by Lively Persimmon, June 3, 2020

Authors Note: If you or any friend of yours is suffering due to you not being well mentally, correlating with this pandemic having a stressing impact on you, please talk to a mental health professional or close friend about it if possible. It won't hurt you to say a word as much as it would keep it inside of you. You are a precious individual to many no matter what others say. 

Although I don't know how hard you are struggling inside or how much you are hurt mentally and physically I just hope you can find joy during this time like I did with kdramas. I hope you can grow as a person mentally and physically. And just know there is always someone looking out for you on your saddest days and at your times of distress. Just know you that you should keep pushing forward as situations, like people, change. You are a great and inspirational person and your situation can never define you.

4 Reasons Why Soul Mechanic Is The Kdrama For You

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We have all had our troubled times.  One being at the moment the outbreak of this dreadful pandemic that has sadly taken the lives of many, whether it be a family member, neighbor, distant relative, or someone we had no relation to. The question that arises is how do we cope with it?   The stress, the angst, the unexplainable emotions. This question is well embodied in "Soul Mechanic" as we see through how a passionate psychiatrist heals those in need of help.                       

 Fix You (2020)

                                                                  Synopsis/ Plot                                                                           

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Lee Si Joon (played by Shin Ha Kyun) is an eccentric but passionate psychiatrist working in a hospital.  He cares deeply for his patients. This care often includes idiosyncratic methods which often get him labeled as a "maniac." Han Woo Joo (played by Jung So Min) is a rising musical actress. Righteous and upstanding, After years of hard work in the acting industry her efforts seem to be paying off, but her mental issues and explosive anger keeps treating her career. Through an incident, the quirky psychiatrist who aids in people's mental stigmas and the rising star whose emotional wounds dampen almost every aspect of her life, meet, and thus unfolds a doctor-patient relationship and a possible romance. 

Personally for me, once I read the story-line I knew this drama was for one. Like many, I fall into the category of those stressed, and depressed because of the impact this pandemic has had on me and my family. Being a psychology-fanatic and aspiring psychiatrist, the first episode was really a slasher for me as the whole Medical Drama theme is very used in Korean Dramas, Psychiatry has to be one of the fields least portrayed and when it is portrayed it is usually overshadowed by the Romance theme, e.g.  Kill meHeal Me, Thirty but Seventeen and e.t.c. So when I read the plot I had high expectations and indeed they were fulfilled.

           In-depth sight:  Mental Illnesses             

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"So I tell my Mom I am not a doll and throw up in front of her. I do that to torture her"    

The way in which people with mental illnesses are depicted in this drama is very humane. Mental health issues are not romanticized nor stigmatized. The characters, like many people in reality who live with mental disorders, function at a similar level as those without mental disorders. Reminding us that they are almost like most of us in society. Let's take, for example, the anorexic patient (played by Hong Ye Ji). Now I am no Psychiatrist yet,  so I'll be following along with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This patient suffered from Anorexia nervosa, 

"Restriction of energy intake relative to requirements, leading to significantly low body weight in the context of the age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health (less than minimally normal/expected1)"

In simple terms, the patient eats little to no food suffering from malnutrition,  hormonal disorders, and low body weight due to reaching an ideal body image.  

The patient's way of "restrictive energy intake" was through purging, and the overall cause of her Anorexia Nervosa was not due to low esteem in her self-image but due to the fact that she wanted to torture her mother who treated her as a doll.      ¨There's no mental illness without a cause.¨  - Lee So Joon

This drama in a sense situates us towards the viewpoints of those suffering from mental illnesses. Now although many of us haven't puked in front of our parents, or smashed our ex-boyfriend's car for two-timing, I can firmly say I and many others alike, have retaliated, in our own form, towards the way someone made us feel. This drama, assiduously expressed why people who suffer from mental illnesses act the way they do in a way that individuals can relate to emphasizing how we are not so different from them.                                                                                                  

The Emotions: Angst and Anger, Void, Sadness, and Happiness 

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Another thing that I really love that this drama does is that it abridges the emotions most of us feel as we go on with our daily lives in the character(s).   Our female lead, Han Woo Joo, principled, and virtuous in spirit suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder.
  Anger & Angst
 Emotional Void and Emptiness

With this disorder comes frequent shifts in the mood where it is as if she is on an emotional roller coaster. In a sense, Han Woo Joo symbolically embodies the emotions of many of us.  The writer made it so that we could relate to the character and understand that we aren't indifferent to those with mental difficulties.


                                       The Healing                                     

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Shin Ha Kyun's smile in this drama is a healing device on its own.

Another thing that one can take away from this drama is the ways of coping and healing from situations that have and could possibly have traumatized you or someone you care for.  When hearing of healing many often think of K-dramas such as Uncontrollably Fond, Just Between Lovers, Come and Hug Me and e.t.c. Kdramas where their lover is suffering from a terminal disease, they're haunted by a traumatic event where an earthquake brought a building down, or their father just so happened to be a psychopathic killer. But this drama differentiates from other shows as the viewers don't just get a glimpse of characters' trauma and how the characters' way of healing unfold but are also able to relate to the character as well as find ways to cope as well. 

“Suffering is optional. You’re gonna have some pain but it doesn’t have to make you suffer.” -- Jhene Aiko

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to express your thoughts and opinions down below. Stay beautiful, until we meet again, Sayonara!

EditorsJojo (1st editor), BrightestStar (2nd editor)

romance drama life jung so min soul mechanic shin ha kyun