A social welfare group
estimates that Hong Kong has 18,500 "hikikomori", or young people suffering from
extreme social withdrawal and refusing to leave their homes.
The Hong Kong Christian Service (HKCS) based the estimate on a study of 192
cases it handled and a survey of secondary schools last year. The 18,500 young
hermits, some as young as 12, account for 2 percent of the city's youth
population. And it tripled HKCS' estimate in 2005.
HKCS said that sufferers often feel unable to face the intense competition in
society and escape to their own rooms. The case study also found that parents
are often too reluctant to praise their children.
(Wen Wei Po)