The tendency to retreat within the family space is a manifest tendency in adolescence. The end of childhood behind, with its “disbelief” in the parents, is marked by a hostile retreat into the enclosure of “his” room, at least until the sudden act of de-confinement takes place. The name of Alexis, one of the earliest saints, deserves to be given to a “complex” that provides a clinical paradigm: the saint finds a way to secretly infiltrate the father’s house incognito and lead a double life there, after having sought a wholesome Elsewhere outside of his family’s ideals. How can one not see in this a major fantasy of adolescence, one that is confirmed by Kafka’s Metamorphosis? It is troubling to find this reduced to a syndrome outside time and culture in the phenomenon of Hikikomori – the “self-sequestration” of Japanese adolescents – when it sheds light on the unconscious drama reconstituted here.
Adolescence, 2023, 41, 1, 37-49.