Health

HyunA Opens up About Her Battle With Depression and Panic Disorder

The K-pop star details her mental health journey in a letter.

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2,082 Hypes

K-pop star HyunA, formerly of Wonder Girls and 4Minute, has taken to Instagram to reveal that she’s been struggling with depression.

Writing to her 12 million followers, the 27-year-old singer says she was first diagnosed with depression and panic disorder when she was hospitalized in 2016, but it wasn’t until a year later that she has come to terms with her condition.

In her heartfelt letter, HyunA goes on to detail her mental health journey, and explains that she also suffers from vasovagal syncope that has caused her to faint in the past.

“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,” writes the pop artist. “So I wanted to relieve those feelings even a little bit, and that’s why I’m saying this honestly… 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.”

After parting ways with Cube Entertainment, in April, 2019, HyunA officially signed with PSY’s new entertainment agency P NATION alongside DAWN. Her comeback single, “Flower Shower,” was released this November.

Read HyunA’s letter as translated by Soompi below:

“Hi, hello. To my fans A-Ing and also the many people who like me and are interested in me, I’m not sure if this is the right decision or not either, but it’s something I decided after a lot of thought, so I’m going to really tell my story.

To be honest, I’d dreamt of being on stage since I was very young. I achieved that dream and I received so much more love and interest than I ever could have imagined, and I think I went through a process of growth. Maybe because I’ve thought that I’ve especially had so many opportunities ever since I was young, I’ve always felt grateful and, to be honest, excited. At those times, I also felt sorry. 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 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. However, because of the great people and fans who were always together with me, I just thought I was okay. I put it off, said it wasn’t true and I was okay, but then I found out when I first went to the hospital in 2016 that I was ill mentally. Like how naturally when you’re physically sick you take medicine, like when you have a cold you have to take cold medicine, I was someone who had always been so tough, so I couldn’t believe the diagnosis of depression and panic disorder. I think I didn’t believe it 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. But then I first experienced my vision getting foggy and I collapsed. Several times I thought his must be a symptom of my panic disorder too and ignored it. However, a doctor advised me to go to a university hospital so I had some tests done on my brainwaves, and I found out that I have something called vasovagal syncope. I was lost and it seemed I had no options. I wanted to be on stage, but I was worried that if I kept falling down like this often, if people knew that I’m sick, then maybe people wouldn’t want to have me perform. Since I was worried about that, I didn’t want to tell anyone. 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 advertisement 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. 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. Thank you very much for reading.”

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