Depression is a vicious beast that many people unfortunately suffer from. There are many ways to keep depression in check, but for some people, they keep those darker moments away through the power of K-pop.
In a new thread over on Reddit, fans got into a discussion about how K-pop has helped them through their depression. With Reddit being the home to a large number of fans who have diverse tastes and interests, the answers were certainly very interesting.
Here is what some fans had to say in regards to K-pop helping them through their depression:
- "For me it was like a whole different universe, so it was the only way I could escape from the s****y real world. I will be forever grateful."
"To put it bluntly(and kinda drunkenly), 'I'm not killing myself! Not if -insert kpop artist name here- is having a comeback. I NEED to hear that.'. It was like my favourite artists were having comebacks every other week.
That was me about 2-3 year ago, but now I like to think I'm much better. I certainly haven't had suicide thoughts since."
Personally, it is the over abundance of upbeat songs, combined with the fact that most established groups have released some sort of song about their struggles or to cheer up fans. But on a larger scale, it is the manufactured personalities of idols that are meant to make them seem perfect, or where their flaws are turned around and portrayed in a good light.
When I first struggled with depression/anxiety, SHINee and F(x) were my biggest supports (with EXO and VIXX joining in a little at the end). I made a post a while ago about how SHINee's A-Yo literally saved my life and helped get me through the toughest times in my life.
For me, it was partially the bright flashy colors, but it was largely how nothing is seen as something that's part of "you", everything is something to work on.
People are criticized for not working on their appearance, their attitudes, their "personalities", and sometimes (rarely) praised for changing them. Like, it isn't that someone has a bad personality, they just didn't work on it, or need to work on it. That's not something that people say so much in Western culture when it's much more about embracing your differences and being yourself (not that that's not also a good mindset, it just didn't help me). It just gave me different way to think about things, that the things I disliked about myself and my life weren't necessarily "me," but maybe something I could work on improving too.
I've been fighting depression on and off since 2013, when I graduated from college. it actually took me several tries to write and map out my reply because I never really thought about how kpop affected my life, but the gist of it is that it gave me an escape. it's a different culture, in a language I don't understand, and no one I knew irl aside from a few friends had heard about it. I could go home after a shitty day at work and immerse myself in a whole new world that had no ties to my real life.
- The music/funny videos/choreo are a way to escape and basically like instant gratification. Also, some artists, like BTS' Suga and BAP's Yongguk have written songs/lyrics about their experiences or have at least mentioned them at some point. Being able to connect with someone over shared experiences, especially with an idol who had the same metal health issues, is really meaningful. Suga's verse in BTS' Tomorrow made me feel like someone finally understood what I experienced regarding depression/having suicidal thoughts. The Last and So Far Away from his AgustD mixtape really gave an candid look into his mental health journey and the times he felt his worst. I was also so impressed that he wrote about seeing a dr for his issues because not only is that hard to talk about in general, I know the huge negative impact mental health stigma has on the Korean society as a whole.
If you're feeling depressed or just need someone to talk to, make sure you contact beyondblue at 1300 22 4636.
Listen to SBS PopAsia Digital Radio!
Listen in 24/7 on Digital Radio, by downloading our free mobile app or by streaming live here on our website.
Download the app here: