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SUICIDE RISE IN SOUTH KOREA AS YOUTUBER’S DEATH HIGHLIGHTS SCOURGE

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A woman (not Lim Ji-hye) lies on a bed looking at her phone. (Getty Images/iStock)

Suicide-prone South Korean YouTuber Lim Ji-hye, known online as BJ Imvely, sat alone in her home on June 11, tearfully explaining her emotions to her followers in a livestream, which culminated with her apologizing to her family, sharing her will and walking out of frame.

Silence filled the broadcast for about 20 minutes until paramedics entered her home.

“Get the scissors,” someone was heard saying before the livestream ended. Lim, a former actress and model, was taken to the hospital in critical condition, and died on Monday at age 37. An obituary was published on her Instagram account, which has since been set to private.

Earlier in the evening of her last broadcast, Lim had appeared in another live broadcast with fellow streamers. While the group downed glasses of alcohol, Lim was seen embroiled in a fight with a woman at the party. Lim returned home hours later and hosted the emotional solo livestream leading up to her suicide attempt. Police are now looking into criminal charges against some members of the party, local media reported.

As reports of Lim’s death have emerged, social media users are offering their condolences on her social media accounts.

“I thought it would happen, but I hoped it was a lie,” reads one comment on Lim’s YouTube channel. “It’s so sad and heartbreaking.”

Deaths by suicide in the K-pop industry

Lim’s passing joins a disturbing string of deaths by suicide among South Korean entertainers—a trend that has in recent years cast serious scrutiny on the mental health impact of the cut-throat industry.

In April, 25-year-old Moon Bin, a former child actor and member of the K-pop band Astro, was found unresponsive in his home after a suspected suicide. And in 2019, a trio of celebrity deaths by apparent suicide rocked the nation.

The latest entertainer to die by suicide is 33-year-old singer Choi Sung-bong, who came under fire in 2021 after he admitted to accepting public donations by pretending to be suffering from cancer. He was found dead in his Seoul home on Tuesday morning.

Mourning all of these fallen K-pop stars has already brought significant psychological stress to thousands of young fans, who have built parts of their identities and tight-knit communities around their favorite idols.

“Every time I heard Sulli’s name mentioned around me, I started to cry,” an 18-year-old fan told South China Morning Post a month after the K-pop star’s death in 2019.

Meanwhile, mental health professionals point to a culture of isolation among K-pop celebrities, who have little privacy living in the public eye and barely any free time from tight work schedules.

In 2017, 27-year-old Kim Jong-hyun of popular boyband SHINee died after leaving a lengthy suicide note.

“The depression that has been slowly eating away at me has completely swallowed me, and I couldn’t win over it,” the note, made public by a close friend, read. “It’s a miracle I lasted this far.”

South Korea’s mental health crisis

While suicides in the entertainment industry have garnered international attention, it’s not just the famous who are struggling in South Korea, which has held the highest suicide rate among developed countries for the last 20 years. According to authorities, 13,000 people died by suicide in 2021, the latest year figures are available.

In April, police were alerted to a teenage girl livestreaming her apparent suicide on Instagram. She died after falling from a building and was said to have suffered from severe depression.

Across the world, livestreamed suicides are becoming increasingly common, sparking concerns about the psychological impact on viewers of such broadcasts, as well as potential risks of suicide contagion—the phenomenon by which exposure to a suicide may increase the risk of suicidal behavior in others.

Common factors cited by experts for South Korea’s high suicide rate include pressure faced by young people in school, the lack of social protection, and stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Experts have recommended people look out for warning signs among their friends and families, such as changing behavior and extreme emotions, and encourage them to seek professional help.

The South Korean government is intensifying the push to tackle its mental health crisis, with the Ministry of Health and Welfare announcing in April that they would be embarking on a plan to lower the number of suicides by 30% in the next five years.

