80% of Hikikomori “Retarded or Schizophrenic”


The Japanese government has published research suggesting 80% of the nation’s hikikomori may be mentally ill, with two thirds of those diagnosed having such serious conditions as schizophrenia or mental retardation.

A research group from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare cooperated with psychiatrists working at 5 mental health treatment centres over several years. They examined hikikomori cases involving subjects aged 16-35 who approached the centre for assistance.

Approximately 80% of the cases resulted in a firm diagnosis, and of those a third involved mental conditions such as schizophrenia or anxiety disorder, all of which were considered to require medication.

A further third involved mental retardation and developmental disorders.

The remaining third were considered to have generic “personality defects” or “maladjustment,” and were prescribed treatment centred on counseling.

Researchers guess there may be as many as 260,000 child hikikomori in Japan, and are urging that they receive attention from mental health professionals lest they develop into lifetime hikikomori.

The wider implications of even conducting such research suggest the government may be interested in addressing its inconvenient hikikomori problem by redefining what has traditionally been seen as a social phenomenon as a medical condition, an approach which could perhaps eventually culminate in involuntary treatment for hikikomori.

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  • I personally give me credence to the Shame culture and crushing effects of Capital industrialization on many forcing many people to "drop out" of the system and stay lock-ins.

    You have to worry about public shame, your shame and the shame of your family, the stress of k-12 school grades, the stress of trying to get a job and of keeping one. The stress and expectation of getting a GOOD job. It's no wonder some people simply collapse under the pressure.

    Why would Japan have many more shut-ins than many other places. Doesn't that insult the ultra-nationalistic feelings about their so called "race".

    I agree that shame culture is in many ways at many times overestimated, but I think blaming economics and social cultural aspects that are pretty well understood and supported is better than calling such people a bunch of retards.

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree with you, people who are overwhelmed by society’s demands end up breaking down. Not everyone lives an easy successful life, or can reach their dreams when billions of others are also pursuing the same thing. You can only do so much in life.

        • Anonymous says:

          It is possible to create value or limit value destruction entirely by commuting, and I assure you if half of hikkikomoris did that, Japan would have a hell of a problem with them.

        • Anonymous says:

          Technically, if they contributed raw, easily visible, money to Japan, Japanese society wouldn’t have a problem with them.

          Moneymaking isn’t as transparent as it used to be.

        • Anonymous says:


          How do you know that hikkis contributed nothing to society? They could be coding something open source for all we know while staying anonymous.

          Unless such a being absolutely does not interact even online it always contributes smth to society however piece of trash or genius he/she are. Even those that do not interact may be of use unlike pets that almost always useless to humans besides looks.

        • Anonymous says:

          And yet these people have contributed to a society’s growth mainly from their business, or interaction with others, which ultimately lead to society benefiting.

          Contrast that to hikkis who, um, what, feed off their parents?

    • Guess we don’t. Also I find it funny that you have to cite an intelligence test to be certain of your mental aptitude whereas I need only call into memory the various scientific facts, programming languages, classical literature, musical/artistic talents, etc., I have garnered/developed over the years. Does that split the other 20% into 10% know-it-alls and 10% actual geniuses?

      Hmm indeed!

  • Anonymous says:

    >read article

    well that is one way to keep all the smart people chained up…

    And you people using examples like “this one person killed his family”

    Last I checked anyone can kill a family with or without conditions. Last I checked more killings happen to sane people and just snap.

    Is it retarded to get away from a debt build society? If anything it may be the smartest idea.

    People back then used to value people like this. They were called hermits. They lived life in society and got away to live with themselves in peace.

    This is just doctors that want people to keep coming back so they can keep a job. That is…if you dare call a psych. a doctor. I was going to college to be one because it is very easy. I eventually learn that everyone thought the same and the job is very closed at the moment and hard to find a job in. Some of these fucks don’t know what they are talking about.

    Actually 3 perfectly normally people did a test. These 3 were had it set up to go to a psychiactric ward with fake documents saying they were ill. They told the doctors they were normal and they acting 100% normal in the hospital. The doctors gave them many more symptoms and suggested they had to stay a long time. Eventually people came to clear their names and they were SHOCKED. Just goes to show you, don’t believe those fucks

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, that is the problem with psychologists and doctors in general….. the more they make you think that you are sick, the more you are going to come back, the more money they get in their pockets.

      It’s called ‘having a reason to lie’.

  • Anonymous says:

    People, Hate to break it to you but you have just been trolled by a word play.
    “They examined hikikomori cases involving subjects aged 16-35 who approached the centre for assistance.
    Approximately 80% of the cases resulted in a firm diagnosis”
    …read it again…see it yet…? No?
    Ok. The vital part is “who approached the centre for assistance.”.
    If some doctor starts taking note of his patients, he would end up with the dramatic discovery that more than 90% of the people are sick.

    • Anonymous says:

      They have enough money….where are you going with this?

