Netflix‘s It’s Okay to Not Be Okay is not an easy drama to get over. Not only did it enrapture us all with its romantic and healing vibes, it also captured the mental illness and development disorders in a truly raw, touching, and relatable way. Thankfully, if you’re still struggling to move on since the show ended two weeks ago, there are some other great K-Dramas out there that focus on mental health. Here are 5 to binge watch right now.
1. It’s Okay, That’s Love
SBS‘s 2014 K-Drama It’s Okay, That’s Love deals with schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, Tourette syndrome, anxiety, and genophobia (the fear of sex). The show focuses on fiction writer Jang Jae-Yeol (played by Jo In Sung), who finds himself among a unique group of housemates and ends up falling for one of them—psychiatrist Ji Hae-Soo (Gong Hyo Jin). However, both have their traumas they’ll need to overcome.
Alongside similarly-titled It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, It’s Okay, That’s Love has one of the most all-encompassing portrayals of mental illness, with both the main characters and one of the side characters suffering from different disorders. It’s long been praised for not shying away from the unusual quirks that come with these mental health issues, while still retaining some humor and lightheartedness.
2. Good Doctor
KBS‘s 2013 K-Drama Good Doctor deals with autism. The show focuses on Park Shi-On (Joo Won), a man who overcame the odds to become a pediatric surgeon in spite of his autism. Shi-On is an excellent doctor, but he struggles to succeed at work and fit in with his coworkers over the course of the series.
Good Doctor was such a great drama, it was even later adapted into a U.S. TV series—ABC‘s The Good Doctor. Not only does it shed light on the realities of autism spectrum disorders, it’s also a very heartwarming drama. Viewers looking for something as healing as It’s Okay to Not Be Okay will definitely enjoy this offering.
3. Kill Me, Heal Me
MBC‘s 2015 K-Drama Kill Me, Heal Me deals with dissociative identity disorder and the aftermath of child abuse. The show focuses on Cha Do-Hyun (Ji Sung), a business heir whose childhood trauma left him with dissociative identity disorder. With the help of psychiatric resident Oh Ri-Jin (Hwang Jung Eum), Do-Hyun attempts to overcome his disorder before Ri-Jin’s brother, Oh Ri-On (Park Seo Joon) exposes him.
Cha Do-Hyun and his six other identities to a great job at introducing viewers to dissociative identity disorder, previously known as multiple personality disorder, with sensitivity. Just like It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, Kill Me, Heal Me combines scenes that will move you to tears with moments that will crack you up with laughter.
JTBC‘s 2019 K-Drama Chocolate deals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The show focuses on two former childhood friends: Lee Kang (Yoon Kye Sang), a neurosurgeon who once dreamed of being a cook, and Moon Cha-Young (Ha Ji Won), a cook who became a chef because of Kang. When they reunite as adults, they begin to embrace the love they deserve together.
Like It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, Chocolate is partly based in a health care setting. In this case, it’s a hospice rather than a psychiatric hospital. The drama is beautifully written, and while the drama isn’t centered on mental illness, it draws it into the plot in a refreshing way.
5. My Mister
TvN‘s 2018 K-Drama My Mister deals with depression. The show focuses on Park Dong-Hun (Lee Sun Kyun), a man in his 40s whose wife is having an affair with a senior executive. Meanwhile, Lee Ji-An (IU) is a 20-something with heavy debt and an immobile grandmother on her shoulders. When their lives intertwine, the two help each other move forward.
My Mister is on the heavier side, but that’s because of its raw, honest, and realistic portrayal of depression. The life lessons and emotional rollercoaster will take you on a journey, just like It’s Okay to Not Be Okay did.