Hikikomori: desire for social isolation becomes a global phenomenon

TOKYO.-It may be normal for people, in these turbulent times, to want to stay in their homes for longer and longer without leaving, but when that inclination exceeds six months it is considered a pathology known as Hikikomori, according to researchers and doctors, in Japanand it is spreading throughout the world.

Recent studies in Japan confirmed that this pathology is spreading throughout the world, especially since the appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is already considered by researchers to be a global phenomenon, according to Infosalud from Europa Press.

Hikikomori syndrome, which was detected for the first time in Japan, is characterized by physical isolation or social withdrawal of people for more than six months and suffer from it, particularly adolescents and young people, between 15 years and 39 years of age, although its appearance at other ages is not ruled out. What is known is that everyone seeks to avoid any commitment to education, employment and even friendships.

A method is sought against prolonged isolation

Although the information does not specify in which other countries Hikikomori is present, it is stated that researchers from Kyushu University in Japan seek to develop a new method to evaluate the pathology of prolonged social isolation and apply timely treatment.

So far, a tool called the Hikikomori Diagnostic Evaluation (HiDE) and developed by Associate Professor Takahiro A. Kato of the Higher School of Medical Sciences in Japan is emerging as a guide to help doctors and researchers around the world to evaluate pathological social withdrawal, which is growing worldwide, according to a publication in the journal World Psychiatry, on which the report is based.

What it is about is developing a “cross-cultural” tool that helps identify and evaluate hikikomori individuals. “We would like our colleagues around the world to use it, so we can work on perfecting the tool. Hikikomori is becoming a global phenomenon, and a collective effort to recognize and treat hikikomori is going to be vital,” warned the researcher cited by the agency.

Pathology of Japan in the world

When the syndrome was detected in Japan in 1998, it was believed to be a “cultural problem,” but later studies determined that about 35% of young people had been seeking asylum for more than seven years.

According to a recent central government census, there are about 541,000 people between the ages of 15 and 39 who are counted among the “hikikomori” in Japan.

However, it is believed that there are more older people with the pathology, because Japanese society ages rapidly, so the problem is greater, experts say.

FOUNTAIN: With information from EuropaPress, Diario Las Américas Editorial Team