      Normally people like this have very little budget and don’t spend much at all.

      They are normally very smart and learn not to spend money on useless shit.

      Well w/e be a sheep, while you are at it read this


      Basically says society is shaped by the outcast who see problems with it and change it within. Without those people society would never change.

      By the way take a look at aspergers, and look at important figures in history that were questioned to have it.

      Einstein-a loner that hated interaction with people. retarded I guess…

      George Washington- Hated being in public and enjoyed living a simple life with little interaction…….guess hes retarded right

      please continue being a sheep

      • Anonymous says:

        You completely missed my point, I am myself a semi shutin and enjoy my life like no other. I develop software projects as a freelancer. The point was, not everyone has a decent inheritance or parents to leech from in order to pay their rents, food, etc. I do respect other people’s choices, some people enjoy anime and games, I enjoy math research as a hobby, does that make me a sheep or a retard for the matter?

  • Anonymous says:

    Look, he/she refuses to get a mindless job like everyone else and stay home and enjoy anime and games all day. HE/SHE MUST BE RETARDED!

    For fuck sake, have not been to a psych. but I know I have Asperger’s because of the pych classes I took.

    Okay then…I ask you this. Who is the retard

    A person that works for the rest of his life unhappily with little enjoyment.

    A person that enjoys his time by himself by not being a sheep to society and without working a mindless job?

    If you ask me, the retards are the ones that cave into society for the social need of acceptance.

    • Anonymous says:

      > A person that enjoys his time by himself by not being a sheep to society and without working a mindless job?

      > If you ask me, the retards are the ones that cave into society for the social need of acceptance.

      They usually don’t *want* to be a burden to the admittedly broken society, but hikkikomoris are anyway, and mindless drones are not.

  • man: get a job.
    otaku: I can’t find one, nobodys hiring.
    man: too bad, just go get one.
    otaku: are you even listening faggot?
    man: fuck you, retarded! fag!
    otaku: whatever, I’m outta here.
    man: man, that guy’s retarded. ok we’ll diagnise his ass as retarded too.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s partly true that being an otaku will probably alter your capacity to pass a job interview, though.

      Stopping to be an otaku and replace it smartly may help. Whether it’s worth the crave to die soon is to be decided on the estimate of a future life where you just try to be happy, and how bad the environment would take it if you eventually decided to fuck it and commit suicide.
      I found a job quickly and a few years later went back to otakuness before I killed myself. Now I proved myself and can find jobs out of recommendations. I’d say it’s worth it.

  • Anonymous says:

    i have insomnia, general anxiety disorder some pseudo-hallucinations and sometime depersonalization
    if you have anxiety and the treatment fails you’ll be a hikkikomori by the way my IQ is ~157 (average of multiple tests)

  • I really don’t think you have any idea what you’re talking about here. Your perception of schizophrenia has probably been fucked over by Hollywood.

    “Schizophrenia” is basically just a general term for a bunch of different symptoms. Most schizophrenics are just generally antisocial and/or bad at relating to other people. There are tiny levels of schizophrenics who would actually murder people- even less than the general population, some suggest. Though, admittedly, that could be because a lot of them tend to shy away from social contact.

    It’s pretty sad how society tends to just label these people and just shunt them aside into a single misfit group- even worse when they just lock them away in loony bins, citing the pathetic reason “it’s for their own good”.

  • Anonymous says:

    I haven’t read the whole discussion, so sorry if it’s already been said, but:

    80% of Hikikomori “Retarded or Schizophrenic”

    …is a nice example of twisting facts.

    They examined hikikomori cases involving subjects aged 16-35 who approached the centre for assistance.

    In other words, they got it bad enough that they couldn’t stay at home any more and had to go ask for medical assistance. Even so, 20% of those who thought they were ill turned out to be healthy.

  • Anonymous says:

    Very few psychiatrists are actually intelligent, they have a checklist that they match your problems up with a known illness, no grey area’s.

    The people in the labs actually finding new ways to cure people and make life better, I would much rather trust there opinion. Instead of a bunch of people who make money off others by blindly probing people without seeing the further damage they can and usually do.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m just wondering do they not realise how stupid this is? It’s like saying 80% of those who came to the hospital complaining about having trouble breathing had respiratory problems and a third of those had asthma. So? That just means people who are ill and even many who aren’t seek help. Those who don’t have problems just don’t go out.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yeah, right…… Japan had better get real about this, because from what I have seen, most of those people are NOT mental ill nor retarded in the slightest.

    In fact, since this came out, some of them have been indignant, posting IQ tests that prove that they have IQ’s greater than the average.

    The fact is that most of those people are VERY SMART when it comes down to it, society just doesn’t work the way that they would like it to, so they retreat from society.

  • Anonymous says:

    Sounds like bullshit to me. Being a shut-in isn’t unique to just Japan and yet no other country in the world is ready to say that 80% of their country’s shut-ins are mentally retarded.

