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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

親への怒りと殺意 - どこまで本当?

親への怒りと殺意???

服部雄一: 「私のクライアントの七割近くが親への怒りを表現します。研究所以外のケースを見ても,引き蘢りは親への怒りが強く,そのことをしきりに口にします。「親は自分のことしか考えていない」「親は俺のことを理解してくれなかった」などの表現の背後には,親に甘えられなかった恨みがあります。こうした怒りが蓄積すると親への殺意になります。 親への殺意は引き蘢りの心を蝕み、親を殺すかもしれないと密かに恐れたり,そんな自分に罪悪感を持ったり,あるいはさらに感情をマヒさせます。 引き蘢りが感情を取り戻したとたんに親への殺意に苦しむのはよくあるパターンです。親への殺意は引きこもり治療の重要なポイントです 。」

Hattori Yuichi is a psychologist. In His book, “Hikikomori and Family Trauma”, under the section of ‘Hikikomori Therapy’, there is a subtitle: The hatred 怒りagainst their parents and intention of killing 殺意 them.

By the statements that stated by his clients, like “ My parents only care about themselves,” “My parents had never try to understand me.”… he believes that Hikikomorians have strong resentment and hatred against their parents for being neglected.

Yuichi believed that the accumulative anger in them shaped an intention to kill. Because of the strong intention of kill their parents consumed their hearts, it resulted in feelings of fear and guilt. This also further paralyzes the emotion of Hikikomorians.

Yuichi believed that It’s often seen that once a Hikikomorian regains his emotions, he will suffer from the desire to kill his parents. Therefore he believed (dealing with their )desire to kill parents plays an important role in treating Hikikomori.


With this believe, Yuichi actually would go further in probing his clients such as,
“Had you ever thought about of killing your parents?”
“The way you spoke suggested a feeling of hatred.”
“By what means that you thought of killing them?”
“Can you elaborate more?”
“In other words, you had not only thought about killing them, but you had also thought about the ways of killing them.”


For whatever reasons of that, personally I think this was a dangerous approach. A suggesting approach could lead the person to respond and fantasy in a certain way. Perhaps Yuichi justified this with his experience, and perhaps this therapy approach was as if peeling the emotions layer by layer, as in opening the secret hidden boxes one by one.

It was clear that in the book of Michael Zillenger, he had quoted these emotions of hatred and intention of killing their parents quite strongly among those who he had interviewed. But could these be a suggested effect by questions being asked? Or these are really the underline problem of the phenomena. Family dynamic does exist, but to what extend? Hatred against parents could be understood, but to explore the intention of killing with the questions shaped as above could be misleading. Thus, the finding could shift to one end.

Well, in terms of individual choice of therapeutic methods, I agree that Yuichi has his freedom and ethic rights to explore the problem as long as it is based on individual tailor judgment. However, a research without proper designed questions will lead to invalidity of the findings. When an experience of individual is being extrapolated to the population, it can easily be an error of ecology fallacy. As a researcher, or a public worker, we need to be extra careful in this area.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Need of Careful Assessment of Hikikomori rather than loose "expert's" opinion

The loose definition of "Hikikomori", and simplistic in putting on the caps of "causation factors" , "behavior patterns", "emotion inclination" to them is irresponsible.

A clear definition of "Hikikomori" needs to be define. A careful research needs to be carry out to test the theories and hypothesis that one made. The celebration of the event, and authors or caregivers because of the "unusual", "unique" phenomena, and tends to pin down one nation, one culture, probably slapping the nation on both side of her cheeks, is not sustainable in the long run, and the mentioned cause and factors remained no weight in public health intervention or policy implementation.

Social withdrawal, NEETs, depression, schizoprenia are all differet thing. In terms of sociology, or mental health or public health, these terms and needs of intervention need to be spell out clearly.

I celebrate the fact that people are taking concern on this event, and these people comes from different angle. Psychiatrist, economist, journalist, clinical psychologist, social workers, volunteers from different religion background, each tried to gage the problem in their own perspective. And of course works were motivated by different interest.

I believe that as a public health worker, we need to seriously and carefully look into these claims, and the magnitude of effect that had occured through media publications, voices and academic reports in the recent ten years. If the majority of these people who entrapped in social withdrawal are youths, it could become a major problem in the future 20-30 years. The burden on healthcare increase, the GDP could be affected, the single unmarry rate could increase, and so on.

It is important at this stage, that we need to ask these questions:
"What is happening here?"
"Who are being affected?"
"When did this start happening?"
"Where are the places having the problem? Does the phenomena has an origin? Or its a natural phenomena all across?"
"Why is it important?"
"How people are coping with this?"

These are basically my questions. However, with the loose cry, and aggresive claims over the issue with strong prejudice and individual perceptions make the case far more interesting and challenging.

In order to answer these questions, perhaps we need people who are likely minded to start accessing the questions from different angle. Only thourough examination of the phenomena with careful assessments on bits and pieces will carry weight and thus expand its influential effect. Generalisability of a theory is important to understand the phenomena and generate effective intervention or prevention scheme.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Confusion of Hikikomori and NEETs

Hikikomori or NEET are often being confused altogether in terms of their nature or interpretation.

Ishikawa Ryoko tried to help us to gain a clearer picture in this confusion. She interviewed people who regard themselves as "hikikomori," and point out the negative effects, especially for such individuals, caused by the confusion of the concepts of "hikikomori" with "NEETs."

"Hikikomori," which refers to youth in a state of social withdrawal, has been noted since the latter half of the 1990s in Japan. In recent years, the concept of "NEETs" has also come to attract attention. "NEETs" refers to young people who are "not in education, employment, or training."

The concept of "hikikomori" has been partly incorporated into discussions about "NEETs," and it is commonly said that the two can be discussed in the same context.

It seems to be some organizations dealing with "hikikomori" have started to support "NEETs."

According to the author, this confusion has a direct effect on individuals who consider themselves to be "hikikomori." Therefore, it is necessary to distinguish the two concepts.

In her interviews, what was revealed was that,

people who consider themselves to be "hikikomori" see themselves as inferior and withdraw from relationships with others because though they have difficulty working, they worry excessively that "working is the natural state for an adult." Their self-esteem cannot be restored immediately even if they participate in a self-help group. Informants re-construct stories about themselves and their lives and come to see the norm of life-courses in relative terms, and regain self-esteem from this. However, this can lead to a decline in their motivation to start working. Moreover, informants cannot overcome their distrust and fear of society. Therefore, sufferers of "hikikomori" seek a new way of life as they again ask themselves various questions, such as, "why must we work?" "What do I want to do?" "Who am I?" and so on. As they think through these questions, they resolve to make a fresh start. This process of struggle is in essence the process of recovery from "hikikomori."


Ryoko felt that the current measures for "NEETs," and "hikikomori" are very different. Confusing two concepts will :
1)deprive people suffering from "hikikomori" of the opportunity for recovery
2)lead them to abandon their own efforts voluntarily.


Re: Confusion of the Concepts of "Hikikomori" and "NEETs : Seen from the Perspective of People Who Regard Themselves as "Hikikomori". Ishikawa Ryoko. Tokyo Metropolis University.

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