Wednesday, July 8

Hikikomori

I don't know if there is an English name for this situation, but I was intrigued to learn about this when watching the ABC last night.  It is not something one hears about in Australia but I have no doubt that there are some folk who "suffer" from this bizarre condition in countries other than Japan, but it is not discussed very much.  Here is some information about the condition in Australia - I think this was some years ago.

It has been a problem in China, and one website states that 24 million Chinese teenagers suffer from an addiction to their computers.  I recall that there were "re-education programs" for youth who were addicted.

One young Chinese man that I know, who stayed with me in 2013, was and is addicted, but when I was in China last year, I learned a little more about his situation, and sadly also learned that his family appeared to do nothing about it.

His family circumstances contributed to his situation.  He had an older sister, and I suspect the family saved up to pay government officials so that they could have another child.  So many men are determined to have a son, and they did, about 10 years after their daughter was born.  He was treated much better within the family than his sister.  She has made herself busy in the family business and he has ignored the family business.  I suspect he thinks that as the son, he will have to inherit the family business, but I would think that as he has not tried to learn anything about the business his sister will inherit it or at least play a major role in the business.

He was treated within the family as a "little emperor" for much of his life, and no doubt was rather "spoiled".  When I met him first he was rather obnoxious and spend a lot of time with his mobile phone.  In fact, he was always "on" his phone playing games and was most difficult to manage.  He didn't want to go anywhere when he visited me and really annoyed me - as I tried desperately to help him.  He was also ill when he was with me, but refused to see a doctor, even after I sourced one who spoke Mandarin.

When I visited his family in China in 2014, I learned that one of his issues is that the parents no longer lived together.  Father had another love in his life, and he had to live with his mother and sister.  Eventually, he refused to go to school and didn't event attend meals with his mother and sister. He sat in his room all day playing on the computer and only came out of his room occasionally to get food.  I suspect that he needed professional help - perhaps for depression.  In any case doing what he was doing was not going to benefit him long term.
The program on the ABC was interesting as some of the folk spoke about the way they had become hooked on computers and how they had turned their back on their families and "ordinary" life.





It is a sad condition - hopefully it is a situation that can be changed.  It must be awful for families to have to deal with their children - often now adults - shutting themselves away.

Here is another website with information that could be helfpul for families dealing with this addiction.

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