Ok-pop star Eric Nam was having a gathering in New York when he immediately felt a ache in his chest.
“I assumed I used to be going to must name 911,” he mentioned, recounting the expertise from 2019. However as a substitute, he remained sitting and “needed to quietly breathe my method” by way of the assembly, he mentioned.
Equally, Jae-hyung Park, higher often known as Jae from Ok-pop band Day6, was in a cab getting back from a music video shoot in Seoul final 12 months when he skilled what felt like a coronary heart assault.
At first, he put it all the way down to stress, saying that for years he had handled “misplaced” and “bizarre” emotions. However he realized he couldn’t ignore the signs, and within the “calmest voice” requested the motive force to take him to a close-by hospital.
“I’m … feeling like I’m going to die, I’m going to die, I’m going to die,” he recounted.
Park and Nam mentioned they later discovered they’d suffered panic assaults.
Many recording artists wrestle to deal with the trimmings of fame. In South Korea, as in lots of cultures, speaking about psychological well being points is seen as taboo, inflicting Ok-pop stars to grapple with melancholy and psychological sickness on their very own.
Nam and Park have joined different Korean American Ok-pop artists in elevating consciousness about psychological well being past the Ok-pop neighborhood by publicly sharing their private journeys.
Nam moved from his hometown, Atlanta, to Seoul in 2011 and launched his music profession after competing on a Korean music tv present. A Boston Faculty graduate, Nam mentioned the racism he endured rising up in suburban Georgia left deep scars on him.
He explains he was bullied and even spat on by a classmate. “It was one of the degrading, embarrassing, infuriating moments of my life up till that time,” Nam recounts on the primary episode of MINDSET, a paid podcast collection he’s simply launched to advertise conversations about psychological well being and wellness. “And I feel nonetheless to today that could be a matter that I by no means really feel comfy talking out about.”
Nam mentioned he additionally struggled with an id disaster as a Korean American, being handled as an outsider in each South Korea and the US.
“It felt like I didn’t belong wherever,” he informed The Related Press.
Park, born and raised in California, mentioned he had issue navigating between two vastly totally different cultures. And the extreme competitors within the business additionally affected his psychological well being.
“It’s a dog-eat-dog world,” Park mentioned of Ok-pop.
Park was supplied counseling from his document label, JYP Leisure, however mentioned he discovered it tough to attach along with his therapist and finally took a break from his profession final 12 months, when his band went on a hiatus.
He took half in Nam’s podcast collection as a star speaker.
Nam is hoping the exhibits can deal with stereotypes and stigmas surrounding psychological sickness.
“I by no means thought that I would want, I might need to speak to any person about my psychological well being,” Nam mentioned. “However when you’re in that place, I simply didn’t know actually learn how to take care of it. And so I bear in mind these very isolating sorts of moments that I had had earlier on in my profession.”