Skip to comments.Hikikomori: Why are so many Japanese men refusing to leave their rooms?
Posted on 07/08/2013 9:57:47 AM PDT by reaganaut1
In Japan, hikikomori, a term that's also used to describe the young people who withdraw, is a word that everyone knows.
Tamaki Saito was a newly qualified psychiatrist when, in the early 1990s, he was struck by the number of parents who sought his help with children who had quit school and hidden themselves away for months and sometimes years at a time. These young people were often from middle-class families, they were almost always male, and the average age for their withdrawal was 15.
It might sound like straightforward teenage laziness. Why not stay in your room while your parents wait on you? But Saito says sufferers are paralysed by profound social fears.
"They are tormented in the mind," he says. "They want to go out in the world, they want to make friends or lovers, but they can't."
Symptoms vary between patients. For some, violent outbursts alternate with infantile behaviour such as pawing at the mother's body. Other patients might be obsessive, paranoid and depressed.
When Saito began his research, social withdrawal was not unknown, but it was treated by doctors as a symptom of other underlying problems rather than a pattern of behaviour requiring special treatment.
Since he drew attention to the phenomenon, it is thought the numbers of hikikomori have increased. A conservative estimate of the number of people now affected is 200,000, but a 2010 survey for the Japanese Cabinet Office came back with a much higher figure - 700,000. Since sufferers are by definition hidden away, Saito himself places the figure higher still, at around one million.
The average age of hikikomori also seems to have risen over the last two decades. Before it was 21 - now it is 32.
So why do they withdraw?
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Parents should not be enablers.
“...parents who sought his help with children who had quit school and hidden themselves away for months and sometimes years at a time.”
Wonder if these kids were brought up to know their Lord and Savior Jesus? I could see being depressed and withdrawn otherwise.
There’s a prace where I can go
And tell my secrets to,
In my room, in my room
It is a “disease” in this country as well. The age-old concept of “making life easier for your children or (not making your children have to go through what you had to)” has had deleterious effects. Can we expect those same children to turn it around for their kids? Hardly.
I see many American kids doing approximately the same.
They are enthralled by media and video games of all kinds, have no demands from life, little ambition, and prefer the solitude of their bedrooms
I don’t think the reasons are any different, except that in Japan, the outside social pressure is much greater, leading to more antipathy to life outside.
They are reminded of this whenever they leave their rooms.
If they didn't have rooms to stay in they'd be committing suicide instead.
Why did the first thing that crossed my mind was the abundance of Japanese porn? ;-)
Personal interaction has no longer been necessary with the advent of "virtual" living. iPhones, the internet, and video games have become subtle tools of slavery and permanent delusion.
You see it all over.
The best thing is to show them the door and tell them they're welcome for Thanksgiving dinner.
A man whose girlfriend authorities say spent nearly two years in a bathroom in their house, sitting on the toilet so long that the seat adhered to her body, has been charged with mistreatment of a dependent adult.
Kory McFarren, 37, was charged Monday in Ness County District Court.
McFarren called the Ness County Sheriffs Office in late February to say something was wrong with his girlfriend. When authorities arrived at the home, they found Pam Babcock, 35, stuck to the toilet, which they think she had sat on for about a month.
McFarren told authorities that Babcock feared leaving the bathroom and may not have left it in two years, although he said he was unsure how long she was in there. He said that he took her food and water daily, and that he repeatedly asked her to come out but that she usually replied maybe tomorrow.
“If they didn’t have rooms to stay in they’d be committing suicide instead.”
Key point - they don’t start in the rooms. This is no different than treating anyone for their psychological troubles.
The real question is why haven’t they been put in treatment long ago?
It might sound like straightforward teenage laziness. Why not stay in your room while your parents wait on you? But Saito says sufferers are paralysed by profound social fears. "They are tormented in the mind," he says. "They want to go out in the world, they want to make friends or lovers, but they can't."
I guess changing the locks doesn’t help in this case.
Dang. You beat me to it and I didn’t even think anyone else would think of it
Very clever, and funny!
The article mentions “Welcome to the NHK!”, a novel/manga/anime that centers on a hikikomori - I’ve seen the anime, and it’s very good actually. It explains the phenomenon in a humorous fashion.
Um . . . hentai?
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