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Thread: Being little: Is it about stress, or identity?

  1. #1

    Default Being little: Is it about stress, or identity?

    Recently in Mature Topics, there was a discussion of a survey of the online ABDL community by researchers. They tried to analyze ABDLs from a variety of different angles, including trying to figure out why we do what we do. And there was one quote from the paper that really stood out to me:

    There were few significant correlations between mood states and ABDL behavior. Thus, there was little support for the idea that ABDL behavior may function to reduce negative mood states. If negative mood states were ever associated with ABDL behavior, that relationship may have disappeared over time due to an evolving meaning or function of ABDL behavior. For example, ABDL behavior may have shifted from a coping mechanism for negative mood states to an expression of one’s identity or a recreational activity. Alternatively, ABDL behavior may have never been a coping mechanism for negative mood states by most persons in the ABDL online community.
    So basically, the author (who isn't ABDL, as far as I know), is stating that one popular explanation for why we do our baby thing might be wrong. Many of us explain that being an AB is something that helps us cope with stress, or escape maturity for a while. But according to this study, a lot of ABDLs play baby not so much for the relaxation, but as a means of self-expression and getting to show who we are in a new way.

    And you know, I agree, at least partially. Going little does help me relax, absolutely. But I've found, more and more, that my little side is really just an extension of my whole personality. It's the parts I'm not allowed to show in public, manifesting themselves in a safe identity. In my case, I've always had trouble expression emotions, due to being bullied for this as a child. I cry maybe once a year. But in my LG mode, it's safe to be distraught and upset, and even to break down crying over little things. It's very freeing. It's not just stress relief, but an extension of who I am.

    I wanted to open this up for discussion to all of you. Is going little more about relaxing and escapism for you? Or is it really just part of your identity, expressed in an unusual way?

    I can't wait to see what people think!

  2. #2


    Hhhhmmmmm.... I'm gonna say for me, it's more about escapism. One of my earliest ab-related behaviors, thumb sucking, developed as a coping mechanism. I'm not saying it's not a part of my identity, because it is, but I believe a large part of it developed from having a life that has not met my emotional needs, thus triggering the desires for love and care and a sense of security.

  3. #3


    I haven't latched onto the stress reducing angle of this as an explanation for my urges or behavior. It may well reduce my stress but so do many things that I enjoy. It's a byproduct of something that I do, not a goal in and of itself. It's all just good stuff and I don't see it as needing that much explanation other than it being a weird thing that I enjoy.

  4. #4


    I believe it's probably a combination of the two. In order to de-stress we engage that part of our deeper identity in which we find most comfort.

    So yes on one hand there is a definite identity element, an aspect of ourselves carefully nurtured as we met the outside expectations and demands of 'growing up', and the need to retreat sometimes to that intimate aspect of our identity - our little self.

    I find as an introverted person, that even seemingly innocuous activity that requires sustained social engagement, causes a build up of anxiety which is best diffused through regression.

    I am so much happier after having expressed myself in this way, and better able to cope with the next social adventure.

  5. #5


    I see de-stressing as perhaps, an additional benefit, but definitely not a cause. In fact, if I'm stressed, I often don't feel like wearing a diaper or regressing. It's not so much that I want to regress, but that psychologically, I need to regress. Since most of us say that wanting diapers isn't something that we could give up, there must be stronger and more significant reasons for having these desires.

  6. #6


    I think for me it is just an inner desire to be little. I dont tend to indulge more when I'm stressed, I tend to have the same frequency. But indulging does reduce stress. BUT it is a side effect, not the reason I do it.

    Same for other things too. Like I love playing tennis, piano etc. And while they can reduce stress it is not the reason I do it, I do it because I love the activity itself.

  7. #7


    I don't regret my childhood in the slightest, but I often wonder how it would've been if I had savored it and allowed myself to be spoiled instead of being persistent about growing up and learning more about the cruel ways of the world. I've always had this desire to push myself beyond my limits and always set my standards for personal accomplishment high. Now that I think about it, maybe these regression ideas I've been having are a result of the weight on my shoulders I borne back then, or even the weight I bear today. What if I could just let go of all this responsibility and independence, and just be a toddler for a day; to just escape from the stress? There's no practical way it can be done, but just what if? A man can always dream, I guess. Delving into these fantasies primarily grants me a peace of mind, but maybe it identifies me in some abstract way.
    Last edited by ClandestineWing; 19-Mar-2014 at 06:22.

  8. #8


    Aw, no, now I'm starting to worry. I shifted reaaaally late.... if I shifted at all! My thing was likely born from an overly stressful childhood, and it stayed that way (until recently?). I only ever really went little as a reaction to stress or as a coping mechanism and currently that seems to be the main reason I go little, too. I never even had a name for my little side until I saw a lot of you all doing that and thought it would be cool. I'm not really sure little me is so different than big me. Lots of the choices in activities are the same, just slightly more 'immature' (such as cutesy childish gaming instead of GTA or whatnot.) Maybe I'm more openly cuddly or openly affectionate. We didn't do affection so great where I grew up, so I guess that wants to be expressed. I guess that's similar to what I'm reading here so far, but I don't know, at the moment I'm feeling like the least developed little around, who still only regresses due to a reaction from (or to cope with) high stress.

  9. #9


    my keeper things all people have a little side and they just dont know it until they have enough stress to trigger it. I disagree i think if it were like that the larger society would be more open to it.

  10. #10


    That’s a very interesting take on it. If you’d asked me about 2 years ago I’d say it was a coping mechanism for stress. But that was also before I really gained acceptance for it. So I would act on my desires to rid myself of stress and then I’d purge anything ABDL related. Now I really have to agree with the article. Since I started accepting this is part of me and treating it like such I find I act to express my little side in a means that I can. I still find it relaxing and stress relieving but I think it’s more about let a part of me be free to express identity.

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