Hikikomori begins with neglect by mother. A child who are not loved cannot expect to be loved by others.
A child creates a false self who is lovable by his mother, and hides the true self. The child becomes two-faced with false self and true self at this point out of fear of abandonment.
Both masked hikikomori and social hikikomori numbs emotions out of fear of abandonment because they believe that they will be disliked by people if they are honest about their feelings.
This is how basic symptoms of hikikomori develops:
- Distrust of people
- Fear of people (taijin kyofusho)
- Dual identity of public and true self
- Emotional numbness
Compared to functional mother-child relationship, a person of hikikomori hides emotions and cannot ask for love to the mother. If the child is reserved to the mother, it develops to nervousness as to others and become fearful of speaking honestly about their feelings.
Attachment trauma can be experienced through below symptoms.
- Prone to depression
- Inability to develop intimate relationships (friends, opposite sex, one’s own child)
- Nervousness when interacting with others or in any relationship in general
- Adjust to others’ needs and ignore one’s own needs out of fear of being disliked
- Prioritizes others’ needs out of fear of being disliked
- Unable to communicate well, such as inability to describe one’s feelings, what one is feeling currently, or cannot verbally communicate with others
- Feels like one does not belong to anywhere
- No one knows one’s true self.
In addition to above symptoms, hikikomori also has symptoms of PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder.