Given that psychological conditions are still stigmatized in many countries, it’s not easy for idols to open up about their personal struggles. These 3 stars, however, all bravely admitted to being diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), a neurodevelopmental disorder which causes symptoms like restlessness, difficulty focusing, and impulsive behavior.
1. Jackson (GOT7)
A natural-born athlete, GOT7‘s Jackson probably would’ve become an Olympic fencer instead of an idol if he hadn’t been scouted by JYP Entertainment at his school. However, what many people don’t know is that Jackson would never have been at the American International School in Hong Kong to begin with if it wasn’t for his ADHD.
Jackson has talked openly about his ADHD a few times. In a live broadcast with groupmate Youngjae in 2017, Jackson revealed that he had to move from a public school in Hong Kong to an international school after his teacher told him he had ADHD.
Like many children with the disorder, Jackson was overly active, talkative, and unable to sit still. So, his teacher recommended that an international school would be a better fit for someone with his needs and personality.
It was okay. Everyone at international school had ADHD.
He later mentioned his condition again while starring on Chinese reality show Let Go Of My Baby in 2018. ADHD is a lifelong condition, so it’s no surprise that Jackson admitted he still deals with it to this day. However, he did say that his ADHD has become a lot less severe as an adult.
2. Henry (Super Junior-M)
When soloist Henry Lau, former member of Super Junior-M, appeared on MBC‘s Real Men back in 2014, he faced a lot of criticism from the senior officers on the show. According to them, he was too chaotic, overly playful, and talkative at inappropriate times.
However, when the officers reprimanded Henry, he decided to share the truth behind his behavior—he has ADHD. Henry went on to say that he got his ADHD under control after middle school, but it seemed that some of his symptoms were still showing. Thankfully, the officers were sympathetic to his confession.
In a later episode, Henry mentioned his ADHD again. After finding an army dog who couldn’t sit still and stop causing a ruckus for a minute, Henry joked, “Something about him seemed familiar to me. I think he has ADHD too“.
3. Park Bom (2NE1)
To many newer K-Pop fans, soloist Park Bom is known less for her days in 2NE1 and more for her drug scandal that shocked the nation. In 2014, the authorities revealed that Bom had “smuggled” 80 amphetamine tablets in a package sent from her family in the U.S.
But while the drug is illegal in South Korea, YG Entertainment soon revealed that the medication had been legally prescribed in the U.S. to treat a psychological condition. While Bom had undergone therapy in South Korea, it hadn’t been as effective as her medication.
Several years later, Park Bom bravely spoke out about the ordeal to reveal the truth. Explaining that she’d never done drugs recreationally, Bom confessed that she was diagnosed with ADHD in middle school. The drugs she brought into South Korea were Adderall pills, a common treatment overseas, which she had been taking since she was a child.
Tragically, it is believed that Park Bom’s ADHD symptoms may have began manifesting when she witnessed a friend’s death at 14 years old. She was studying at a school in the U.S. at the time and played on the soccer team. Sadly, during one of Bom’s soccer games, a goalkeeper suffered an aneurysm on the field and passed away.