“Since protecting the people’s lives is the state’s most important responsibility, the government will do its best to protect the people’s lives through this suicide prevention plan,” Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said in April when unveiling the plans, which include improving community-based suicide prevention measures, making more frequent mental health checkups, as well as providing counselling for those who have attempted suicide.

If you or someone you know may be experiencing a mental-health crisis or contemplating suicide, call or text 988. In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental health provider.

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Health & Lifestyle

SHE HUMILIATED HIM, BUT YEARS LATER HE HAD THE LAST LAUGH

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Extreme Humiliation

When looking back at our younger years, there is usually a certain memory that makes you cringe with embarrassment. Sometimes those awful memories tend to affect others more and can cause trauma. You try to shake off those bad vibes whenever they come.

By Linda Edwards

The young man at the center of our story here just experienced the worst possible experience he could have in his youth. 

He had become the subject of ridicule by a girl. To make things worse, it occurred in front of many people. He was so frozen in humiliation that he started to feel nauseated. Blood rushed to his cheeks. He knew he looked red like a tomato at that very second. His next response was to quickly run away and escape, thinking nothing could be worse than that in his life. However, he would soon find that he was dead wrong about that…

Too Much Fast Food

This young man, Anthony Bayer, had trouble eating healthily for quite a while now. He loved fast food and ate it every single day. Fries, burgers, pizzas, and hot dogs. The supposed weekend treats had become an everyday menu for this young man.

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His family tried to intervene, but Anthony was so sneaky he always got a hold of this unhealthy food every single day. He gained more and more weight, but he never seemed to be bothered by it. He was blinded by these so-called fast foods and never gave proper nutrition a single thought. 

The Mocking and Taunting Started

With his unhealthy weight and obvious lack of effort to control his eating tendencies, he soon became the subject of teasing and taunting in the school. What was sadder was that even his teachers joined in and made subtle comments about his issues without actually helping solve the problem.

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Although still affected by the humiliation around him, Anthony learned to build a wall around him and continued with his awful eating habits. His unhealthy coping was slowly dragging him further down. He was not aware of what was about to come.

He Struggled Alone in School

It is now obvious that the cycle of poor food choices and an unhealthy emotional state is locking the young man in a world of harm. Unless some miracle happens (or real help occurs), he will only continue bringing himself down further. Meatballs for breakfast, two pizzas for lunch, and a fried chicken for dinner do sound tasty but not ideal for everyday consumption.

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This cycle of mindless eating turned into a method of coping with the ridicule he gets at school. The more he felt alone and rejected, the more he held tight to his poor eating habits. 

Prom Is Coming

As with every high school, prom can be the highlight of the year. Will it be the same for Anthony? When he heard about the news, he was quick to dismiss the idea of attending and thought that was not his thing. He could still feel the exciting vibe in the corridors as everyone was frantic about looking for a partner for the prom.

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Again, he told himself he was never going to go. Something unexpected happened a short while later. The high school Ms. Popular, Molly, suddenly approached him during math class. Puzzled, he wondered what she could possibly want from him. 

Beauty That Dazzles

Molly was the typical popular girl in high school. He felt blood rushing to his cheeks when she started to talk to him. Butterflies filled his stomach. When she opened her mouth, everything felt like slow motion for Anthony.

27 Meanest High School Girls in the Movies | Den of Geek
moviejones.de

She just asked him if he would go to prom with her! At a loss for words, he could only utter, “Yeah sure.” Anthony for the first time was filled with excitement and happiness in school. Young Anthony was thrilled to think about what could possibly happen next. 

Prom Night

Days went by so quickly that it was already prom night. Anthony went all out, trying to look and feel his best. He rented a very fancy suit and even went another level by renting a limousine to impress beautiful Molly. He still could not believe that he was asked out by the prettiest girl in school.

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All prepped up, he kissed his parents goodbye for the night and hopped into the fancy vehicle to pick up Molly. He had no idea what was in store for him.

