‘I suddenly became depressed’: BTS Jimin opens up about mental health struggles, crying with Jungkook
BTS Jimin opens up about grappling with exhaustion both physically and mentally in new book ‘Beyond the Story: 10-Year Record of BTS’
Known for his exceptional dancing skills and his powerful and emotive performances on stage, South Korean boy band BTS member - Park Jimin - commonly known as Jimin, confessed “I suddenly became depressed” and “We'd started to feel the things we'd lost in becoming singers, celebrities” in a new 544-page book titled Beyond the Story: 10-Year Record of BTS that is co-authored by South Korean journalist Myeongseok Kang along with the group’s seven members including Kim Namjoon (RM), Kim Seokjin (Jin), Jung Hoseok (J-Hope), Min Yoongi (Suga), Kim Taehyung (V) and Jeon Jungkook (Jungkook) while it is translated into English by Anton Hur, Slin Jung, and Clare Richards, based on extensive interviews with the OT7. The book has finally hit the shelves as it was slated for worldwide publication on July 9 that marked a major anniversary for the band— the naming of its enormous fan base, ARMY and also in celebration of 10 years since the Kpop band's debut and it is split into seven chapters that tell BTS' story chronologically.
Recognised for his unique vocal abilities, Jimin has contributed to many of BTS's songs as a singer and songwriter but few know about his mental health struggles as Jimin has gained a significant following due to his charismatic stage presence, charming personality and heartfelt interactions with fans. Jimin, like his fellow BTS members, has often used his social media platforms to promote positive messages, self-love and mental health awareness while he has been open about his own struggles and has encouraged fans to take care of their mental well-being.
Spoilers from the book mention how the band members were burned out and some members felt the toll particularly acutely, even as they experienced a landmark year in 2018, when their song "Fake Love" earned their first US Top 10 hit and they embarked on a global tour called Love Yourself. Suga suffered from insomnia and Jungkook struggled with his mental health while Jimin found himself questioning, “It was like… we’d started to feel the things we’d lost in becoming singers, celebrities. I often thought, ‘Is this happiness?” as he explored his inner conflict about the meaning of happiness amid the sacrifices they made and the burdens that were borne.
In the newly published memoir, Jimin opened up about his deeply personal struggles with mental health in early 2018 when he found himself grappling with exhaustion both physically and mentally due to the intensity of his profession that was coupled with a relentless schedule and led to seemingly inexplicable feelings of depression which were seemingly out-of-nowhere but this mental anguish reportedly led him to isolate himself, locked away in a small room in his accommodations, wrestling with his inner turmoil. He shared, “I don’t know why I was being like that, but it was a period where I just suddenly became depressed” and this mental distress intensified under persistent public scrutiny that was now not just from within South Korea but from the world at large.
One of the ARMY recently shared a piece from the book on Twitter in which Jimin cried with Jungkook over a couple of drinks as the latter was coping with his own struggles. In the book, Jimin shared his part of the story and revealed how he was concerned about JK and his mental health and said, “I was a bit worried about Jungkook and so I asked the staff and they said he’d gone for a drink. When I went inside, Jungkook was alone with the camera set up, drinking. That was how we ended up talking. Listening to what he had to say, I learned for the first time just how much he was struggling and I cried a lot. I’d had no idea. Jungkook had tried not to talk about it but the drink kicked in and he talked.”
Jungkook narrated the incident in the book and said, “One time after filming, I went to drink alone and drinking alone, it was like… I felt so hopeless. But that was the time I was really into taking photos of this and that on my camera. And so I set up my phone camera in front of me and spoke to myself as if I was doing a YouTube stream… and I was drinking a the same time. But then Jimin suddenly appeared.” He added, “I don’t remember much of what we talked about but I was pretty moved that Jimin had come. Because he’d come to comfort me.”
It is worth noting that individual members of BTS and even BTS as a group have been open about their challenges and personal experiences in their music, interviews, documentaries or personal statements where they have spoken candidly about their own struggles, emphasising the importance of self-care, seeking help and supporting one another. It is known that BTS as a whole has addressed topics such as mental health, self-doubt and the pressures of fame in their music and they have often used their platform to spread messages of self-love, resilience and finding strength in difficult times.