Withdrawn From Society: Almost A Million Japanese Men Refuse To Leave Their Bedrooms

Withdrawn From Society: Almost A Million Japanese Men Refuse To Leave Their Bedrooms


One of Japan's biggest social, health, and economic problems is men who refuse to leave their bedrooms.

The condition is called hikikomori and it's basically a specific form of depression caused by Japanese society.

Almost one million people in Japan, mostly men, have locked themselves in their bedrooms, refusing to interact with anyone.

Suffers like Yuto Onishi, 18, are forced into their rooms because of social pressure. They just can't take the constant scrutiny and stress put on them by society to always perform well and always fall in line. So they withdraw from the world. Onishi said:

"Once you experience it, you lose reality. I knew it was abnormal, but I didn't want to change. It felt safe here."

The problem with hikikomori is it gets harder to leave the room the longer they stay there. They sleep all day and live mainly online at night. Their entire existence is online.

Onishi stopped interacting with his friends and family, only sneaking out in the middle of the night to go eat.

Dr. Takahiro Kato, an expert in hikikomori, said:

"In Western societies, if one stays indoors, they're told to go outside. In Japan they're not. Our play has changed, it's all on screens and not real-life situations anymore. There are cultural reasons also, a strong sense of embarrassment and an emotional dependence on the mother."

So all of that combined leads to the perfect shitstorm of social withdraw and loneliness.

What's so hard about treating this disorder is the whole family has to get involved in counseling. The condition is often brought on by a lack of communication and trust at home.

Thankfully, some people are getting help, like Yuto Onishi, who's been out of his room for half a year now.

Hopefully others can follow his lead and make a change. No one deserves to live their life locked in their bedroom.