Hikikomori silent epidemic: a case study

  • Ante Silić | ante.silic@gmail.com Department of Psychiatry, Sestre Milosrdnice University Hospital Center, Zagreb, Croatia.
  • Jakša Vukojević Department for Urgent Psychiatry, Vrapče University Psychiatric Hospital, Zagreb, Croatia.
  • Ilaria Čulo Department for Urgent Psychiatry, Vrapče University Psychiatric Hospital, Zagreb, Croatia.
  • Hrvoje Falak Department of Cardiology, Dubrava University Clinical Hospital, Zagreb, Croatia.


Psychiatry, as we know it, is at a crucial point because it needs to adapt to the modern time and still maintain the integrity and ethic aspects of the therapeutic alliance. Bearing in mind the rising prevalence of new addictions like Internet and online gaming addictions, one can see that, however, disputed, there is a whole new category of psychiatric illnesses on the rise. An example of these kinds of illnesses is Hikikomori. Hikikomori, or severe social withdrawal, pertains to patients who have stopped participating in everyday routine and would spend the majority of time confined in their room for the period of 6 months or more, with no evident psychosis. Although this syndrome was originally described in Japan, over the course of last few years it has been documented in several parts of the world, spreading like a silent epidemic. Our case study, being the first documented case in Southeast Europe, according to our experience and literature search, is a vivid example of this syndrome. In this report we discuss differential diagnosis, show what kind of therapy was efficient in the successful treatment of this syndrome and how it can be prevented in the future


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Case Studies
Hikikomori, Social withdrawal, Trauma, Internet, Psychosis, Psychotherapy
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How to Cite
Silić, A., Vukojević, J., Čulo, I., & Falak, H. (2019). Hikikomori silent epidemic: a case study. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 22(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2019.377