On 5th February 2013 (Tuesday), popular K-Pop duo TVXQ‘s Changmin revealed on a Korean television talk show broadcast that he was once driven to seek counseling after being stalked by obsessive fans.
The obsessive fans (otherwise known as “sasaeng fans“) would trail him in taxis when he went out, which caused him to develop a fear of taxis and become “very anxious” whenever he saw one. He would also walk with his head bowed to hide his face when he saw students in school uniforms on the street for fear that they were sasaeng fans out to get him.
Changmin explained that he received therapy because he had been extremely burdened by the popularity of TVXQ:
When I was by myself, there would be people who followed me around in taxis. I got nervous when I see even one (sasaeng). When I was walking in the streets, of course there were students in uniforms walking too. But when I saw them, I found myself walking with my head bowed to cover my face. I didn’t think I was lucky. I thought I was very unlucky instead. I received a light consultation. No matter where I went, I thought people were always looking at me, and that I should avoid everyone because they recognized me.
He went on to say that the therapy helped him overcome the anxiety and that he’s fine now. He even joked that he flips his hair back so that everyone will recognize him.
Previously, Changmin revealed that he even had to change his phone number because somehow, the sasaeng fans got hold of his contact and he got a lot of prank calls. Five minutes after he changed his number, he got a text that read, “You changed your number”. (Source)
Among other things, of course. It is true though that K-Pop idols often get hounded by sasaeng fangs, with some going as far as breaking into the idols’ homes. But more on sasaeng fans later. Meanwhile, we’re just glad Changmin got the help he needed and that he’s happier now.