Ready to Pick Up His Prom Date

The dashing Anthony ticked off all the boxes to complete the perfect prom date checklist. Confident but still with a racing heartbeat, he walked towards Molly’s porch and rang the doorbell. He could still feel his shaking hands as he released the doorbell button.

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The only thing he could do was take a very deep breath while waiting for Molly to open the door. What the supposed high school sweetheart did next would leave young Anthony traumatized for the rest of his life. 

He Became a Laughingstock

Young Anthony had no premonition at all on what was about to happen. Molly soon appeared and as expected, she looked stunning in her prom gown. However, her reaction upon seeing Anthony was rather bizarre. She started to laugh at him. A split second later, a group of people behind Molly joined in and laughed all together.

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Confused, Anthony wondered if he had cookie crumbs on him or even a shaving cream on his face. It soon dawned on him that the reason for the laughter with reasons that were worse than what he initially thought. 

Shamed

Molly uttered the meanest words towards Anthony while pointing a finger straight to his face. “You’re just a big joke,” Molly cruelly said. Upon hearing that line, he suddenly felt pale in disbelief. His whole being was crushed in the blink of an eye. Tears went gushing into his cheeks.

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He instantly ran towards the limousine and hurried to get home. He felt shattered and so wronged. In his young life, never did he receive such a cruel act. All the hurtful comments at school became so little compared to what Molly did that night. 

Trying to Feel Safe at Home

Anthony rushed home and the very first thing he went for was the fridge. The young man suffered so much inner turmoil and confusion. He immediately went for the only thing that had been giving him comfort—food. He tried to eat everything that he could more in the hopes of calming his nerves down than actually filling his stomach.

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Nobody was able to stop him as his parents went out that night too. While swallowing all the food, he could not help but think about the next day’s bigger mockery in school. He was sure that news of the prank would spread, and he would be the talk of the town.

The Embarrassment Keeps Building Up

He knew he still needed to go back to school and face his bullying schoolmates. The next Monday morning, he could see everyone was laughing at him in school and the news of the awful prank just kept spreading on the campus. His public rejection appeared to be a source of humor for his cruel schoolmates.

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Despite being swallowed up in embarrassment and still using his unhealthy coping mechanisms, Anthony was blessed to have the awareness that high school was just about to finish and that his life would go on. All these cruel people would soon get what was coming to them…

Still Using Unhealthy Eating Habits 

Trying to ease down the emotional effects of his recent nightmare, he continued with his bad eating. He was now finding it more and more difficult to slow down and actually feel full. Large pizzas, chocolate cake, meatball subs, KFC burger meals, a bottle of coke, and a packet of Magnum ice-creams continued to be his daily munchies.

File:Junk Food.JPG - Wikimedia Commons
infourok.ru

All in all, he consumed around 10,000 calories per day which is an extreme caloric intake. Anthony still did not see the downside of his ways. 

Heavier and Heavier

It was not long before his weight doubled and tripled. His relentless poor eating habits were now taking a toll on his body. He even reached almost 300 pounds on the scale. He grew more obese and attracted more hurtful remarks around him. More than the bullying, his deteriorating health was tapping him on the back for some real attention.

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All the scornful looks and rumors are now slowly fading in the background as he becomes more and more aware of what is actually happening in his body. 

Health Issues on the Rise

Teenagers are not typically bombarded with health issues. Overall health is usually good for a young person. Anthony, although young, is in an atypical situation. Being overweight, he is at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, gallstones, high cholesterol, stroke, coronary artery disease, and sleep apnea.

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These are major health issues that are not normally present in one’s teenage years. He might potentially develop liver issues and bone issues. Anthony took a while to wake up and realize his situation. 

Out of Control

Anthony confessed he fell into a deep depression after that incident in high school. He was extremely affected that it went on for a couple of years after graduating. His self-esteem was at its lowest and he thought he could never be with someone else. The cycle of seeking comfort in food continued on together with his depression.

