Living with Skinship Deprivation Syndrome (SDS)

What is Skinship Deprivation Syndrome (SDS)?

Know the signs of SDS

Experimental treatments for SDS

Skinship Deprivation Syndrome (SDS) is a series of symptoms associated with heavy drama watching, especially of those that originate in Korea. Sufferers of SDS cannot trace their symptoms back to a single cause but find they are exacerbated by excessive drama watching, especially the activity known as “binging” and that their condition worsens in the post-Chuseok period for reasons that are yet to be discovered.

SDS signs and symptoms can range from mild behavioural changes such as a vague dissatisfaction with romance dramas to more extreme actions such as minutely dissecting kiss scenes, googling “Best Korean Kiss Scenes” or even posting angry comments on the internet about a lack of physical contact between people who are SUPPOSED TO BE IN LOVE, GODDAMNIT, THEY DON’T EVEN HOLD HANDS.

If you suspect you have SDS don’t be alarmed. You are not alone. Many watchers of dramas, even those who are not heavy consumers of Kdrama, suffer some signs of SDS. While there is no treatment for SDS, research is continuing into the condition. In the meantime, you can try some experimental treatments to see if they alleviate the pain associated with a lack of drama skinship. 

These are:

  1. Rewatch old skinship scenes that you previously found satisfying. SDS often means these are no longer entirely sufficient but they can help alleviate some of the worst effects of the syndrome.
  2. Join a support group or contact other sufferers of SDS. Venting about the awful lack of decent skinship in dramas can help with the feelings of depression or isolation many people feel.
  3. Try watching a Taiwanese drama instead. But choose wisely, some of those will only worsen your symptoms.

Under no circumstances should you resort to:

  1. Chinese dramas about horny supernatural beings
  2. BTS scenes which you can twist into real life shipping
  3. Korean movies

If you suspect you have SDS, reach out to the drama community. 

We understand you.

And your need for skinship. 


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