by Mark Sichel, LCSW
In The Domino Effect, we discussed how important it is to listen to the messages sent to you by your unconscious. When you strive to allay the fears of your unconscious, you are less likely to succumb to a panic attack. Healthy regression is another way of fulfilling the urges and demands of your unconscious in order to preclude the possibility of having a panic attack.
We discussed regression in somewhat negative terms in Regression. The important thing to realize is that not all regressive behaviors are bad for you. Regression, like the flight/fight response, is universal. Every one of us has times when we regress. There are many regressive behaviors that are actually healthy and adaptive. Below you will find behaviors which clinically are considered regressive, however, they are what psychologists call "regressive in the service of the ego."
Psychologist define the ego as the part of our psychological makeup which functions as the executive in charge of our psyche. It is each of our CEO's when it comes to operating and competing in the world. The ego makes decisions, controls our impulses, and encompasses a wide variety of functions pertaining to our survival skills. The strength of our ego is actually the sum power of psychological muscle.
Regression in the service of the ego consists of activities and behaviors that help us to repair from the stress of life, and replenish ourselves in order to continue to function well.
Check off those regressions in the service of the ego which have helped you to feel repaired and refreshed, as well as those you could possibly integrate into your life: