Yet another Hello Project idol will be going on hiatus this year. At the beginning of the month, Up-Front announced that ANGERME’s Aikawa Maho would be going on a temporary hiatus.
Maho has been diagnosed with panic disorder, a mental illness. With this illness, she has experienced dizziness, nausea, headaches, shortness of breath and much more. The company decided it was best for her to take some time off and focus on resting and getting better.
Anyway, I cannot begin to fathom how difficult it is for Maho. Her profession constantly puts her in the public eye. It is a stressful and nerve-wracking job. I cannot imagine doing such a public job, so I give credit to those who feel comfortable in the limelight.
Usually, Hello Project idols take breaks when they have been physically injured. In this case, Maho is suffering from a mental illness, which is a complex situation and requires more than just rest and physical therapy. Sadly, mental illnesses are usually stigmatised and are not perceived as “real” illnesses or issues. It is sad that this is the case in a seemingly “progressing” world like this. Mental illness is real and a difficult condition to deal with. Not only do individuals have to deal with their condition and related depression but they also have to deal with criticism from other ignorant people. I am not sorry for my strong language but it is too much for one person to deal with.
However, Maho is determined to rest and come back stronger. She is determined to fight the stigmatisation against the illness. My respect for her has triple-folded.
Maho, I wish you all the best! Rest well and come back stronger as ever!