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Am I an Hikikomori

by Black Holez

Hikikomori is a psychological condition which makes people shut themselves off from society, often staying in their houses for months on end. Due to external circumstances of being attacked on social media and my friends turning on me and trying their best to isolate me, I’ve been like this for more than 2 years already. My routine consists of waking up in bed, staring at walls, staring in front of a computer screen and then logging into the internet for hours on end and only going outside to fetch my girlfriend either in the afternoons or evenings. I feel so empty and so lost that my mind is beginning to shatter. Anyone else here a shut in? How does your day go by and how do you manage to stay sane in all of this.


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Once 12/11/2018 - 10:20 pm

I’ve gone through periods of being shut in. They last anywhere from two to maybe seven or eight months, and they’ve been spread out over the last fifteen years or so. Fortunately, they’ve occured at times in my life when I had some money saved up, because during those times I had quit my jobs, and shut myself off from the world to stay high and be angry.

As for staying sane through those times, as long as I was high, sanity didn’t matter. When I became sober is when maintaining sanity became an issue. The only thing that worked for me was rejoining the real world. Becoming involved again, finding a sense of purpose through finding a job. I had to have that sense of routine to keep my mind from imploding. I’m in one I those periods right now. Over the last two months, I’m starting to realize that it’s time for me to reestablish routine again, so after a year of unemployment (I did have a part time job briefly for 3 months) I’m beginning to build “routine” back into my life. I have various tasks to do each day, and am attending a workshop at an employment agency that meets three days a week. I am volunteering also at an animal shelter, where I’m forced to engage with other people. Same with the workshop – I have to interact. Without that interaction, my mind will just rot.

This is how I’m doing it. This is how I’m keeping my mind from shattering. Believe me, if I could have it my way, I’d rather isolate and just shatter, but I have a commitment that I’m doing my best to honor – without that, my decision would be quick and easy.

I’ll spare you what I think you need to do. It would just be more advice from strangers. The one thing I do know is just that without some form of human interaction, things won’t change. Whoever created us designed us to be social, and it sucks, because I don’t like being social, but I’m finding out that for me to keep my mind from shattering, it’s a necessity. At the animal shelter, I’m working with animals primarily, but there’s also people around that have the same passion for the animals that I do, so that helps make it tolerable. At the workshop, I’m around people who are also looking for work, so again, we have that in common.

At some point, you’ll have to maybe try for yourself, and see if there’s some kind of social activity you can tolerate. (And here I go with the advice I said I’d spare you. Lol.)

Anyways. That’s how I do it. I wait until the isolation starts making me seriously depressed, and then I begin rebuilding some sort of routine that includes social contact, my least favorite thing.

Black Holez 12/12/2018 - 1:04 am

You’re lucky then because they only lasted a couple of days or months for you since you mentioned they’ve been spread out for the last 15 years or so. I am afforded no such recourse. I need social activity that badly. I want to kill myself from the boredom, loneliness and isolation.

jr. 12/12/2018 - 4:00 am

why dont you look for a job, volunteer somewhere or do something with your girlfriend? this social activity you are desperately looking for is not going to come to you, you have to go to it. you are sitting in your home expecting your problems to be solved by you doing absolutely nothing. wont like a job so you can buy your girlfriend something nice once in a while?

Black Holez 12/12/2018 - 8:47 am

I don’t live in the west. Jobs are hard to come by here and I come from the middle class. That means I’m expected to hold comfy office jobs and holding low paying labor jobs is viewed with some kind of social stigma like I stepped down on the evolution ladder instead of moving upwards. There aren’t meet up groups here since people are pretty much social and extroverted by default. You’re right though, I need to get my shit together. My financial reserves won’t last for long if this continues.

Mouse 12/12/2018 - 4:22 am

Life is pretty damn boring even for a non shut in.

Skarsgard 12/12/2018 - 8:24 am

I can relate. Ive been a hikikomori for 12 years straight and counting. It started when I quit school because of bullying then I told myself to take a break for a while before trying to apply to a different school. I never did. I thought I was okay spending some time off on the outside world but it made me develop a fear.. fear to go outside, fear to the unkown danger, fear of people who might think bad about me so I decided to just stay at my room. It changed me in every possible way. After 12 years I almost feel like I’m not human anymore. I mean sometimes I question myself if I still exist..

Black Holez 12/12/2018 - 8:45 am

So what’s your day-to-day routine if you don’t mind me asking? I only go out only when necessary or if I want to talk to my neighbor but that only happens when he’s at home as he has a job outside the city we live in. Like you being a shut-in seems to have changed me for the worse. I stutter, I can’t handle normal conversations and I seem to space out. It’s like I’m a walking corpse or something.

