How Kpop is Helping to Cure my Depression
By Cait Faulkner
I’ve recently learned that people who struggle with anxiety tend to re-watch shows and reread books because they know what the outcome will be. There is no mystery, no stress because you already know the story. I’ve caught myself doing this on repeat for months. I’ve re-watched some of my favorite shows until I am sick of them. I reread my favorite books from childhood last year to get through the pandemic. They did ease my fears then, but I’ve found that now I cannot rely on old media. In the past few months I have actively done the opposite. Rather than lean into nostalgia I have sought out new stories. Before, there were genres of literature, music, movies, and TV shows that I avoided. Part of this aversion was due to my upbringing. I was raised in a community that restricted what media I was allowed to consume, as I am sure many of us were, that included everything from horror movies to pop music. I’ve been an adult for a while now, but it has taken until this year for me to acknowledge the guilt I felt for enjoying music like Kpop and symphonic metal, or for liking terrible vampire movies and wuxia costume dramas. These are real interests that I have and my love for them is part of what makes me who I am. I am tired, too tired to care anymore what phantoms think of me. Music and art and stories are the buoys that carry us through the hard times. I am learning to embrace small joys. My hope for anyone who reads this is that you are brave enough to do the same.