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He let his food addiction run the show for many years. He claimed he never knew how to eat properly and that he could not even bother to care about it. 

Lost Self Conviction

At some point years later, he thought of trying the gym, However, he was too weight conscious that he could not bear walking inside the gym and be looked at and possibly be ridiculed again. Deep inside, he knew he should go.

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Similar to a hungry person, they have every right to be inside a restaurant to eat. A little help from the doctor was about to give him the nudge he needed to change his life for the better.

Hello Doctor

A supposed regular visit to the doctor turned out to be the best thing that had happened to him in the last couple of years. It became the wake-up call that he badly needed. His doctor performed some tests, and the results were causing a loud bell in his ears that made him wake up to his reality.

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He was on the verge of developing diabetes. The result scared him, and he panicked.  He knew he needed to make some changes right away or he would be on the losing end very soon. 

Changes Must Be Made Right Away

The trip to the doctor pushed him to do better for his own welfare. He felt that he could die if he did not make any necessary changes in his lifestyle soon. His very first step inside the gym soon happened, and also, he made some much-needed alterations in his eating habits.

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Eating healthy became his priority. Young Anthony did struggle at first. After all, greatness does not always happen in one’s comfort zone. He knew he was on the right track and giving up was not in his vision at all. 

Lifestyle Makeover

Anthony eventually learned to cut down on unhealthy foodstuffs and stick only with nutritious ones. Gone are the pizza days for Anthony. He was becoming more aware of food variety and moderation. Whole grains, fruits, carbohydrates, proteins, and vegetables filled his daily routine.

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With dietary changes, he was able to boost his metabolism. His cravings were greatly cut down due to his high-protein meals. He also learned to cut down on sugar to minimize his predisposition towards diabetes. Fast foods are now gone with the wind for the new and improved Anthony!

Positive Transformations 

When he was extremely overweight, Anthony recalled how poor his self-esteem was. He was full of hate for himself and even thought nobody could ever love him. Finding the right help came at just the right time, and his desire for a life partner and family of his own helped him create a healthier future.

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He could already feel the difference physically and emotionally. He liked the changes that were happening and stopping now was not an option.

New Life

Going to the gym and eating healthy became his new coping mechanism for stress. His motivation to become a better version of himself only became stronger every day. The scales are slowly showing his progress. His path towards fitness was long and exhausting, but his motivation was greater than anything else.

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His confidence kept rising. He soon realized he had become so much happier. In the midst of all these positive changes, little did he know that someone from his ugly past was about to show up. 

In Better Shape Inside and Out

Five long years have now passed since that unfortunate prom night happened. Anthony was nowhere near the 17-year-old Anthony physically, mentally, and emotionally. He is in his best shape so far. He even started a YouTube channel with the sole purpose of inspiring people to be better.

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He knew he had a lot to share and he could relate to the dilemmas of young people with health issues. Being more physically fit, it was not long before he started to get attention from girls. Dating applications got him over 1000 matches. Things were now so much better for him. However, he still had no idea what or who he had to face again. 

An Unexpected Message

After a routine session in the local gym one afternoon, Anthony was ready to go home and call it a day. As he parked his car in the driveway, his phone suddenly made a little beeping noise. Who could it be? As he reached out for his mobile phone, he saw the message notification.

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He opened it and when he saw who the sender was, he felt nothing but disgust. His initial hyped vibe after a gym workout was suddenly replaced with repulsion. 

From Molly

He was trembling when he saw her name on the screen. Molly. That cruel girl from five years ago is now texting Anthony. Aside from disgust, he was also filled with questions. He could not figure out how she got his number, nor what she was up to now.

How to (Safely!) Avoid Texting While Driving: 3 Tips to Stay Alive
titrespresse.com

The hurtful past is coming back in flashbacks in his mind. Why is she reaching out to him now? With what she had done before, Anthony could not believe how she got the nerve to even text him. 

