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Shin Dong-wook contracts rare illness, discharged from army

As of this month, actor Shin Dong-wook (Soulmate, Wish Upon a Star) was just over halfway through his two years of mandatory army duty, but has been discharged from service due to a condition he has recently been diagnosed with, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), which caused a sudden onset of intense pain.

Regarding the diesase, Wikipedia sez: “Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic progressive disease characterized by severe pain, swelling and changes in the skin. Though treatment is often unsatisfactory, early multimodal therapy can cause dramatic improvement or remission of the syndrome in some patients. The cause of this syndrome is currently unknown. Precipitating factors include injury and surgery, although there are documented cases that have no demonstrable injury to the original site.”

According to a rep from the actor’s side, he is currently resting after receiving his discharge on July 13. While they expect that the disease won’t be a great hindrance in daily life, the pain caused by the illness can be severe, and can arise out of the blue. They reportedly didn’t want to make a big deal of the discharge, as they are well aware of the sensitive climate with regard to draft issues. (Basically, it’s always a sensitive climate when we’re talking about army service.)

Shin enlisted in July 2010 and is now receiving medical treatment for his CRPS. Eeeep! I love Shin Dong-wook (being affiliated with the wonderful Soulmate earns you a lot of love, in my book) and was looking forward to his return to civilian life, but not via lots and lots of debilitating pain. Hope he feels better soon.

Via TV Report

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oh dear... hope he gets well soon!!!

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I loved him in Soulmate as well (not so much Stars Falling From the Skies but still loved).

Hope he recovers well.

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Poor guy. This is just awful for such a young guy to develop this syndrome. I feel for him.
:(

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loved him in soulmate and WUAS! hope he'll get well soon. take your time to recover, shin dong-wook!

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He was such a sweetie in Soulmate! Wish him well.

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the part where the pain can arise out of the blue reminded me of Eragon...

hope recovers soon.

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oh man! that's terrible to hear, especially if it's something that can arise out of the blue :(

i love shin dong wook (like many others, courtesy of Soulmate).. hope he gets better soon!

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No ! Hope he can recover from this illness soon, i'm really worried about him, I really love Shin Dong Wook since Soulmate and Wish Upon a Star

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or maybe he "used" some "Him"(힘) to get out faster,who knows >:)

(maybe he pulled some strings,that is.)

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I doubt that is the case once you're in the service... you belong to "them" and they will not let you go unless you have gone through every examination to confirm the diagnosis.

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please in some countries u can't even leave an University after admission ... don't even think to leave the army

More in Korea u can see some celebrities doing some voluntary work to advertise how beautiful and awesome is in the army...

so nop I don't think so

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What are you guys talking about ?

used..him..them

Color me clueless..Fill me in.

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To use 'Him' (힘 - power, force in Hangul) means to pull some strings that can help you with something.

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Umm, if he has an actual medical diagnosis of a legit disorder, how is he pulling strings?
They're not giving some vague "he's sick" answer.
Plus according to the prognosis, it's pretty much essential that he starts getting treatment ASAP if he wants his future to be the best case scenario.

Also if he was more than halfway through his service, it seems kind of pointless to pull strings to get out at this point anyhow.

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no way. plus after basic training the army life isn't all that bad. sure you still have the seniority thing but since he went in in 2010 and it's been a year, i would think he's on the verge of becoming a powerful senior. plus it's better to wait a year and graduate from the army with a press conference and the fans. more drama offers and cfs come that way.

wonbin also left the army halfway through because of an injury to his knee (?)

hope this doesn't affect shin dong wook's future or anything O.O

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It just seems unlikely that its the case. He's been in the army for a year now, if he has that kind of connections then why not use it to prevent going to the army all together? Why go for a year and then decide to back out? It just doesn't seem all that logical to me.

I hope he gets better after treatment and that his pain is tolerable.

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My bet is that they do a superficial check up on the boys and send them to army, specially when it comes about celebrities... let's send the guy on the army no matter what...

I got through this... just a year before my country changed the system: my husband was declared good to go in the army even though he had a visible scoliosis

even more my father was an officer and he saw so many kids sent into the army just because it was "mandatory"... and pretty often they send retarded kids (like IQ=70 or so barely speaking) ... army usually is harsh specially in the countries with mandatory army service

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You should specify which "country" that mandates recruitment for men. In Korea, they cannot draft legally mentally ill people into the army. The army is very strict about which young men are qualified to enter the army and which are not, because many parents will contest the draft if they feel that their child is not fit as would be a young adult who is dependent on supervision. Also, you should not use the term "retarded" to refer to people who have suffer from a mentally debilitating illness.

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oh no!

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Get well soon baby!!!

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let hope he well not get any anti feeling from it. I am sure with the sensitivity of celebs and army service they double and triple checked everything, before releasing him

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Yiiiiiikes. I have a friend with CRPS, and it is awful. Just knowing that the pain can start at any moment is hugely stressful. And I love Shin Dong-wook - seriously my first big K-drama crush was on his Soulmate character. (And vicariously on the music PD, who's probably 50, but is still kick-ass.)

