Red Velvet’s Joy Opens Up About Mental Health Struggles On ‘Happy Together’

Red Velvet’s Joy was one of the guests on the “Mansour Passion Special” episode of KBS’ talk show Happy Together, along with SF9’s Rowoon, veteran actress Bae Jongok, rapper Sean, and actress Kim Gyuri.

During the January 9 episode, Joy candidly revealed that she was recently diagnosed with somatic symptom disorder (SSD, formerly known as somatization disorder), a form of mental illness that causes various physical symptoms, such as chronic pain, and is often related to anxiety disorders. It is considered a culture-bound syndrome in Korea, commonly referred to as hwabyeong, meaning “fire/anger illness”.

Joy went on to say that her best stress-reliever these days is looking at pictures of her pet dog Haetnim and taking deep breaths. She also started doing aerial yoga and eating healthy – for example, drinking fermented vegetable juice and noni juice – in order to stay in good physical condition and maintain “inner beauty”.

I am often drawn to healthy foods because my body is so sensitive. One time, my chest felt so tight and heavy that I visited the clinic where I found out that the root of all my pain was the disorder.

Although she didn’t go into details of her condition and the symptoms vary from person to person, it’s safe to say that Joy has been enduring much more than she let on. Even so, she’s always been the strong and smiling Park Sooyoung we know and love. Let’s hope that she feels less pain and more happiness in the future!

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