The Mighty Logo

How Age Regression Helps Me

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Age regression is when a person reverts back to younger mindset. This can be voluntary or involuntary. Now before I speak on my own personal experience with age regression I want to be clear that age regression and age play are two very different things. Age play is part of the BDSM community and is when a person pretends to be a younger age, but in their mind they are aware that they aren’t that age. Age regression is not a kink and the person in their mind is not aware they aren’t actually a younger age, therefore cannot give consent to any sexual activity. A child cannot give consent much like the child mindset cannot.

Now age regression has been used in therapy sessions to help people who have had childhood trauma. It was recommended by my current therapist but my first experiences with age regression were in 2019. I wasn’t aware at the time what was happening but I was aware that I liked the feeling of being looked after. I needed to be looked after.

I now know that is because I didn’t have my needs met when I was a child. My dad was difficult to live with and was at times very verbally abusive and my mum — as much as she tried — wasn’t always able to meet my emotional needs either. My brain began to find other ways to cope and that resulted in age regression. It allows me to go into a mindset that is carefree. In that space I don’t have to worry about the pressures of my life.

For much of my life I have struggled with severe mental health issues and I often felt that I never had the chance to be a “normal” child or teenager. I missed a lot of years due to my health. This is my safe mindset. I call it “regressing” when I go into that mindset. I can regress by myself but I also have my partner who is known as my “caregiver” when I am in that mindset. It helps to have her there because I trust her and I know she is able to look after me.

Age regression can be very misunderstood and as with everything has a lot of stigma attached to it.

Usually when I regress I will watch children’s TV, cuddle my stuffed animals, color, read or have someone read to me. Due to the stigma attached to this not many people actually know about my age regression, only a couple of close friends and my partner. But the comfort I feel when I am regressed is worth that. In that mindset I am safe. I can still do adult things in my day to day life and I am not always in a regressed mindset, but when I am it is comforting and helpful to me. I do have periods of time that after I regress I feel guilty as if I have done something wrong but I am learning that is because of the stigma. It is a valid way to cope and really any way is valid as long as it is healthy and working for you.

Follow this journey on Lucie’s Medium.

Getty image via Ksenia Zvezdina

Originally published: January 7, 2021
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home