Regression is another one of the defense mechanisms identified by Freud. According to Freud there are times when people are faced with situations that are so anxiety provoking that they can't deal with it and they protect themselves by retreating to an earlier stage of development. For example, my niece was afraid to go to school for the first time (first day of school can be very scary) so she began to exhibit very childish behaviors like throwing a tantrum, crying, not letting go of her mother's leg, and even wetting her pants.
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