Essay On Hikikomori

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Hikikomori, or acute social withdrawal, is a culture-bound disorder which predominantly occurs in Asian countries. In Japanese culture, hikikomori is characterized by social withdrawal, self-imposed confinement in one’s own home, lack of intimate relationships with friends or family members, and the absence of engagement in social functions which occurs every day for at least six months (Cole, 2013). Social withdrawal, later named hikikomori, was first recognized and termed “withdrawal neurosis” within Japanese culture in the late 1970’s and 1980’s (Cole, 2013; Teo, 2010). Identification as withdrawal neurosis fell out of favor while “hikikomori” gained notoriety during the 1990’s. Hikikomori came into the spotlight as increased numbers of persons with hikikomori were referred for treatment. Public attention was also drawn to persons with hikikomori as media attention highlighted cases where persons with hikikomori acted in a violent fashion such as the 1996 case where a young man with hikikomori killed his father, with a baseball bat, after being confronted about his withdrawal (Tamaki, 1998).
Predominantly occurring in Japanese adolescent
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Added stigma could negatively impact persons who have withdrawn from society, impeding recovery and their return to society. Thus, it is imperative for practitioners and social workers working in Japan to understand the cultural implications of hikikomori and how it can differ from Western disorders. Through examination of cultural variances which can affect Japanese men, we seek to provide practitioners and social workers with an understanding of the cultural presentation of hikikomori in young Japanese males while highlighting how hikikomori differs from Western Diagnoses such as: social anxiety disorder, depressive disorders, and avoidant personality

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