Most of us regress at some point or the other and it happens when a person does not have coping strategies. According to psychoanalyst Anna Freud, in regression people act out behaviors from the stage of psychosexual development that they are gripped in. And, behavior to adult situations and problems vary from person to person depending on which stage the person is fixated at. For example, if the person is fixated at the oral stage of psychosexual development, then this person may begin to eat or smoke excessively to cope with the problem. If a person is fixated at the anal stage, his way of regressing will excessive tidiness and neatness or the other extreme – messiness.
Regression examples in psychology can be seen in our day to day life. For instance, when a newly married wife has her first quarrel with her husband, she may regress but running to her parents’ home to look for security. Another example of regression is when an adult suddenly has the urge to play with toys; here the adult is regressing to childlike behavior.Usually psychoanalysts say the regression is harmless and a person regresses to vent his feelings of frustration when he is unable to cope with adult situations and problems. Regression becomes a problem only when it is used frequently to avoid situations and problems.