Sooooo, the recent Birthday Boy (His birthday is on the 6th of June) is hospitalized…for the n-th time.
It’s been several times now since he is reported to faint or be unconscious or be in injuries. Most of these ‘occurrences’ happened due to exhaustion. The fact is that Kim Hyunjoong has not had a real break since the start of 2008, last year. In other sense, he’s been working himself to the bone for more than a year now.
He started his activities with SS501’s comeback in early 2008 with Deja Vu. Apparently the reception was only lukewarm, which is why he agreed to appear on We Got Married. His stint in We Got Married made his popularity shot up. While he had always been somewhat exposed through being an Idol from SS501, WGM gave people an inside look into his unique personality, earning him the title of 4D Groom and such. Although his WGM days ended after about 6 months, in between, he kept tabs on his other activities. SS501 was in Japan for promotions and he had to go back and forth between Korea and Japan in order to fulfil WGM duties. He also appeared on other variety shows and shot various commercials (CFs) and magazine spreads. If you had watched WGM from the beginning to the end, you would have seen the transformation from the weight-appropriate boy in late April to the tired, gaunt-face guy in late October.
In addition to those other activities, sometime around June/July last year, rumours broke out that he had been cast as Rui in the Korean Hana Yori Dango, Boys Over Flowers. This rumour turned out to be true and was confirmed. To play Rui, Hyunjoong attended a whole bunch of acting lessons and learnt how to play violin, equestrian, etc. He was also preparing for SS501’s big comeback in 2009 in the form of the Japanese album as well as the Korean album.
In 2009, after BOF ended, Hyunjoong DID take a holiday, but it was a measly 1 week vacation, which rumour has it, he did not even go on. He only sent his parents and remained in Seoul to travel the city. Following the explosion that was Boys Over Flowers, Hyunjoong (along with his F4 friends) were showered with CF offers, so he has been appearing here, there, and everywhere, seemingly diving head on into the work madness. Concurrently, he regrouped with SS501 and started to gear up for the aforementioned comeback, starting with last month’s Korean Music Festival in Hollywood Bowl and the release of SS501’s Japanese Album, All My Love.
In short, he CANNOT catch a break!
There had been sporadic news of his health deterioration since last year. There were multiple leg injuries earlier last year (he even fell on stage because of it), which was followed by a shoulder dislocation, which was followed by the sleeping pill incident in September, which was followed by multiple news of him fainting while on set of Boys Over Flowers, AND another one after, which was followed by this very recent one. He was taken to the hospital on the 8th and his Thailand visit has been canceled.
Because I’ve been following Hyunjoong since last year, I have been worried about this particular issue. What we have heard so far are mostly his physical health woes, but with this much exhaustion, and fainting, and collapsing, I am equally concerned about his mental health. There are some things said and observed in WGM that keep nagging on the back of my mind. This worry was awaken when it was reported last week that he is depressed because his Grandmother is ill. Just the word ‘depressed’ had me in jitters. I know it’s such a morbid thought, but in the land where a lot of people have succumbed to suicide and other destructivebehaviours due to depression, I feel it is a valid concern.
As a fan, someone who has no access whatsoever to the person in a personal level, I can only hope that someone in the close vicinity to him has the guts and the authority to let him slow down and recuperate. I also wish that Kim Hyunjoong can exercise some good self maintenance as well by eating well (from what I’ve seen, he has quite extreme and unhealthy eating habits) and sleeping well (are you honestly surprised that someone who has not slept for days faints?). Anyone else may dictate his schedules and activities, but it is mostly up to the person to take care of himself or let himself slide into an hazardous zone.