Hikikomori: Social Pressure and Seclusion.

Hikikomori: Social Pressure and Seclusion.

Hikikomori (which essentially translates to "pulling inwards") is a psychological disorder that mimics many of the classic symptoms found in severe depression or social anxiety. Sufferers typically live with their parents, lock themselves inside of their rooms for weeks at a time and only come out in the event of an emergency or if they need to get food, use the restroom, etc. In the more severe cases, some Hikikomori relieve themselves inside of their rooms instead of going to the restroom. During these bouts, these individuals have very little contact with family or friends and can even become belligerent or violent towards themselves or others if asked to come out of their rooms. Many Hikikomori are males in their late teens or early twenties (there have been reported cases of middle aged and elderly individuals as well) that have “failed” at some aspect in their academic or social lives. Seclusion is more often than not a side effect of anxiety, depression, or any other high functioning psychological malady and Japan’s rigid and unforgiving social order has an almost zero tolerance policy for transgression or failure. This is usually the leading cause of this phenomenon. It is estimated that there are several hundred thousand Hikikomori in Japan but this number is actually believed to be much higher and estimates have even reached as high as two million. There have also been cases popping up in other countries around the world so this isn’t something that is exclusive to Japan.

Read More