October 8, 2003
By JunHo Shin
An Increasing number of Koreans are visiting counseling services.
Korean Family Counseling and Research, where mental health counseling
and educational seminars for Koreans in New York and New Jersey
are offered, showed an increased number of counseling cases at
the New York Center. The number rose from an average of 5 in May,
to 9 from July to September. At the Center in New Jersey there
were 19 cases, whereas the average from March to May had been 11.
Counselors connected this phenomenon to the economic downturn,
resulting in psychological pressures that pushed some Koreans to
According to the Center, a man in his 30s from
New Jersey had suffered from serious depression after losing his
job, and considered getting
divorced. The reason was that his wife started to get on his nerves
by pointing out his financial inability, and he also had doubts
about her because she went out more often. With counseling this
couple realized the origin of their problem—a changed environment
due to financial pressure—and started to save money, easing
the situation gradually.
About 20 percent of cases are due to 9/11
related trauma. One 30-year-old woman asked for help with her child
who had a nervous breakdown
whenever he had white-powdered donuts, thinking of the anthrax
scare right after 9/11. The parents did not take it seriously in
the beginning; however, the child began to show hysterics and became
violent and even threatened his mother.
HyunSuk Oh, from the New
Jersey Center, pointed out that it is important to find the root
of the problem in its early stage. It
is easier to find an effective treatment once a spouse or parent
recognizes their loved one’s problem, and turn to experts
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . .
Translated from Chinese by JooYeon Lee