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Neuropsychiatrist faces sanction for controversy with actor Yoo Ah-in

A neuropsychiatrist who publically diagnosed Korean actor Yoo Ah-in with hypomania via social media is likely to be expelled from the Korean NeuroPsychiatric Association.

The association has been taking actions to investigate the doctor and mete out discipline since February, starting with establishing an ethics committee. The disciplinary decision could be made as early as next week.

Although still in the disciplinary procedure stages, neuropsychiatrist Kim Hyun-chul is likely to be expelled from the association according to the KNPA.

(Yoo Ah-in`s Instagram)
(Yoo Ah-in`s Instagram)

The doctor gave out his opinion via Twitter that Yoo may have hypomania, reading his comments from a dispute with an internet user in November 2017. Hypomania is a mild form of mania, marked by elation and hyperactivity. He also posted online that, “It will be extremely dangerous if he gets depression.”

The doctor was largely criticized on the internet for publically diagnosing the actor only by reading some of his posts and comments on social networking system, having not personally met with him.

The Korean Employed Psychiatrists Association, which is under the KNPA, expressed regret over Kim’s actions and asked the KNPA to assemble an ethics committee. It said that psychiatrists should only diagnose an individual after a careful examination and adequate counseling, and never hastily do so.

Kim’s public apology on Twitter was not enough to settle the controversy.

A member of the KNPA said, “In addition to the KEPA, Yoo Ah-in’s agency has also sent out an official document to the association asking for proper punishment of Kim.”

By Ahn Sang-yool (