Speechless

The message gave Anthony a great sense of disbelief and disgust. Although she expressed her apology for the act she had done years ago, the remaining part of the message was just out of this world and totally unbelievable. With the pain she has caused young Anthony, will one simple apology through text and a date invitation be enough to erase everything?

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Anthony could not believe what he just read. Was she up to her same cruel shenanigans from all those years ago? Could it be that she was really into him now?

Turning the Tables

The unexpected message from Molly allowed Anthony to relive all those awful memories on prom night. She was an extreme bully and caused him pain that lasted for years. He knew he would not give her any portion of time at all. Anthony, later on, thought of something to turn the tables, or at least make everything fair and square at least.

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What he did afterward was something Molly never expected him to do. This time she was the one who was clueless and about to get a taste of her own medicine.

To Forgive Is One Thing, to Forget Is Another Thing

If you thought Anthony was going to prank Molly after how she humiliated him, you got it wrong. Anthony actually thought of completely ignoring her text. She would be left hanging in the process and eventually will feel rejected by the man she mocked before. But would that be enough?

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Anthony was keen to move forward and let go of all the bad things in his life. He does not need to do low acts to get even. With his head up high, he knew he already got the last laugh. 

Realization

In a later interview, Anthony recalling how she humiliated him, revealed that realizations in life take time, and for him it took years. It also took a dip in his health before he woke to the reality that his health was already in danger. Being told that he was pre-diabetic made him so scared and afraid for his life. The need to change for the better should come from within. Being wide aware of the situation and what you should do helps pull out a person from the depths of possible harm.

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Anthony claimed he eventually stopped going for fast food and relied on his own home cooking skills. The gym has been his second home since 2014. Perhaps his struggles in life did play a big role in helping him change for the better, but no one should have to experience such cruel behavior. Anthony took the opportunity to be a better version of himself, despite the ridicule he endured all those years ago.

Source: graduatez.com

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Health & Lifestyle

HOW DO BIRTH CONTROL PILLS WORK?

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Oral contraceptive pill on pharmacy counter with colorful pills strips background. © areeya_ann/Shutterstock.com

Birth control pills are among the most popular methods of preventing pregnancy. In the United States alone, between 2015 and 2017 about 13.9 percent of women used birth control pills, which are also called oral contraceptives.

BY Kara Rogers

When used correctly, birth control pills are 99.7 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. So how do they work?

Birth control pills are synthetic steroid hormones, usually consisting of either a single hormone, progestin, or two hormones, progestin and estrogen. These hormones suppress the release of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland in the female body. FSH and LH normally trigger the release of estrogen from the ovaries, which in turn stimulates ovulation—the release of a mature egg from the female ovary.

However, when FSH and LH are suppressed, the chances of ovulation, and therefore fertilization by a male sperm cell, are significantly reduced. Progestin-only birth control pills also cause mucus in the cervix to thicken, making it more difficult for sperm to reach the egg in the event that ovulation occurs.

While birth control pills are commonly used to prevent pregnancy, they may also be used to alleviate symptoms associated with menstruation. This is because birth control pills also reduce levels of prostaglandins in the body. Prostaglandins are substances that cause the muscles of the uterus to contract, producing sometimes intense and painful cramping.

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Health & Lifestyle

YOU CAN NOW USE SALIVA TO TEST FOR PREGNANCY

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Forget peeing, now you can spit on a home pregnancy stick and get pregnancy result. The saliva test is 95% accurate, slightly less than pee-on-stick ones.

World’s first pregnancy test that uses saliva to determine if a person is with a child or not, is now available in Superdrug stores across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Called SaliStick, the person using the wand has to first pool saliva in their mouth and insert the collection foam, immersion end of the wand, for at least 90 seconds and rotate it in intervals. Once the indicator has changed color, the user has to connect the collection foam to the analytical unit horizontally. The wand gives a result within 5 to 15 minutes.

The product has been developed in a partnership between Abingdon Health and Salignostics Ltd.

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