K-pop solo star HyunA has opened up about her mental health in a message written on her Instagram. In it, she said she's been dealing with depression, a panic disorder and vasovagal syncope - an illness which causes fainting when your body overreacts to certain triggers like emotional distress or the sight of blood.
In the message she talked about growing up wanting to be an artist and achieving her dreams. She wrote:
"Time went on and after my debut I became an adult, and I thought I needed to take responsibility for everything I do, I thought I shouldn't make any mistakes, and I wanted to be someone that was everyone's choice. Because of that ambition, I just looked straight ahead and kept running. I didn't know I was sick..."
She said she felt supported by fans and the people around her and put off seeking help, but when she went to the hospital in 2016, the doctor diagnosed her with depression and panic disorder. She spoke of her disbelief saying:
"I think I didn't believe it [the diagnosis] for a year. Now, I naturally get treatment once every two weeks, and I try not to think badly about it because I have many people around me."
She goes on to say that then she began to experience her vision becoming foggy and she collapsed. However, she thought it was a symptom of her panic disorder and ignored it. After getting her brainwaves tested, she found out she has vasovagal syncope.
Speaking of wanting to be on stage but fearful of collapsing again, she wrote:
"I wanted to keep my secret for a long time, but whenever I would fall down, I'd feel anxious on my own and I felt so sorry. When I was doing an ad or something else on my schedule, when I was doing an event, I was so sorry to the many people who had believed in me and entrusted me with that. So I wanted to relieve those feelings even a little bit, and that's why I'm saying this honestly. Although I was cautious, I didn't hide it and gathered up the courage to try to talk about it."
HyunA ended her message on a positive note, with a message we can all take into our own lives:
"I'm going to keep bravely trying to be well, but I think people can't be perfect. I think it's not too late and I'm going to love myself and take care of myself. I'm going to be courageous and honest, like I am now."
You can read a full translation of HyunA's post on Soompi.
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