  • Anonymous says:

    Well when it comes to things like this, you have to remember mental illness is defined by comparing the patient to average statistics for human behavior. Anything that isn’t in the norm can be called a mental illness – but this does mean the definitions will change along with the society. In a society of hikkikomoris, if you could even call it that, it wouldn’t be recognized as a social problem. It wouldn’t need to, or even be considered for treatment. Instead, people wandering around outside all the time would be considered the weird ones, possibly with some kind of “disorder” because of their attachment to going out and socializing in person.

    Pedophilia is considered a mental illness today, but turn the clock back even 500 years and that would be ridiculous. Psychology is very much meant to serve the current needs of society – they aren’t following the orders of God, or ensuring that people follow their “true nature” (which is nonexistent) – they’re making sure everyone is within society’s norms and can adapt to it. It’s not necessary, but it’s not going to go away.

    If you’re a hikkikomori and dissatisfied with your life, I would recommend getting help with your problems, whatever they may be. But if you’re really and truly happy with yourself, know that the only people unhappy here are the government and big companies that would rather you worked in a factory or something and brought them more money. It isn’t a matter of goodness or badness. Don’t worry about it – just because they say you’re “sick” doesn’t mean you’re “wrong.” Nothing is wrong!

    I think this kind of publicity, while on one hand increasing social stigma against hikkikomori, may also be used to back laws requiring shutins to get mental help. But if that ever did happen, they’d realize it was a mistake… How can you force a happy person to change? The Nazis and Communists did it by pervasive social propaganda, forcing people to conform – but can you do the same to people with no social lives at all?
    -Psychology Student

  • Anonymous says:

    In America or Europe, at least they’ll offer actual assistance for those with such problems.

    In Japan, however, they’ll just brand you for life, thus preventing you from ever getting a job in the first place.

  • Anonymous says:

    Confirmation bias: It has been shown in many research programmes that when an apparently mentally healthy person gets diagnosed by a psychiatrist who for an external reason suspects an illness, anywhere from 30% to 70% get false positive diagnoses.

    Selection bias: This research included only hikikomori that went looking for mental help. So the news should be that 20% of hikikomori who think they are mentally ill are actually healthy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hit the nail on the head. The fact is that society today is EVEN HARDER TO LIVE IN than back in the 500’s!

      Things have not gotten ‘easier’, by and large they have gotten HARDER.

    • Anonymous says:

      Developmental disorders are well….. bullshit to be blunt. The fact is that some people have tried to say that I have ‘developmental disorders’…. nope, the fact is that I just don’t like the way that society is going and REFUSE to take part (at least with adults) in it until they stop acting like asses.

      • Anonymous says:

        At some point you’ll either just not have a choice or make a burden of yourself.
        The best you’ll be able to do will be to limit interaction with society a lot. Believe me, where I live it’s *hard* to get a job when you do that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Apparenty for quite a bit of the people here, it is, seeing the reactions…
      Seems like not being able to go past your own room’s door is a sign of perfect mental health to some people here.

      • Anonymous says:

        I do see a difference between being unabled and not wantin to bother to.
        But I think most cases are actually unabled. Plus, I have to go out sometimes just to be independant, and I have to go for a walk sometimes to avoid getting any crazier.

        Still, the need to leave house is overrated.

  • Anonymous says:

    “They examined hikikomori cases involving subjects aged 16-35 who approached the centre for assistance.”

    That’s a convenience sample, these results shouldn’t be trusted.

    Though in the government’s defense, it’s hard to do a simple random sample with these kind of people.

  • Anonymous says:

    I would think that most of them would be highly depressed and have bad anxiety problems considering they probably don’t want to be shut ins to begin with..

    I don’t think that retardation would equate to personality defects or maladjustment though..

    • Anonymous says:

      Avoiding people whose company you don’t enjoy is not a mental illness. SPDs don’t enjoy or try to form social contacts at all. It’s entirely possible to detach yourself from your entire social circle and still maintain desire to discover new relationship, especially if you live in a relatively small and closed minded community.

      SPDs don’t hate other people. They just don’t want to form relationships with them.

  • Anonymous says:

    For those who read through the whole thing, there are really no surprizes there.

    Anxiety disorder, “personality defects” or “maladjustment” are expected to be pretty common among people who lock themselves up in rooms or houses.

    As for the third part OF HIKKIKOMORIS having development disorders and mental retardation is possibly the reflect of a nation that can be very judgemental and non-acceptant on society standards.

    Those people end up locking themselves because society won’t accept them as they are.

    Taking those people out by force isn’t the solution.
    Rather, having social programs to offer opportunities to those with development disorders or mental retardation could help.

    All in all, there will always be hikkikomoris out there, Japan or not.

    • Anonymous says:

      Right in one, but I don’t think that these people need help. I think society needs to expand to realize that people’s differences are fine, and to stop harassing people because they are different from them, for whatever reason.

