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Hikikomori Syndrome – Young Japanese people who live without leaving their rooms

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Hikikomori is a term of Japanese origin that describes extreme domestic isolation behavior. According to government data, at least half a million people fall into this condition in Japan, living amid a combination of physical and social isolation plus lasting psychological distress.

Hikikomori are usually young people, between thirteen and thirty-nine years old, who withdraw completely from society in order to avoid contact with other people.

Hikikomori is a Japanese term used to describe people who are reclusive in their homes, or even their rooms, isolated from everyone except their family, for many months or years. The phenomenon has captured the public’s attention, with many articles appearing in mainstream media in Japan and elsewhere in recent years.

The lives of these people are usually basically summarized in the bedroom, watching television, playing video games and the Internet, although recent studies have shown that only 10% of people suffering from this disease use the Internet to interact with other people.

Hikikomori was initially described in Japan and is considered a syndrome linked to Japanese culture. However, in recent years it has been described in several countries. Its origin may be related to some personal disappointment, fear of people, maternal hyperprotection, school failure or some psychological disorder. The Japanese are lonely and shy people, due to culture. And it must also be taken into account that some parents educate their children very rigidly and this circumstance can lead to rejection leading them to reclusion. The highest incidence is male.

The isolation process is gradual and begins when the person begins to withdraw to his room more and more, stops caring and dedicating time to friendships, and begins to neglect his studies.

Although this phenomenon comes from Japan and is associated with Japanese culture, it gradually spread throughout the world, with different characteristics according to each country. In Spain, this syndrome, also known as CLOSED DOOR, has accumulated more than 200 cases in recent years. In Japan, those affected are millions.

As of 2007, the Japanese government implemented an assistance program for hikikomoris, social workers establish contact with them through letters, phone calls and then invite them to go to the movies, squares, shopping malls, stimulating social contact and, consequently in order to reduce the state of isolation. These social workers are called super sisters, because they are women and manage to rebuild many young people in this situation.

Hikikomori is a growing phenomenon in Japan

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