Press Digest - Obsessive K-pop craze signals serious psychological disorder

03 Oct 2016 / 17:24 H.

PETALING JAYA: The excessive obsession with Korean artistes especially among Malay teens might indicate that the group is suffering from Celebrity Worship Syndrome (CWS), a serious psychological problem.
Berita Harian reported that many of the teenagers are willing to spend thousands of ringgit for clothes and items related to their favourite idols, and some even took the extra mile by going to Korea to attend concerts with the intention of meeting their idols.
Motivational and counselling expert Hushim Salleh said CWS, a syndrome not known to many, could also cause teenagers to experience hallucination, depression and live in a fantasy of a life with the celebrities.
He believed two out of three teenagers between 13 to 18 years old suffered from CWS, an assumption based on a series of talks he had conducted with the group.
Hushim said those who suffered from CWS also consisted of those from religious schools, secondary schools and boarding schools.
"The syndrome is known as a new psychological disease which could result in teenagers being unable to focus on their studies, become less sociable and suffer chronic mental illness such as sexual hallucination and bipolar disorder," he was quoted as saying by the Malay daily.
Hushim said such situation was indeed worrying as many cases involving teens obsessed with Korean celebrity figures were referred to his clinic recently, adding that he received more than four of such cases each month.
"Among the critical cases were teenagers fantasising that their idols were their partners and believed that the artistes shared the same feeling towards them," he said.
"It is even more worrying that many of the teenagers suffering from CWS are those from tahfiz schools," he added.
He said many parents took the matter lightly as they considered obsession towards artistes was not a new phenomenon, taking into consideration the appeal of Hollywood and Bollywood films.
Hushim said the spread of CWS could be related to the easy access to Korean-based concerts and dramas via the internet.

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