      • Anonymous says:

        If the hikis managed to live on their own money that they somehow earned themselves, yeah society should just accept them and those people would not be in need of help.

        However, that’s usually not the case – the current typical hiki is just a parasite contributing nothing to society while feeding of either his parents or the government, and that is a problem that the society will have to try to fix.
        If you’re not earning your living, you have no right to whine about how people should just accept your differences, because while your parents might be fine working their asses off feeding you while you make no effort to better you situation, most other people aren’t.

        • Anonymous says:

          I could call Paris Hilton that same thing as well!

          See the problem there with your point of view.

          Fact is that it is not these people who need to change, SOCIETY needs to change to allow them to become a functioning part of it.

  • First they base the total number of Hikikomoris on the number of cases of Schizophrenia, now they’re guessing number of Hikikomori Schizophrenia cases on a sample of Hikikomori? Something just doesn’t add up…

    • Well, this study is massively flawed, because a real hikkikomori doesn’t leave his house. Can’t make such percentages of an entire population off such small data. The hikkikomori that went out for help, probably weren’t complete hikkikomoris. Thats like saying you interviewed 30 people in a wheelchair, then saying 40% of the population is in a wheelchair.

  • Anonymous says:


    “Mind your own business” yeah, sounds VERY society like. And blaming society is SO 60’s, grow up.”

    Indeed emo spotted.

    U want to tell me that hikkies came out of nowhere just like that ? Surely even you with your pink society glasses should know that nothing comes just like that, ewerything has action and reaction, if society is action,hikkies are the reaction, wich tells us sometihng is wrong. U want to tell me that this society where ppl dont care about others then themselfs, where beliefs are made to manipulate eweryone, where the crime system is made to give criminals the same rights as those who were victims of their crimes, where the word peace is used to make weapons and wars, is good ? For me hikkikomori are ppl who sayed “no” to this society, to ppl like you who dont see anything else then their own wellbeing. Society should be sometihng where ppl help eachother and are mature enough to understand others not only themself, if u want to tell me that this is the case in our present society, well then..go first grow up.

    • Anonymous says:

      You should probably exploit a different type of rampant xenophobia to prove your point; the argument you are lambasting is considered legitimate by too many. Unless, of course, you also consider it reasonable. In which case, kindly cry elsewhere.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well, to be honest, that is terribly similar to the first suggestion. I’d have to give the same recommendation again. Might I advise something to the effect of ‘A significant portion of internet posters who make up statistics on the spot murder strangers.’

          Because it is sufficiently random, it is funny. And, because internet posters may be members of any ethnic or racial group, you come off less like a pretentious, righteous cunt. Of course, I leave it up to you…..cunt.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not any less than the society that creates them or the people who shun them and make it harder for them to rejoin it. Come now, surely you don’t think that some people want to be hikkies/NEETs since the moment they were born.

  • Anonymous says:

    This is a pretty bad article. First, from the description the study itself sounds flawed, since the group of hikis being studied were those who “approached the center for assistance”; this has been pointed out in other comments.

    The title is the worst part though. The summary states 2/3 of 80% retarded, schizophrenic, or something similarly serious; but the title is “80% Retarded or Schizophrenic.” That’s a pretty big disconnect…

    • Pretty much it usually takes an out right disaster to get them to admit the system is broken.
      Some times it takes a change in power and those where were in control never admit there was a problem.

      A good example is the war on drugs in the US and it pretty much has taken replacement of people in control to get changes to happen.

  • Anonymous says:

    Its allways amusing to see such researches, they are trying to “fix” their mentall illness’s but dont see its the society’s doing. Brutality, killing, wars…all this comes from this wonderfull society by ppl who arent even hikkies, if eweryone would just mind their own buisness like hikkies this world would be a much better place. They want to cure them but dont see the illness called “society”, where eweryone wears a mask, to hide the beast. As allways such researches are made so people dont see the true nature of things. The humankind didnt evovle at all, we are still barbaric and primitive as we were ages ago, this is what needs to be cured.

        • Anonymous says:

          Both common sense and logic will teach you in their separate ways you’d better mind your own business and never get involved with people’s lives in society, if they did not ask for it.

          It will also teach you that a thinktank being from the 60’s is no ground for… Well, for anything else than it being from the 60’s.

          As for being mature, it is possible to point out defects without whining about them.

    • TehBoringOne says:

      You certainly point to something… Towards your own delusion.

      If everyone would just mind their business LIKE HIKKIES (your words), there’d be no world. No food would be produced, no services for those same hikkies and so on.

      And the “illness” called society that you so fondly speak of is what has made humanity prosper… The wearing masks and shit is common.

      Is society fucked? Hell yes! But it’s still better to live in it instead of being a parasite, leeching from someone else… like most of the hikkies.

