The death of South Korean boyband SHINee’s frontman Kim Jonghyun, who died in an apparent suicide (Dec 18, 2017) has cast a spotlight on the crushing pressure faced by K-pop artistes. But it has brought to centre stage the issue of depression and mental health to the centre stage. The 27-year-old who died in a hospital in Seoul after he was found unconscious in a hotel room left a suicide note in the hands of his good friend Nine9 from K-pop group Dear Cloud, detailing Kim Jong Hyun’s struggle with depression. In the letter, Jonghyun revealed that he was “broken from inside” and “engulfed by depression” and it has reached the point that he just “couldn’t defeat (depression) it anymore”. He also went on to say that he felt very much alone.
It was perhaps this loneliness that inspired the late singer to pen the lyrics of the song “Lonely”, a song he sang with Girls’ Generation member Taeyeon. Like Jonghyun, Taeyeon has spoken openly about her own battle with depression. In an Instagram post dedicated to Jonghyun, Taeyeon revealed that the SHINee singer wrote the ballad with her in mind, “I still remember you told me that you wrote “Lonely” while thinking of me. We’re alike, aren’t we? I know how you felt”.
Most recently, South Korean actor, Jeon Tae Soo, lost his battle with depression and passed on on Sunday, January 21 2018.
Depression isn’t a mental health disorder that only affects celebrities – it can affect anyone.