Skarsgard 12/13/2018 - 12:19 pm

I just do whatever I can like binge watch movies, listen to music for long hours or read lots and lots of books. Sometimes I just stare at nothing for a long period of time. Likewise, I can never handle normal conversations too. I never answer the telephone or even calls on my cell. Actually I can’t remember how my voice sounds like. It’s been 12 years since I last talked to someone except through chats. I feel the same way too.. a walking dead. Like my body just move itself but my mind is far away. Sometimes I even look at my own hands and ask myself who it belongs to. It feels like my brain is slowly dying because I isolated myself for a long time. I just wish I won’t forget my own self in the process.

Skarsgard 12/13/2018 - 12:30 pm

I know I’m not in a position to say this but if you can still manage to go outside even for a little time you should do it. Maybe do it more. It doesn’t have to be about socializing or being somewhere place to be. Just be there to appreciate the view or even just the air. I know its very difficult to stop the anxiety whenever you force yourself to go out but trust me it will get worse if you stay more inside of the house. Our home is like our comfort zone. It feels good to be there all the time. At first its just about chilling or relaxing but after a year..12 years? Its hell. I just want to share my experiences not to make you feel bad but just a stranger who doesnt want other people to suffer the same fate as him.

Black Holez 12/13/2018 - 7:46 pm

Have u considered joining a monastery? There’s free food, free water and a place to stay as well as living with a community. I’ve decided I will become a monk if all else fails. At least I will have some structure in my life and live at peace.

Skarsgard 12/13/2018 - 8:52 pm

Im not really sure about it. I mean my parents provide me with everything at the moment. They just told me not to worry about anything. I feel bad being like this but I dont think I have any other choice. Do you like to be a monk? I mean is it really what you want for yourself? Its a good idea though..like a new kind of life. Maybe your mind will be open to better things in there.

Black Holez 12/13/2018 - 9:50 pm

My parents also provide me with everything but I don’t think I can last living like this for another year. It’s already eating away at my sanity. I’ve got nothing left – no job, no friends and family is kinda distant with me. It’s my last resort. I don’t even know if the monastery will accept me becoming a monk but it doesn’t hurt to try. Anything is better than living like a corpse at this point.

Black Holez 12/13/2018 - 9:52 pm

How old are you by the way? I’m already 33 hence the need to catch up and settle down kinda suddenly showed up inside me. All those regrets of wasting away my time, my job, my friends just suddenly came crashing down.

Skarsgard 12/14/2018 - 11:34 am

Yes youre right you should try entering monastery if your mind is really open to it. The important thing here is that you are willing to change unlike me Im not sure if I really want to leave this house or even my lifestyle anymore. Im 24 years old. I was very young when I got sick so yeah I have lots of regrets too but its not our fault to be this way. What matters now is that you are willing to make yourself better. I wish I can have that courage too but I dont know anymore.

AXYZ 12/12/2018 - 11:27 pm

I don’t think you’re a textbook hikikomori (unless they broadened the definition in the last few years), but it definitely sounds like you’re developing some sort of agoraphobia or related issues. Technically, hikikomori don’t leave their homes ever. Some don’t even leave their rooms (parents or servants leave food outside their door, and they only grab it when nobody is anywhere close). They don’t talk to anyone, ever.

So just the fact that you have a girlfriend and you get out once in a while and see people, that means you’re not as bad off as it could be. Of course it could get worse, but if you’re asking these questions now, then there’s a good chance you can stop it from getting to that point.

There are some great documentaries on hikikomori. There’s a good one called Left Handed. Couple others if you check youtube. Hikikomori are hard to treat because they literally don’t talk to anyone. My guess is, like most of us, you have severe social anxiety and are extremely isolated. It sucks to be a cliché, but that’s what they say most suicidal people are like (sure describes me).

Black Holez 12/13/2018 - 12:57 am

I guess that’s true but I’ve become kinda dependent on other people to socialize or be out there. I guess I’m stuck between limbo between being hikikomori and being social. I just want the pain and isolation to end TBH but I don’t know where to start, where to find new friends or where I can be accepted without being judged as this depressed sad guy who is in pain.

Black Holez 12/13/2018 - 12:59 am

As I’m writing this, I’m already just in my room browsing the internet doing nothing but waiting again until my girlfriend finishes her classes. I hate this routine. I want out of it bad. I’ve decided to become a monk instead of nothing changes in my routine. I’ll ask the abbey to consider letting me in if the situation continues.

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