Poor guy. I hope he's able to continue working. Or, um, work MORE. Wish Upon a Star is not enough to feed my Dong-wook hunger.

(Side question: why do some characters in dramas have the same names as their actors? Often it's the whole cast, so it can't be coincidence. And it's obviously a drama, not a pseudo-reality show. What's up with that?)

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normally mini series (like the regular 16 episode dramas) do not have characters with the same name as the actual actors.

however, daily dramas and sitcoms (more sitcoms than daily dramas) usually have the same names as the actors so the actors can promote who they are.
i haven't watched one is a while - but i know the oldies like nonstop 5 always had characters with the same name as the actors themselves.

soulmate altho i have not watched the drama - according to javabeans - is a sitcom structured like a mini series. if you watched it, you'll probably know what that means better than me. which means that it's quite normal for the soulmate cast to use their names.

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yeah, sitcoms do...ex: All My Love uses the same names for nearly all its cast...Soulmate also did that as it was a sitcom

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I know for sitcoms -- most of the actors are still pretty green in the industry, so they use their real names to get people to remember them.

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Oh no! I literally just watched Soulmate for the first time over the weekend... CRPS sounds awful.

@Dav, apparently that's the case for a lot of Korean "sitcoms," where they typically only change actors' names if there's a particular reason why the real name doesn't suit the character (e.g. two unrelated actors having to play siblings). I believe Javabeans had a good explanation posted in the comments for her review of Soulmate.

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Oh no, JB! You're making me cry TT^TT

I just watched him in WUAS and loved him in Soulmate.

Having a sister with lupus that share some of the symptoms, I really feel for him. I pray that his treatment works.

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nooonooo! i like him a lot in soulmate, hope he will get well soon

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OH NO!!!! dong wook ssi..... T.T get well soon

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Bad news, on both a personal and a career level. I wonder if this will make directors and producers hesitant about hiring him - after all, do you want to hire a lead actor who may be attacked by debilitating pain at any moment?

And if he is cured, there may always be a cloud over him because of his early release from the army with a not-very-well understood ailment. There will always be a suspicioun that he pulled strings, or was just faking it. I worry about his future, poor guy.

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dong-wook oppa, say it aint so (Joe!)

but in all seriousness, feel better oppa

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The thing about olden Korean language is that there is a tremendous deficit in terms of how to describe illness and pain.

In the past, direct translation of what my parents generation might say with respect to discussing ANY kind of illness:

"Does something hurt?"

And then the response would be something like this:

"Yes, something or other hurts."

The lack of sophistication in the olden Korean language, obviously, is more or less relegated to a historical context, although much of the words used to describe medical conditions still are in English.

Probably more than most world languages, Korean is changing. Being as wired as Korea is, information is so easily passed from person to person, the language itself is evolving faster than ever.

My feeling is that a Korean caught in a 40 year time warp would likely have a difficult time understanding much of what passes on a Korean newscast, probably more so than counterparts in other countries.

Anyway, that said, SDW fighting!

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I love the quaintness of the question that belies the seriousness of it.

Isn't it "Where does it hurt?" Odi apa?

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Auww I hope he get better soon!..
Shin Dong FIGHTING!!!

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O.o My brother is the same like him and was discharged from the army last week! that makes me sad -.-

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aww... I loved Soulmate. I hope he gets better soon. This is going to have an impact on his career forever...

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oh no i luv him since cloud stairs, soulmate & SFFTS, my prayers are with you! have a strong faith shin dong ssi & likewise i would want him back but not with this disease! GET WELL SOON dong wook ssi!

p.s. i never heard of this disease till now :(

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That sounds horrible! :( I hope he feels better! Gah, I hope this doesn't make him inactive in dramas! I love seeing actors progress through their career, and Shin Dong-wook is one of those guys I want to see improve. :'(

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since it's early stage it sounds like he may get out of this thru medication...i'm so sad with this news really, i like him a lot!

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this sucks..I hope this doesnt affect his career adversely...I miss him

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Oh man! =/ I pray for this reliable actor Shin Dong-Wook will become so strong when he will feel better soon, of course.

Ahh, he reminds me when I first watched him in that drama "Soulmate" & he was very handsome, fufu. ^_^ (I still admires him unstoppable, but I don't know why.)

Shin Dong Wook, don't let yourself down & Fighting!

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does this mean he won't be making a come back? because it wouldn't make sense to leave army duty early but go back to being a tv star....

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That really bites. I know we hear about guys trying to avoid the army, but there is still pride in having gone through the 2-year rite of passage and he must be really bummed out. I wonder what this means for his acting career since some actors' hours are more grueling than the military.

Anyways, I hope the medical treatment is working to help put the illness into remission.

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oh my gosh, people who have said something about him pretending to be sick..wow..i know there have been cases of celebrities doing that, but this is not the case..
im not shin dong wook's bff but i'm pretty dang sure he's not pretending, so i can see where your accusations are coming from, but it's sad to hear that some people think that this illness he got was all a show. :(

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I think we are worried about what other people will think, rather than accusing him of being some sort of shirker. The fear is that many people will be quick to judge, especially when it is a disease they are not familiar with, and that his career will suffer in consequence. .

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oh no! am used to SFFTS rather than WUAS so i had no idea who the guy was at first...its the lil half bro who sacrificed his love for his gorgeous brother (yeahs what a description hey?!!) oh man this is really sad, hope he gets better, sincerely.

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I hope his treatment works to alleviate the pain or put the illness into remission.

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I've watched soulmate and so sad that it doesn't have a second season. I would have loveeeed it! Anyway, I hope he gets well.

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dear javabeans,

i am relatively new in the wonderful world of Kdrama. and that is because i chanced upon your great site/blog "dramabeans".
i am confused by two korean actors, JO KYE HYUNG and SHIN DONG WOOK. are they one and the same person?
please clarify! i like jo kye hyung's character in My Girl and shin dong wook, i loved him in Soulmate. i don't want to waste precious emotions for two if actually you are just pining for one good actor, right?!

thanks for your time, keep up the awesome blog, hope this question of mine merits a few minutes of your precious time! ...awaiting for an answer...

MABUHAY! from the PHILIPPINES!

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Jo Kye Hyung and Shin Dong Wook are not the same persons although they look somewhat similar.
I don't think JKH is actively pursuing acting career. Haven't heard about him for a long time.

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I don't know him but i google imaged CRPS and it looks very painful. Poor guy.

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i hope that this is curable and that it won't affect his career!

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That's what I'm hoping too. I think I'll read up some more about this illness...this is the first time I've heard of it.

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Oh no! How terrible, that poor guy! Even with all his shoulder-grabbing I really found him likeable in WUAS. Hopefully he'll be one of the people for whom treatment is effective...!!

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He is such a sweet guy. I just finished watching Stars Falling From the Sky. I loved him in that and he was wonderful in Soul mate as well. I will be praying for him. All you fans out there please say a prayer for him. May God grant him a speedy recovery and relieve him of his pain. Ameen. Shin Dong-wook, Sending you a GROUP HUG, full of love and healing, from all your caring fans out there. Ajja Ajja Fighting!!!!!

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OMG loved him in Soulmate. I hope he's ok! That sounds very painful!

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Shin Dong Wook you are my favorite actor ,okay besides your cousin Kibum and hope you get treated and rest and do what you have to do to lessen the pain.You should still be proud that you served your country.Thank You for doing so.Rest and stay positive and know that many of your fans are cheering for you .Even those of us from the United States .Love Ya! Fighting! get well wishes to you.take care .We are care about you ,love your fans.

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This Army evading thing is bull,he went in as he was told and never tried to evade it ,so why is this even being thought about .He served and was discharged for a severe medical condition.Although i do not have what he has i have degenerative disk disease and let me tell you ,if i turn suddenly ,i am on my back flat head to toe pain and cannot move so This CRPS is no joke,How dare people lump Shin Dong Wook in with celebs who have evaded.He served proudly,i am sure he probably is worried about what is being said about his discharge .However i am sure the Army would not have let him out if they did not think his medical issue was not severe. Shin Dong Wook i hope you feel better and in awhile you can get back to doing dramas,Cloud Stairs my favorite and Stars Falling from the Sky also my favorite.We love You ! Fighting! feel better ,many prayers being said for you .Get well and rest.

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Hey,

This is a bit off topic but you spelled "disease" as "diesase" in the beginning of the second paragraph.

~Robin

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hi guys! i'm a PT student and according to our professor CRPS can be of worse than we imagine. prognosis will not be good if not treated early and the affected extremity might not be of used already because of the muscle atrophy and might lead to amputation. i hope up to the present he is just fine.

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So sorry to hear of SDW illness. I have been sending up prayers for his full recovery. Is there a place where we can send get well cards or gifts that he would receive them? Wish we could hear news of how he is doing!

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everyone MUST WATCH SOUMATE
best drama everrrrrrrrrrrrr

I LOVE SHIN DONG WOOK
MAY HE GET BETTER AND STRONGER
I WISH HIM HEALTHY AND LUCK!

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Shin Dong Wook. Love you in Cloud Staircase. It's pretty unfortunate that life turned out to be such. Don't be saddened over it. Take it as one of the many challenges and obstacles in life. But please do not take it lightly! Be strong and many opportunities will come your way. Take care.

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any news about him lately? i'm praying for his speedy recovery! i'm re watching his drama right now & just luv his acting here & missing him since i last saw him in star falling! hope he's gonna be well soon! aja aja be strong God won't let you down! sarang hae yo

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