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What is the most common mental illness in South Korea?


Mental illness is a serious concern in South Korea, where mental health issues are still stigmatized. According to a study conducted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, approximately one-third of South Koreans experience mental health problems at some point during their lives. In this article, we will explore the most common mental illness in South Korea and its impact on individuals and society.

Overview of Mental Health in South Korea

Mental health issues have become a growing concern in South Korea due to the high-stress work culture, academic pressure, and social isolation. The South Korean government has been making efforts to address this issue by expanding mental health services and raising awareness about mental health.

Depression in South Korea

Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in South Korea. It is estimated that approximately 6% of the population experiences depression at some point in their lives. Depression can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, life events, and chemical imbalances in the brain.

Anxiety Disorders in South Korea

Anxiety disorders are also prevalent in South Korea, with approximately 5% of the population experiencing anxiety disorders at some point in their lives. Anxiety disorders can be caused by genetic factors, environmental factors, or a combination of both.

Eating Disorders in South Korea

Eating disorders are becoming increasingly common in South Korea, particularly among young women. This can be attributed to the societal pressure to conform to beauty standards, which often emphasize thinness. Approximately 1% of the population has an eating disorder.

Substance Abuse Disorders in South Korea

Substance abuse disorders are also a significant problem in South Korea. According to a study conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, approximately 3% of the population has a substance abuse disorder.

Bipolar Disorder in South Korea

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that affects approximately 1% of the population in South Korea. It is characterized by extreme mood swings, including periods of mania and depression.

Schizophrenia in South Korea

Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that affects approximately 0.3% of the population in South Korea. It is characterized by delusions, hallucinations, and disordered thinking.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in South Korea

PTSD is a mental health condition that can occur after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. In South Korea, PTSD is most commonly associated with military service. Approximately 5% of Korean War veterans experience PTSD.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in South Korea

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects approximately 6% of children in South Korea. It is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity, and difficulty focusing.

Treatment for Mental Illness in South Korea

Treatment for mental illness in South Korea has improved over the years, but there is still a long way to go. Treatment options include medication, therapy, and hospitalization. However, many people still face stigma and discrimination when seeking treatment for mental health issues.


Mental illness is a serious issue in South Korea that affects a significant portion of the population. It is important to raise awareness about mental health issues to reduce stigma and improve access to treatment. By addressing mental health concerns, we can help individuals lead happier and healthier lives and improve society as a whole.

What are common mental illnesses in South Korea?

Approximately 17% of South Koreans experience insomnia, a rate similar to that of the United States. Fewer Koreans, 6.6%, have nicotine dependence disorder, 2% have mood disorders and 5.2% have anxiety disorders, which are less prevalent in Korea than in America.

What is the mental illness rate in South Korea?

In South Korea, around 104.2 thousand individuals registered as having mental disabilities in 2021, which makes up about four percent of all registered disabilities that year.

What is the biggest health issue in South Korea?

South Korea is the worst-performing country in the OECD when it comes to tuberculosis, with the highest incidence rate, prevalence rate and death rate since joining the organization in 1996.

Which BTS member has mental illness?

Suga, a member of BTS, has publicly shared his struggle with depression. BTS promotes the importance of mental health awareness through their music and interviews.

Is depression common in Korea?

A majority of South Koreans, around 95%, report experiencing stress, with high rates of depression specifically among the elderly population. This has led to a frightening national epidemic that has been worsening for the past two decades. Tragically, almost 40 South Koreans take their own lives every day as a result.

Is there ADHD in Korea?

Research on Korean individuals with ADHD has shown similar patterns to studies conducted around the world. Despite varying methods, some studies have found that ADHD affects 5.9% to 8.5% of the Korean population. This was reported on May 16, 2018.

In recent years, the South Korean government has taken steps to address the issue of mental health. In 2016, the Mental Health Act was passed, which aimed to improve mental health services and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. The government has also increased funding for mental health programs and established a national suicide prevention center.

However, there are still challenges in addressing mental health in South Korea. One of the main barriers is the cultural stigma surrounding mental illness. Many people are reluctant to seek treatment due to fear of being shamed or ostracized by their community. This stigma is particularly strong in the workplace, where mental health issues are often viewed as a sign of weakness.

Another challenge is the shortage of mental health professionals in South Korea. There are only 0.3 psychiatrists per 10,000 people, compared to the average of 1.7 psychiatrists per 10,000 people in other OECD countries. This shortage makes it difficult for people to access mental health services, particularly in rural areas.

To address these challenges, there needs to be a multifaceted approach that involves increasing public awareness and education about mental health, improving access to mental health services, and reducing stigma surrounding mental illness. By doing so, we can help individuals with mental illness lead fulfilling lives and contribute to society.

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