While these factors should only be temporary, some seem to take it seriously which ultimately lead to extreme isolation. The longer the hikikomori stays secluded from society, the stronger its impact on his quality of life. They may even lose their confidence and self-esteem along the way.
Sadly, hikikomori is negatively perceived in Japan despite being a common occurrence. Rather than treating them with concern and support, they were often judged and dubbed as “good-for-nothing” individuals. Worse, some were left ignored by their own parents out of fear of being judged by the people around them.
There are individuals and organizations aiming to get them out of their seclusion. One example is New Start, a non-profit organization that serves this exact purpose. Volunteers, called “rental sisters”, contact the hikikomori through letters or chatting through the phone.
It may take some time for these so-called “rental sisters” to convince a hikikomori. But the ultimate goal is to encourage them to stay in the organization’s dorm and participate in its productive programs. They also host meals to help sufferers regain their socialization skills.
On the other hand, a Japanese study recommends medications and regular exercise to improve symptoms. A hikikomori should seek therapy to determine the root cause of his condition. It may be due to school, work or family problems. Regardless of the reason, it should be addressed immediately and attend sessions to improve the condition.
More importantly, families are encouraged to have a strong foundation to prevent this from happening to one of their members. Different issues can affect relationships, but at the end of the day, it is their family whom they can run to for comfort, support, and unconditional love.