      Remember the article of the fucker who killed several of his family members and burned the house? Or the one who killed her father after reading Higurashi or some other shit? The one who hit his father with a buddhist statue? Extreme cases, yes, and likely a minority. Still, those were fucking “hikkies”.

      What the fucking government should do is grab them by the throat, get them the fuck out of where they are and make them do something useful.

      The way most hikikomori are is something called parasitism. Doesn’t matter if they got fucked by life. Parasitism is parasitism.

      • while i support forcing the hikkikomori to go outside and interact, doing it in 1 go, and dumping him/her into the middle of a crowd will just cause them to have a breakdown. These people fear going outside in almost all cases. There should be better treatments for them. People with social stigma’s wont get better if you don’t help them, if you don’t help them then your just perpetuating the reason they became hikkikomoris in the first place.

        • TehBoringOne says:

          Yeah, my idea of grabbing them by the throat was harsh, I admit it. But those people have to go out and do something worthwhile, instead of just leeching from their parents.

          Many of them have computers. They’re valuable tools if you have the right skills or determination to aquire them.

      • Anonymous says:

        “And the “illness” called society that you so fondly speak of is what has made humanity prosper… The wearing masks and shit is common.”

        Well pardon me but its fucked up becouse ppl just get to conclusion like yours, its fucked up but its better then nothing right? Well such stance wont change anything if we are to fix something in this society, milions of ppl are thinking exactly this way, they are rather being encaptured in their own snobish lazyness becouse its easyier to just surrender to the system then try to change it.(dont get me wrong im not speaking against u i speak in generall what i think of that) Also i did read the articles, but why “Still, those were fucking “hikkies”, what about the fucking soldiers who killed countless families, people in the name of peace, murders who will never come to daylight and other bs. All this points to the system of society, ewerything has an impact on something. What im speaking of is that ppl like hikkikomori didnt came out of nowhere, they are the outcome of whats happening in the society. There are far more worser mentally ill ppl who are pulling the strings, being at power, u will say im delusional, speculating but maybe people just dont want to see this even if it is right before our eyes, since its esier to close them and walk away.

  • Anonymous says:

    According to the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

    “Mental disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. When applied to the 2004 U.S. Census residential population estimate for ages 18 and older, this figure translates to 57.7 million people. Even though mental disorders are widespread in the population, the main burden of illness is concentrated in a much smaller proportion — about 6 percent, or 1 in 17 — who suffer from a serious mental illness. In addition, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada.”

    Perhaps nearly one in four, 57.7 million in the US with some diagnosable condition. About 6% with a serious disorder.

    “Approximately 2.4 million American adults, or about 1.1 percent of the population age 18 and older in a given year, have schizophrenia.”

    1.1 percent of the entire Japanese population with just schizophrenia would be 1.4 million, greater than one estimated amount of hikkikomori. So what is so outlandish about 80% of a possible one million hikkikomori in Japan (“only” 800,000), so seriously affected that they may confine themselves to their homes or even their own bedrooms, without communicating with outsiders or their own families; unable to go to school or hold down jobs?

    Japanese surprised at such a number are simply one indicator of how poorly understood and stigmatized mental illness is in Japan. They would prefer to believe it doesn’t really exist on that scale, and that those who commit certain shocking crimes (like a handful of otaku or hikkikomori who kill) represent the mentally ill.

  • Anonymous says:

    Looks like Japan is preparing to do what the US Supreme Court just legitimized: if you don’t like someone’s lifestyle call them ‘dangerous’ and throw them away for life.

    Out of sight, out of our way, and out of our minds so we can pretend we’re safer.

  • Anonymous says:

    Shit’s getting serious?
    They spread all this bullshit and manage to label them as real crazy people and then one day they all disappear and get sent to a special happy place for them far away from the rest of society and are never seen again.

    • Anonymous says:


      Hikikomori may be otaku, but what really identifies them is how they withdraw from society, sometimes confining themselves to their homes or just their rooms, minimizing interaction with their own families, in some cases for decades at a time. Stuck in their own homes or bedrooms, not meeting real human beings, what are they supposed to be doing? It is no surprise if they obsess on books, manga, anime, computers, or any other pastime.

      • Anonymous says:

        You should keep in mind that hikkikomori actually do tend to have wide social circles – online. It’s not uncommon to see them interacting with hundreds of people on a daily basis, but they’re still considered to be socially inept… laffo.

        • Anonymous says:

          I disagree that Internet is easy mode; it’s just different. For example, in real life you can – if you aren’t over-scrupulous – for example easily talk past most people by rattling of a dozen little points in a conversation. As long as you do it with confidence and you ensure that each point is at least sufficiently superficially plausible enough to need some sort of counter argument, it works every time. At the very minimum you will be able to derail any discussion from conclusions you don’t like and if you play your cards well, people will afterwards have the vague impression that you were right. Often this is all you need, they will do the rest themselves. Now, on the internet, that doesn’t work at all, so in that sense in this perspective, real life is easy mode. Of course, this is just one example. On the whole I think the two are too different to designate one of them as easy and the other as hard mode. Both are kinds of social interaction, but different and which is preferable depends on your goals, needs, wishes and ideals.

