It’s Okay Not to be Okay Netflix Drama Review

From a counsellor’s perspective

Denise Thong
9 min readDec 8, 2020



I stumbled upon this gem of a Korean drama some weeks back and within a few weeks, I completed it.

As a counsellor and a former nurse at a psychiatric clinic, I must say that this story was very well written and probably written by a person who has experience working or living with people with mental health issues.

On a side note, the person probably has some training in Transactional Analysis (TA) — a counselling modality.

Back to the topic, the story was brilliantly executed by Seo Ye ji, Kim Soo Hyung and Oh Jung Se.

Here’s a quick synopsis of the storyline (spoilers ahead).


Kim Soo Hyung plays a selfless psychiatric nurse (i.e. Moon Gang Tae) who has an elder autistic brother (i.e. Moon Sang Tae) played by Oh Jung Se.

Gang Tae’s father passed away when he was very young and his mother was murdered when he 12 years old. As a result, from the age of 12, he shouldered the responsibility of looking after his autistic brother (Moon Sang Tae) by himself.

Because of this great responsibility and the enormously trying circumstances, he acquired the following unhealthy life scripts (i.e. injunctions) — “Don’t be a child”, “Don’t be important”, “Don’t be close”, “Don’t feel”.

These injunctions were very evident in his life choices. He chose a career as a psychiatric nurse where he could continue to forget himself and look after others.

In addition, he made it a point to change his job every year and not develop any long lasting relationships with his colleagues. He has only one best friend and even that relationship is not as close as it ought to be.

He has no romantic relationships and never allows himself to have fun.

He is tightly wound and devotes his entire life to looking after his autistic brother and the other patients at the psychiatric hospitals.

Unbeknownst to him, as a result of his overprotectiveness and eagerness to parent his brother, he had inadvertently trapped his autistic brother in a child…



Denise Thong

Counsellor, Writer (Christianity, Children’s short stories)