if a licensed professional (your counselor) said it was okay , it should be fine. Regression is something that a lot of people do naturally when sick or scared but just don't realize, and Age Regression Therapy merely taps in to that energy for healing purposes. For others with this question, if possible, please ask a licensed professional's opinion on using this therapy method. I hope that could help some! :)

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