        • @17:25
          Making an appropriate, intelligent or funny statement that fits the mood is easy when you have plenty of time to google, rethink your post, double check things.. etc
          IRL you have to do it in a matter of milliseconds.
          Also, IRL you need to back your stuff with proficient body language and bearable looks.
          Small talk skills are also required because unlike in the internet, conversations lack a substantial subject more often than not.
          For example, I’d be hard pressed to articulate a response at this level if this was a real conversation.

          tl;dr -> internet is easy modo for social interaction. You can still be socially inept.

  • Anonymous says:

    I do bet a lot of the hikikomori are injured. Lots of them probably do have head injuries caused by family and neighbors just as it is done every where else around the world. Neighbors pay people to bash their neighbors kids brains in but not kill them so their own kids make 1st chair in band or the cheerleading team. That happens everywhere espically in Texas. Since the hikikomori didn’t get any help from their own family I am sure a load of them only leave the room to use the bathroom.

    So part of the story probably is very correct, saying they were born this way however is probably a crime too.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think that japanese education is very strict, because of that, some people become aside the rest of the society, they become hikikomori. The japan goverment don’t want to change the education system so the only way for not change it is say that hikikomori people are mentally ill.

    Bastille, Otaku and Hikikomori people are not the same. Basically because hikikomori don’t might visit for instance the comiket. 😉

    • Well, its not just the education system, its also longstrung morals and tradition. Most male hikkikomoris that i know, their lifestyle changed because of women. Because of the way most women in japan are hardwired from birth, if you don’t make lots of money, your nothing but shit. And sadly, this gets to alot of the hikkikomoris. Then theres also social stigma altogether, alot of it just deals with money and power. “If your not influencial, your just crap”. Then some of it is just laziness or fear. Some like the lifestyle they have and wont give it up, which leads to this.

      Hikkikomori is a social disease for the most part. Society caused it in some way, but instead of taking the blame for it and trying to help, they just point the finger at the easiest scapegoat.

  • Anonymous says:

    Speaking as a 5-year post-college hikikomori currently living off the love and kindness of their wonderful parents, I feel compelled to denounce this as hogwash. Honestly I’m just lazy and don’t really want to work, and I find it too frustrating to sell myself to an employer with such a large block of non-work preceeding me.

    Ergo, I have become self-employed. :-]

  • Anonymous says:

    I find it fairly easy to call anyone differnet than me mentally ill rather than accept that not all of them like the same stuff.

    seriously, things like mental illness are largely subjective to societies standards, if 90% of the population were hikkikomori than the poeple going oustside would be mentally ill, same for people slapping “mentally ill” on anyone that isn’t extroverted, nearly every introvet has some kind of mental illness according to physciatrests, I stay inside prettymuch all day and supposedly have OCD and ass burgers syndrome but I find myself to be fairly normal spare that I hate going outside.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s also fairly easy to call all psychiatrists ignorant of what they spent 10+ years to learn.

      A person is mentally ill when they either cannot properly function in society, or are prone to harmful behaviour to themselves and/or others. What’s so subjective about that?

      According to your argument, if 90% of society decided it’s ok to rape little children, then anyone who doesn’t rape little children is mentally ill or a criminal?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, if 90% of society raped children, those that didn’t would probably be considered to have some kind of developmental problem preventing them from being like everyone else.

      • “A person is mentally ill when they either cannot properly function in society, or are prone to harmful behaviour to themselves and/or others. What’s so subjective about that?”

        For example, if the society is messed up (which it is), then maybe not being able to properly function in it should be the normal, not the other way?

        • Anonymous says:

          Seravy, you are exactly right. Society today is really messed up.

          Discrimination against people just because they don’t like the way that they live their lives or their sexual orientation.

          Dishonest people getting rich, while the honest people get poorer.

          Need I keep going on in the ways that society is seriously messed up!

        • Anonymous says:

          There is a difference between being able to function in society, and making reasonable choices to avoid social groups that you feel are not beneficial or downright harmful to you.

          If a society is messed up and you want to avoid it, that doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot function in any society, or indeed, participate only as much as you find it necessary to.

          It’s obvious that the Hikki lifestyle is harmful for themselves and their family, as it is not sustainable for prolonged periods of time. This goes beyond mere social perceptions. It’s basic critical thinking at work.

          It’s one thing to be basement shut in, but a whole new grade when you refuse to go outside even if risking your own health.

        • Anonymous says:

          You’re living in an area which, I assume, has a semblance of control, rules, and is, generally functional. That area thrives and is able to support morons like you because of its society. Call it messed up if you want. The alternative can be much worse.

