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A recluse is someone in isolation who hides away from the attention of the public, a person who lives in solitude, i.e. seclusion from intercourse with the world. The word is from the Latin recludere, which means "shut up" or "sequester".

A person may become a recluse for many reasons: a celebrity may seek to escape the attentions of his or her fans; a misanthrope may be unable to tolerate human society; a survivalist may be practicing self-sufficiency. It can also be due to psychological reasons, like: apathy, a phobia, schizoid personality type, or various anxiety disorders.

It should be noted that this practice may not be voluntarily as one may become a recluse due to illness. A person may also become a recluse for religious reasons, in which case he or she is usually referred to as a hermit or an anchorite. [How to reference and link to summary or text]

Reclusiveness does not necessarily connote geographical isolation. A recluse may live in a crowded city, but infrequently leave the security of his or her home. However, isolated and sparsely populated states (e.g., Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska) often harbour recluses, who are often seeking complete escape from civilization[How to reference and link to summary or text].

In Japan, an estimated 1.2 million people suffer from psychological problems which cause reclusive behavior. The phenomenon of "Hikikomori" or "social withdrawal" has become a major problem, often blamed on Japan's education system and social pressure to succeed.

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