K-pop's dark side: fromis_9's Jiheon is latest idol to be diagnosed with anxiety disorder
The girl group fromis_9 are currently seeing a reversal in their fortune as they went from being an underrated group to finally getting the recognition they deserve after they signed with their new label, Pledis Entertainment. Fans were worried as Pledis doesn’t have a history of managing girl groups well. But it looks like, under the new management of HYBE, they have been handling fromis_9 pretty well. In fact, the girls’ latest comeback, ‘DM’ was their most successful one yet with fromis_9 also getting their second music show win with it.
Unfortunately, things have been a little rocky for fromis_9 for the past few weeks. We first had member Seoyeon getting Covid-19 amidst their promotions. Leader Saerom’s words were then misunderstood when she shared on VLive that she was tired of the girls being separated due to the quarantine guidelines but Knetizens thought she was tired of talking to fans. And now, fromis_9 has announced that Jiheon will be going on hiatus due to her mental health issues.
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Jiheon has anxiety
On February 24, Pledis shared that Baek Jiheon will be going on a hiatus. She had been feeling unwell and visited a hospital where she was told that she had psychological anxiety. They explained, “The artist herself has a strong will to continue with her activities, but as recommended by the physician, we thought it was better that she focus on recovering her health for the time being. Therefore, we would like to inform you that Baek Ji Heon will temporarily not be able to participate in fromis_9.”
Mental health issues plague idols
Jiheon will be focusing on her personal life and the label hopes that fans will wait for her till she is healthy enough to meet them again. Unfortunately, she has become one of the many K-pop idols who have, of late, been going on indefinite hiatuses due to their mental health, which has fans alarmed. Previously, it was reported that WJSN’s Dawon had anxiety disorder while SHINee’s Taemin was struggling in the military due to depression.
TWICE’s Jeongyeon has been going on and off from hiatus as she too is suffering from psychological panic disorder and anxiety. At the same time, former DAY6 member Jae Park had shared that he had panic disorder and that the cyberbullying from trolls was getting to him. We also had NU’EST’s Aron, Ateez’s Mingi, Monsta X’s Jooheon and Loona’s Haseul going on hiatus for a long time due to anxiety and other psychological disorders.
However, it is commendable to see that there has been discussions about mental health after young idols are going public about the toll of the K-pop life. Idols having to train day and night without proper care is a rampant issue. But it is an issue that the K-pop industry has turned a blind eye to, till recently. But the times, they are a-changin'.