  • Anonymous says:

    80% sounds way too high. Such a research could easily be flawed if the psychatrists responsible for the diagnosis knew they were dealing with hikkies (very likely) beforehand. It’s also possible that the sample set was not random enough and the research used data from existing medical records.

    There are too little details in this article, and msn.com isn’t the most creditable peer review journal. I will reserve my judgement.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mental illness is not defined by tiny deviations from a generic thought process. That’s what computers are for.

      Mental diversity is a natural consequence of evolution. There would always be good and bad results, and the bad ones tend to be filtered out through natural selection.

      If all humans were mentally ill, we would not be able to function as a society. Since we do, we cannot be mentally ill, because that contradicts to the very definition of mental illness.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wrong. The fact is that all humans could be called mentally ill if they were HONEST about their little peculiarities.

        The fact is that mental illness (outside of things like paranoid schizophrenia, clinical depression, etc.) are too viewpoint to be relied on.

      • I wouldn’t call destroying our own planet by overusing limited resources a “functioning” society.
        I wouldn’t call a society that bases its whole economy on debt “functioning” either.
        I wouldn’t call a society where you can raise your voice only once every 4-5 years at the election, and even then have a very limited choice of selecting one out of like 2-5 parties, “functioning” either. And this is in the so called “democracy”, in other nations, you can’t do that either.
        There is no society, there are a few leaders per country and the fate of the country lies in their hands. If they mess up their job, you are screwed.
        This “society” will either radically change in the next 10-20 years, or it’ll fall apart along with civilization.

        But yeah, humans aren’t mentally ill. They are just stupid (well, most of them). And they label anyone they can’t understand with their limited way of thinking “mentally ill” because that makes it easier for them to deal with it.

        Besides, anyone who realizes how messed up the world is, will eventually be different enough to be labeled mentally ill by the sheep people.

        • Anonymous says:

          And what exactly is a “functioning society” for you? Last I checked, the word’s definition does not consist of “a sustainable economic and political model”.

          According to the laws of natural selection, the weaker individuals shall die and give way to the stronger individuals, which in turn will die to give way to even stronger individuals and it goes on and on until everyone is dead, or until individuals surpass any possible limitation and no longer have any reason to oppose each other.
          Now, where exactly does it say that assholes need to die in order for everyone to live happily ever after? Because I’m fairly sure that natural selection favours assholes above everyone else.

          It may come as a surprise to you, but humans evolved this sheep mentality because it works. When it no longer works, it will change. As long as people don’t have visible incentive to change, why would they change?
          If there is to be such a thing in our lifetime, those enlightened enough to prepare for the fallout of uncontrollable overuse of resources, or those who have a strong enough social standing to buy themselves the privilege will prosper. And the rest…. well, natural selection is a bitch.

          However, this doesn’t make society dysfunctional. It merely means that there are those who extract the greatest benefit from it, and those who suffer for the benefit of others. It’s not held together by rainbows and happy thought, but it works, and you can easily recognize this by the increasingly stronger standing humanity has.

          In the long run, it doesn’t matter how many milions or billions or gazillions die. All it matters, is how far the survives went by stepping on all those corpses. If you don’t like it, then I suggest you better start working on your political (or terrorist) carrier, because you only get to live once. The future generations will judge if your ideas were good enough.

        • Anonymous says:

          With people hormone or neurotransmitter levels are out of whack, or there are structural problems which result in the parts of the brain, or the entire brain, not working properly. To say that these people don’t have a mental disorder, and to write it off as ‘just stupid’ is about as silly as saying ‘he has no heart disease, he just can’t do any sports or heavy lifting’. Moreover, it does nothing to help people overcome the troubles they are facing.

        • Anonymous says:

          Regardless of whether the brain is truly blank at the beginning, it surely does not come with the various standards and social activities that define different societies. This is obvious by the fact that different societies have such wildly different standards and expectations.

          It is all about how different they are from what is considered normal because the more like minded a group is the more functional that group is. There is nothing wrong with them as individuals. Their society just can’t see a function for them so they are considered dysfunctional. Most disorders would have been considered fine for the individuals sake. It is when that individual has to deal with people who conflict with those “disorders” that there are problems.

        • I have to agree, I don’t think sheep should be able to label others as mentally ill. This is basically a less brutal version of the Witch Hunts…(so far). Anyone who thinks differently of the norm must be mentally ill, so then the rest of society locks you in a square room in a white strapped suit and keeps you medicated. Its sad how those who cry “tolerance and equality for all” are the first to stab you in the back and throw you in your padded cell.

  • Ikuhisashiku says:

    The “developmental disorders” part was kind of easy to predict. Along with the “personality defects.”
    But the way I see it is that they tried to make the other third actually look like some kind of problem by giving it a fancy label. The “maladjustment” part.
    They knew it would be the easiest thing to identify as a problem, making their study seem useless. But give it a fancy name and some “treatment”?
    Problem solved.
    Makes it look like you actually did something that wasn’t a giant waste of time.

