“The findings provide further empirical support to Li and Wong’s framework that suggests individuals with more severe social withdrawal suffer from more psychological difficulties and Kato and colleague’s hypothesis that “some common psychopathological mechanisms may exist in the act of “shutting in”
Mr X is a 40-year-old man who has spent half his life—the past 20 years—barely able to leave his room in his parents’ house. For many years aside from attending a monthly outpatient appointment he was asleep while everyone else in his household was awake. And while they slept he was up: whiling away time with computer games and online shopping—the latter at one point costing the family the equivalent of many thousands of pounds.
“In Japan today, many young people are disconnecting themselves from society. They have come to be known as hikikomori (recluses), or more formally shakaiteki (social) hikikomori. Though their existence is widely recognized, their true situation is still far from being generally understood. They all have different backgrounds and circumstances and have withdrawn from society for different reasons. So, what can we say about this disparate group?
First, a definition: Hikikomori are individuals who (1) do not work or attend educational institutions, (2) are not considered to have a mental disorder, but (3) have remained at home for six months or longer without interacting personally with anyone outside their families. The third point is the most important. These people have no friends and are isolated from society, even though they may be living in the middle of a teeming city.
Some say … open access on nippon.com