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It's a term used to describe young Japanese people who seclude themselves completely from society (typically freeters or parasite singles). Hakikomories have been known to isolate themselves for up to 10 years or more, without ever hardly leaving their rooms!

Is it just me or is this just a fancy word for Avoidant Personality Disorder (or something similar)?
 

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Yeah, I've heard of it. A lot has been made of it being something unique arising out of conditions in Japanese society, but I think it is similar, albeit on the severe end of the spectrum.
 

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i guess it depends on the reason they do it, but it seems like severe agoraphobia or something.
Maybe some do it because they hate society or other different reasons.
 

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This is that thing that the main character in welcome to the nhk has isn't it? I think it's japans version of a mental disorder a lot of it has to do with the social make up and strict customs they have.
 

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This is that thing that the main character in welcome to the nhk has isn't it? I think it's japans version of a mental disorder a lot of it has to do with the social make up and strict customs they have.
In Japan I've come across a number of students who have socializing...deficiencies, who won't come to school because they are extremely shy, or who have suffered some kind of traumatic event. In Japan, though, they try to group all "oddities" together so the numbers are most likely inflated.

What's good is that the schools are pretty understanding about this, and will still be flexible enough to have these students go through with their education. Some teachers will visit their homes, or have them come to school AFTER all the other students have gone home to do some extra studying. I remember one girl would come to school, occasionally, and only talk to one teacher and be alone in the classroom and do all her schoolwork behind a curtain. No one was allowed to see her except for one teacher. It was kind of odd to see that, and it's an example of how shyness affects people in all different ways.
 

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In Japan I've come across a number of students who have socializing...deficiencies, who won't come to school because they are extremely shy, or who have suffered some kind of traumatic event. In Japan, though, they try to group all "oddities" together so the numbers are most likely inflated.

What's good is that the schools are pretty understanding about this, and will still be flexible enough to have these students go through with their education. Some teachers will visit their homes, or have them come to school AFTER all the other students have gone home to do some extra studying. I remember one girl would come to school, occasionally, and only talk to one teacher and be alone in the classroom and do all her schoolwork behind a curtain. No one was allowed to see her except for one teacher. It was kind of odd to see that, and it's an example of how shyness affects people in all different ways.
Yeah I read a psychology book that hypothesized that social anxiety problems aren't as bad in asian countries because the cultures look at shy introverted people as positive. Not to say that it dosen't happen, but there is less of a severety because people aren't ostracised for not being loud and attention seeking.
 

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i've really been getting into Welcome to the NHK. i love seeing the similarities between me and the main character (or at least, what could have been similar in certain situations, hehe). in the subtitles, it's "hikikomori", but hey, translation and regional variations, i wont be picky.
from what i've seen in the anime, it's pretty much exactly the same as SA and APD. but when so many things are so similar and cross so many borders, it's hard to say where one starts, and another finishes, and if there is any difference sometimes.
 
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