"I started to blame myself and my parents also blamed me for not going to school. The pressure started to build up," he says.
"Then, gradually, I became afraid to go out and fearful of meeting people. And then I couldn't get out of my house."
Gradually, Hide relinquished all communication with friends and eventually, his parents. To avoid seeing them he slept through the day and sat up all night, watching TV.
"I had all kinds of negative emotions inside me," he says. "The desire to go outside, anger towards society and my parents, sadness about having this condition, fear about what would happen in the future, and jealousy towards the people who were leading normal lives."
Hide had become "withdrawn" or hikikomori.
In Japan, hikikomori, a term that's also used to describe the young people who withdraw, is a word that everyone knows.
Tamaki Saito was a newly qualified psychiatrist when, in the early 1990s, he was struck by the number of parents who sought his help with children who had quit school and hidden themselves away for months and sometimes years at a time. These young people were often from middle-class families, they were almost always male, and the average age for their withdrawal was 15.
It might sound like straightforward teenage laziness. Why not stay in your room while your parents wait on you? But Saito says sufferers are paralysed by profound social fears.
"They are tormented in the mind," he says. "They want to go out in the world, they want to make friends or lovers, but they can't."
Symptoms vary between patients. For some, violent outbursts alternate with infantile behaviour such as pawing at the mother's body. Other patients might be obsessive, paranoid and depressed.
|Dec 10||Abe defends Japan secrets law as poll ratings plunge|
|Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday defended as "necessary" an unpopular secrets law that he rushed through parliament, as a new poll showed his support rating had plunged 10 percent in a month. (AFP )|
|Dec 10||Japan's crown prince to attend Mandela's memorial service|
|Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito will attend a memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, a government source said Sunday. (Kyodo )|
|Dec 10||Embattled Tokyo governor offers to give up full pay for one year|
|Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose on Monday offered to give up all of his pay for one year to take responsibility for accepting questionable financial assistance from the Tokushukai medical group. (Jiji Press )|
|Dec 10||Onodera: S.Korea's air zone not immediate problem|
|Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera says South Korea's decision to expand its air defense zone will not immediately cause problems between the 2 countries. (NHK )|
|Dec 09||Japan revises GDP growth to annual 1.1 pct in Q3|
|The Japanese government on Monday downgraded the country's July-September economic growth read to an annualized rate of 1.1 percent, down from 1.9 percent released last month. (Xinhua )|
|Dec 10||Annual gun festival held at shrine in Saitama|
|Dozens of hunters fired blank shots to drive sacred horses up to a shrine in an annual gun festival in Saitama Prefecture, near Tokyo. (NHK )|
|Dec 09||Crown Princess Masako turns 50, in recovery process|
|In a written statement issued for her 50th birthday Monday, Crown Princess Masako pledged to continue efforts to overcome a stress-induced illness that she has been dealing with for 10 years. (Kyodo )|
|Dec 09||Singapore chef licks competition in Japan cuisine contest|
|Singaporean chef Li Kwok Wing has trumped nine other chefs from around the world to clinch the gold medal in the finals of the inaugural Washoku World Challenge held in Tokyo on Sunday. (Straits Times )|
|Dec 09||Tokyo cops bust Chinese hooker club in Nippori|
|Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Monday announced the bust of a prostitution club featuring Chinese women in Arakawa Ward. (Tokyo Reporter)|
|Dec 09||OLs also profiting from illicit photo sessions|
|Tokyo Metropolitan Police in November announced the bust of a studio for allowing photography of school girls in seductive poses. According to Shukan Jitsuwa (Dec. 19), the trade in illicit private photography is varied, with office ladies among those in the biz. (Tokyo Reporter)|
|Dec 08||Pearl Harbor attack map fetches $425,000 at U.S. auction|
|A post-battle Japanese damage assessment map of the Dec. 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor air attack was sold for 425,000 dollars at an Christie's auction in New York Friday. (Jiji Press )|
|Dec 07||Ex-Mainichi reporter arrested for menacing Jiji press chief|
|Japanese police arrested a former reporter of Mainichi Newspapers on Friday on suspicion of making phone threats against Jiji Press Ltd. President Yutaka Nishizawa. (Jiji Press )|
|Dec 07||Mother, three youths arrested over robbery in Kanagawa|
|Kanagawa prefectural police said Friday they have arrested four individuals in Ebina, in connection with a robbery case in which a pregnant woman on her way home was struck in the face and robbed of approximately 100,000 yen in cash. (Japan Today )|
|Dec 06||4 youths arrested for throwing bikes onto expressway|
|Police in Kawanishi, Hyogo Prefecture, said Thursday they have arrested four youths aged 16 to 19 for throwing two bicycles onto an expressway from an overpass in October. (Japan Today )|
|Dec 06||Kobe light festival starts|
|An annual light festival commemorating a major earthquake 18 years ago has opened in the western Japanese port city of Kobe. (NHK )|