Monday, March 31, 2008

I Think I'm a Hikikomori

First off you may be wondering what a hikikomori is. According to, a hikikomori is "a Japanese term used to refer to the phenomenon of reclusive individuals who have chosen to withdraw from social life...". So in short a hikikomori is a person reclusive enough to withdraw from social life and even the world.

I go outside, but not everyday. I take out the trash and roll my garbage can to the front of the house on Wednesdays. I go to classes (most of the time) and I go to the store for food. I have friends, but ever since a certain incident about a month ago I havn't spoken to anyone. Even before that incident I rarely spoke to any of them for more than 15 minutes a week or month if at all. I love sitting at home or on the bus and reading a novel or playing video games. I also enjoy anime, which has put me into this wonder about my being, about what I am and how did I get here.

"Welcome to the NHK" is the name of an anime series I've been watching lately that deals with hikikomori and NEET. "NEET is a government classification, first used in the United Kingdom...[it means] 'Not currently engaged in Employment, Education or Training'." The main character is a reclusive individual who wonders how he came to be a hikikomori and due to other characters in the show, he's being made to get rid of his reclusive ways, but it's not easy for him nor for me.

Before last month I didn't venture outside that much because of the below freezing temperatures and my amazing ability to slip and fall on ice without much effort. At least that's what I told myself and everyone else. Now for the snow and ice is gone and it's decent enough to wear an unzipped jacket outside. I have a regional bus pass that will take me almost anywhere I want to go today, and I'll be replacing it tomorrow for a pass that will work in April but I doubt that I'll put it to any good use.

I don't hate the sounds of others' voices, I just don't like them enough to listen to them. The only exceptions are my sisters voices, my nephews, and any woman with a wonderful voice. When I leave my house I either do not feel safe or I feel confined. When I don't feel safe I think everyone is out to get me and think of hateful thoughts and crazy anime-esque scenarios. An example? Sure. I'll imagine the dogs I hear barking escaping their chains and chasing after me wildly until I get on all fours to run alongside them and take my kingsize bit out of their sides and rip open their mouths to the point of splitting their heads in half horizontally. These thoughts are often violent, but usually have a bit of humor to them although that example didn't and is one of my darker thoughts.

When I feel confined I do sometimes feel safe, but I also feel stranded in my own world that makes everything else feel unreal. I don't like feeling this way, because to be unreal is to not be a true part of this world. If I'm not a part of this world and I'm not immersed into a world of my choosing then I may as well be a wandering spirit. People will cross the street to avoid me and do many other things to not acknowledge my existence. I do the same thing to people from time to time, but at the very least I try to make eye contact with people I'm passing and to say "hi"or "hello". To not receive an answer is just another low point of my day.

I've been told that I am reclusive individual by many, even by some of the people I call friends whom I actually consider to be my friends. I think, at least for now that I may be doomed to be reclusive as I don't feel too comfortable around other people, I even find things consciously and subconsciously about everyone that I meet that I don't like and it will seriously nag me more than Loretta from the "Longhorns" comic.

I am at the very least a forum rat and am involved in two group projects at my college. Maybe those will help? Maybe I'm making something out of nothing. For the 0 people who read this that aren't me, what do you think?


cbrowning said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
שיראל said...

Are you still there?
I know I'm writing this comment a few years after you wrote your blog post, so I seriously doubt you will read this, but I'm writing this anyway, just in case you do.
You have no idea how I felt while I read this.
I'm sixteen years old and clinically depressed. (Part of it is genetic, since there is a history of depression in my family.) But this does not mean I stay in bed all day, doing nothing. I act almost like my normal self, and people who know me would never guess that I'm depressed. Almost no one knows how I actually feel.
I've always felt extremely uncomfortable and awkward talking to strangers, and by strangers I mean the whole world, except about ten people. I usually dislike leaving my house and do it as rarely as possible, because I feel threatened outside. I think I understand how you feel. I wish I could talk to you.
If you happen to read this, please answer me.

srkelley said...

Sorry for missing this comment for so long. I usually get direct emails. Feel free to do so at srkelley5 of googles email domain.

srkelley said...

I'll post an update on my situation.

I still feel anxiety when being around others but I've found ways of existing around others. Sometimes it's too much, I still can't handle big crowds well. If I have an anchor, another person that I can focus on and hang onto (not physically, although that helps) then I can do it.

I've discovered that part of it is the anxiety of possibly becoming the center of attention. Objectively, it sounds so stupid. I should be able to do anything that any other person does. I work a job, I do it fairly well and make good money. I'm thinking about buying a house soon.

Somehow I have a daughter now as well. I seem to attract women with low self-esteem, that have been abused or just desire someone to listen to them. If they're interesting I can obsess on them. If not, I can't do anything with them.

I've studied myers briggs types, which are a questionable method of determining personality items but still seem to have some form of effective correlation. I've unofficially been diagnosed with asperger's syndrome.

I don't like the idea that I'm not to blame for my own actions and behavior. To fall back on being autistic, even a high functioning form, is surreal. It's like I can see it but I can't accept it. I liked the idea that I was an INTj, that somehow I was an asshole or disembodied INTJ. To know that I can never be a regular person or have the same social standing as an extroverted person is depressing.