The Intriguing Psychology Behind Regression

How do you identify a regression defence mechanism

3 min readDec 24, 2021


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As a PhD researcher, I enjoy gathering insights that will help me better understand our sense of personality, behaviour, and mind.

There are 20 different defence mechanisms and, regression is one of them.

What is regression?

Regression is one type of defence mechanism. The person using regression appears to return to their earlier age and behave immaturely or improperly. Regression defence mechanisms can be used by both adults and children.

Usually, when someone is stressed, he or she is more likely to use regression. In some cases, the person might use regression to return to a certain phase of life when he or she felt secure, protected, and comfortable.

Examples of regression

For instance, if a person is getting late to reach somewhere because of traffic, he or she might feel enraged and display temper tantrums. Despite the fact, the person does not behave this way usually.

Another example can be a student who is having anxiety before an exam. To reduce the anxiety, the student might spend the night chatting with his or her close friend just like they used to do back when they were in school.

On the other hand, a child might use regression after a trauma. For instance, the child might suck a thumb or wet the bed. In this way, by using regression that child returns to a more secure phase of life.

How can you deal with regression?

Regression defence mechanism usually does not cause any serious problems. Because most of the time, the person using the regression is unconscious of their behaviour.

If an adult is using regression, it is advisable to aware that adult about his or her juvenile and inappropriate behaviour. In this way, the person will be aware of the reasons which cause them to behave a certain way. Also, they will be able to deal with things more constructively.

If a person is using regression most of the time, it might indicate a severe issue. For instance, the person has inadequate coping skills. To…




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