The American Psychiatric Association defines depression as “a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.” Shinee’s Kim Jonghyun battled his depression in private while smiling on stage for his fans until his death on Dec. 18.
Soon after, the internet was hit with a flood of posts from Kpop fans around the world. Jonghyun fan pages have posted the signs that were looked over. His cries for help were masked by the persona he kept as a performer. A video of Jonghyun’s last goodbye to his fans was seen as an habitual greeting before ending a live stream. But to him, it could have meant much more.
Jonghyun’s death is a reminder that you really never know what someone may be battling. As a famous figure in the Korean music industry, he had millions of fans across the world in addition to his friends and family members in Korea. Yet no one managed to notice Jonghyun’s severe depression and pull him out before it was too late.
Constantly wanting to show more to those who looked up to him, the spotlight made Jonghyun believe that he was not good enough. This is a feeling we can all relate to at some point in our lives.
After this traumatic event, fans have taken to the internet to urge people to take care of the people around us. Even if you are not a Kpop fan, there is a lesson here that can apply to us all. One conversation could save the life, so take a break from your hectic day to check in with those you love.