Hikikomori: clinical and psychopathological issues
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Hikikomori is the Japanese term used to define a condition of social withdrawal, typically involving adolescents or young adults, who refuse to attend school/work, seclude themselves in their own room, and interrupt personal relationships, communicating only via the Internet. Although the phenomenon shows a clear correlation with Japanese culture and structure of society and is prevalent in Asia, lately extra-Asian scientific literature has begun focusing on individuating hikikomori-like cases worldwide, following the hypothesis that hikikomori may be a global, crossnational issue. Aim of this paper is to analyse the scientific literature currently available about hikikomori, providing a coherent discussion on the characteristic features, the clinical aspects and the related psychopathologic issues.
KEY WORDS: hikikomori, social withdrawal, adolescents, psychopathology.