  • True Hikkikomori don’t seek assistance. The ones they researched were the ones forced to stay in due to the mentioned illnesses/problems. Suggesting that 80% of all Hikkis are mentally ill based on this is nonsense.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, I was thinking close to the same thing :
      the people looking for help does not equal the whole hikikomori population.

      So, it may be a bias in the statistics from the beginning…

      But still, I personally think that it would not change the statistics THAT much.

      • Anonymous says:

        The way the derived their numbers, specifically the 80%, is bogus because they were seeing how may people who were ill (and bad enough to seek treatment) were hikomori; that’s completely different from sampling a large group identified only as hikomori and testing to see how much of that population has a diagnosable condition.

        It’s basically the same as asking 5,000 self-identified schizophrenics what their favorite color is and then announcing that some percentage of *everyone* whose favorite color matches the most-chosen one is schizophrenic. (The percentage, like in this bogus finding, would match how many of the self-identified sufferers actually were schizophrenics.)

        Then again, I have no idea if the real numbers are lower, higher, or exactly the same. In this case it’s just that the methodology for finding this conclusion is flawed. (And, as is usually the case in scientific reporting, the statistic could have been a creation of a reporter who doesn’t understand statistics but does know what makes for an eye-catching story.)

        • Anonymous says:

          having an IQ of 145 in Cattell and 128(half a byte) in Wechsler, i can only think that the fact some one becomes a loser, will lock him self and only have thinking and media left to do… mentally it might develop some one to certain degrees… i know i had a lot of mental shit with A’s and D’s and H’es and people could lose friends if caught talking to me but still my only true problem is that i am satisfied playing video games to starvation, i have no desires for money, im 23 and not planing to work… the catch is i will need one day to work, i never pay any attention to people and i will now need to unhermitt my self… to top it, i will lose the net in a day or so… but if my working brother would not borrow money from my social welfare dad who makes half and makes me live on it ontop… we would have 800$ and not 600$ while he alone made 1500$ and each time i confront him he says i don’t understand what having money is like… would i like to?!?! my crumbling buble is better than your exploding rocket man… ill rise, just more stable!

        • Anonymous says:

          hmm assburger… it reminds me of a nightmare i had once… i went to Mack Daunold and all the workers were shitting burgers and coffee and then i started to vomit and only bergers and coffee was pooring out… making it more disgusting from the previous setup…

          but seriously Aspergers seem totally normal… was IS the problem? not feeling bad unless some one dies? not being able to be the maestro of a conversation but in reality the maelstrom? and LOL i too am having an IQ of 145 in Cattell(in Wechsler it’s 128, half a byte! or maybe im signed… -127 ROFL negative IQ)

          so emm, “EpicSlayer7.666” seems to be an assburger and now “Proclaim” this to now be named Epic Robotisme! because face it, it’s not every one who can kill a jet with c4 instead of simply sniping them but can’t unawkwardly speak even if lives were relying on this lol… well if social is life, then i died, but if thats a game, then ill press space later!

        • i know a lot of people with a similar condition. doesn’t that rather mean there’s something wrong with everyone else?

          anyway, the best you can do (if it isn’t really bad) is a lot of training and social interaction to develop coping abilities. not perfect, but works surprisingly well.

          also: schizophrenia covers a wide range of mental conditions, part of which aren’t even biologically caused. blame the system, don’t fight the symptoms!

      • “Approximately 80% of the cases resulted in a firm diagnosis, and of those a third involved mental conditions such as schizophrenia or anxiety disorder, all of which were considered to require medication.

        A further third involved mental retardation and developmental disorders.”

        Yes, mental retardation is not the same as aspergers or autism but they clearly fall under the categories mentioned within the article.

      • yuriphoria says:

        It’s really not surprising, Japan had simultaneously a lower percent of mentally ill people as well as a novel social problem of hikikomori, it only turned out that the mentally ill population was hiding in their rooms.

        Now that these people are getting diagnosed the percent of mentally ill people will approach that of other countries and the “hikikomori” phenomenon will be recognized as a fad.

        • Anonymous says:

          Problem is that if previous articles on Sankaku hold true there are about ten times as many hikikomori as there should be retarded and schizophrenic people. I’m not dissing the research, I’m sure it was very thorough, but as with all studies the real difficulty is in what to make of the data. There may be selection biases, which in my opinion are to be expected in this case, cause-and-effect issue, and so on.
          But even when you get rid of all that, your work is still laid out ahead of you. You have described the situation, but the real conclusions still need to be drawn, the real hard questions still need to be answered. And if experience from my own generic European country is any judge, that is the part that gets dealt with much too hastily in most cases. ‘Studies indicate X, from which it is clear we must do Y.’ The thing is, the Japanese government may have had its conclusions ready before the study even started. Governments usually do.