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Tuesday, 25 September 2007

A Case That Chilled A Psychiatrist To The Bone

I am a psychiatrist and the other day I encountered a case which sent a chill down my spine. Sometime ago a new family moved in my neighbourhood: a couple in their sixties and their son, who was about 30 years-old. The son was a so-called hikikomori(*) and was seldom seen outside his home. Naturally I couldn't ask the family directly but it was obvious that they had moved to the new place to escape from the social stigma.

Days had passed and the son went out less and less until he would not leave the house at all. He was now a complete hikikomori. Every night the mother was heard screaming at him in his bedroom. When I sometimes chanced to meet the mother she greeted me with a smile but she always looked pale and haggard.

A half year had passed since I last caught a glimpse of the son when his father came to me and said, "could I ask you to visit us tomorrow?" I had never been involved with them personally or as a doctor but since we were neighbours and neighbours were supposed to help each other, I agreed to come.

The next day when I visited them both father and mother welcomed me at the door. "Please, come this way," the mother said as she led the way to her son's room. When we came to the front of the room the mother suddenly shouted, "I'm going to open the door!" As soon as she burst in she shrieked, "why are you still sleeping? Get up!" She tore the duvet off the bed. I saw what was lying there and was struck dumb with disbelief. There was only one faceless, unclothed mannequin lying on the bed. Then the father told me, "the person I want you to see is my wife, who can not bear to accept the reality."

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Note:
*hikikomori - lit. "pulling away, being confined", i.e. "acute social withdrawal") is a Japanese term to refer to the phenomenon of reclusive individuals who have chosen to withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement due to various personal and social factors in their lives. (Wikipedia)

17 comments:

Jimmy said...

I'm hoping the son finally found a woman and moved out.

SAYA said...

Hahahaha!You are very funny, Mr.Jimmy!XD

Sugar said...

Wow! good 1.is the mum insane or something?:)

Gimpi said...

I was expecting a rotting corpse. Nice twist.

Anonymous said...

"Gimpi said...
I was expecting a rotting corpse. Nice twist."

yeah me too

iktikn said...

NEET here

I was expecting the hikikomori to acting like a psychopath.

FluffyChocolatey said...

But... but isn't it mentioned that the psychiatrist saw the couple moving in with 'their son, who was about 30-years old'? D: It's also said the psychiatrist saw 'the son went out less and less'.

saigonostalker said...

Yes, so the hikikomori most likely died, which was the 'reality' that the mother could not accept.

Kitsune said...

LOL! Jimmy sure is funny here!

Maxine Ride said...

Wait...so the mother was crazy all along????? then the son was....oh....weird...very...weird......

tb said...

reminded me of a lady that used to push her baby stroller around our neighborhood everyday. i was just a little kid back then and usually walked on the other side of the street but for some reason this day i had decided to walk on the street she was usually on. i liked children and all that but looking in the stroller really gave me a chill. the lady had been pushing around a doll the whole time. i continued walking home in awe and picked up my pace after i had passed the lady. i never walked that particular path again but i would often see her out there pushing the baby until one day she just wasnt around anymore.. maybe she had moved away? coming to a neighborhood near u perhaps? =P

Anonymous said...

I like to think the son left and never spoke to his mother again, so she managed to trick herself into playing like he was home. Or maybe she got fed up with his laziness and killed him herself and had become crazy with denial. There are so many possibilities..

Anonymous said...

posts like this make me understand why some people in this blog think that mentally ill people can be scarier than ghosts ._.

Anonymous said...

but i also think this is a very sad story... or at least for me, it is...

Yuki Iwama said...

I've read this before but it still made me shiver in fear. Reminds me of the case with the psychiatrist online and the girl who wrote to him about her "schizophrenic brother" I think its a much later post in this blog..
I hope you are still checking comments Saya! Me and my friends in Australia love reading your blog posts!

she-who-must-not-be-named said...

I'm a recent reader of you blog, Saya-chan. Your stories never fail to send chills down my spine. Keep up the good work!! :)

The doctor said he saw the son moving in with the parents. He also said that the son comes out of the house less and finally becomes a complete hikikimori. So there could have been an actual living son...

Hikikimori. Maybe the mom was strict and did not allow him to go out, or maybe the mother was hurting him during childhood and even until adulthood so the son became socially withdrawn..

At this point i'm not sure if the son died maybe because of his mother's beatings, or he resorted to suicide because he can't handle the beatings anymore and then the parents may have hidden their son's death from the public... Or the son probably ran away, or moved out of the house, or got married and the mother could not handle this that's why he replaced his son with a doll.

Ruri said...

I'd guess either the son was stuck with the mother because she refused to let him go, and when he finally left she snapped, or else he was living with his parents and rarely leaving the house because he was very sick. I know this story is old, but it is very nice, thank you Saya!