Is one of Kpop’s biggest superstars suffering from depression and burnout? That’s a serious concern after a cryptic, ‘cry for help’ Instagram post emerged from Big Bang leader G-Dragon on Wednesday.
The post features a dark image of what appears to be the singer, with a confusing message written on top. “I want to hide in a place that makes me comfortable,” the post states, without any clarification.
Cause for concern?
The post comes against continued success for G-Dragon, as well as Big Bang. While Big Bang remains a top Kpop group, rapper G-Dragon has parlayed that success into successful deals with mega-brands like Nike and Airbnb.
But that success comes with a glaring spotlight and immense pressure. Kpop stardom imposes intense scheduling demands and major privacy issues, while compromising the ability conduct normal interpersonal relationships. Just recently, dating rumors surrounded 2NE1 singer Sandara Park, with massive attention focused on the potential affair.
Meanwhile, Big Bang superfan ‘VIPs’ are speculating about a potential bout of depression. The resulting high alert is no accident, with South Korea claiming one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Only Guyana has a higher suicide rate than South Korea.
Couple that with general depression issues involving creative people, and posts like these garner attention. “Creative people and comedians both [have problems],” one VIP remarked on allkpop.com. “That’s what happened to Robin Williams. I really worry about idols who show signs of depression considering Korea’s high suicide rate.”
Several years ago, actress Lee Eun-ju offered South Korea received another reminder of a growing suicide problem. The successful actress took her own like at just 24, a result of the growing pressures and isolation of fame. “Even though I live, I’m not really alive,” Lee offered in a suicide note addressed to her mother.
“I don’t want anyone to be disappointed. It’s nice having money… I wanted to make money.”
Other high-profile suicides in South Korea include President Roh Moo-Hyun, who jump off a cliff to his death in 2009. Immediately following high-profile and celebrity suicides, officials have noticed a spike in suicides across the country.
Whether those issues are afflicting G-Dragon remain speculative. Some fans remain convinced that the rapper is merely posting random scenes and sketches, with nothing to worry about. Others are more concerned, and waiting for a sign that things are normal.