It’s Okay to Not be Okay: Talking Depression in Asia

It’s Okay to Not be Okay

k-drama series have been followed by everyone who wants to experience something out of the box, quality content. For those who are binge-watching all the ace Netflix series during lockdown, they must shift their focus to Korean content/dramas as well. The new K-series sensation “It’s okay to not be okay” in particular is gaining attention of many drama fanatics owing to its storyline, distinctive characters and amazing portrayal of the basic concept-which is mental health.

It primarily revolves around individuals suffering from mental disorders and how it can affect them and those around them. Touching the often stigmatized and ignored issue of mental health, the story has thus far developed a gripping narrative that has captured a sizeable audience owing to its quality content heightened with impeccable creativity. Pertaining to its storyline, the popularity of the drama is skyrocketing and hitting all the right chords especially amidst these dark times when everyone can relate to the subject.


Starring the astounding actors of Korean entertainment industry in the lead, the drama attained much attention due to their stupendous acting chops. The story starts off with the unusual romance in two people who fall in love and end up healing their emotional wounds through the companionship of their other half. Kim Soo-hyun is the main lead as a community health worker at a psychiatric ward & the cold and compassionless anti-heroine, Ko Moon-young (Seo Ye-ji), a successful children’s book author who suffers from antisocial personality disorder and has never known love. After meeting each other, the two slowly begin to heal each other’s emotional wounds.

From skillful cinematography and editing to creative transitions of events, the drama kept us all in the loop through its impactful vibe. The creators of this drama “it’s okay to not be okay” claims it to be the healing drama for audiences as well. It has been observed that in Korea, like in much of Asia, the issue of mental health is not well highlighted & discussed subsequently. This drama would surely be a breakthrough and would help all those people who are afraid to talk about their mental condition valiantly open up about their struggles.

Celebrities facing depression:

Not only confined to dramas, many celebrities exuded their real-life depression stories in many interviews and through their social media platforms. In the world of glitz and glamour, depression persists and have ruined many celebrities’ lives. People usually admire their favorite celebrities due to their charming aura but deep down, they suffer from depression like us and never shy away from discussing their mental health problems.

Here is the list of some celebrities who have talked about depression and mental health on various platforms;

Zara Noor Abbas:

Zara Noor Abbas lately took to her Instagram and shared an enlightening post regarding depression.’ “It kept creeping up and taking over the best of me. Then I realized that I should get it checked outt and I found out it is borderline clinical depression.”

Zara Noor Abbas

Mawra Hoccane:

Mawra Hoccane also talked about her mental health explicitly and also revealed that she has been diagnosed with anxiety.



A contemplating girl:

We all have our days of weakness & breakdowns, I am lucky my job allows me to express my grief on screen. It’s been over a year since I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety & I’m no longer embarrassed of it. It’s a part of me like the sky is blue but I’m definitely better equipped to deal with it as I’m growing with it & beginning to understand it. I don’t run away from my friends & family when I’m having a panic attack I share with them & I feel I’m stronger than my condition. I’m putting this out because I want all of you who fight anxiety everyday to be okay with it & not be ashamed of it.

I went to a therapist in Sydney at the end of 2018 who told me that even though certain deficiencies contribute to my anxiety, it gets worse because I’m fearful of it. I decided that day to no longer be afraid of it or hide it from anybody at all.

In 2020 I can easily identify when my body starts to feel anxiety & more often than not I’m able to control it without any help. I drink a lot of water & I pray.

Anybody reading this can have their own method or seek help from a therapist or a family member.

Having said that I want to tell you that even if you breakdown , you’re brave, even if you cry you’re not weak. Whoever you are I want you to know that every new day will be a better day. InshAllah❤️

#AnxiousButAble #anxietyawareness

P.S this is a clip from #Daasi & it’s been a very very special project for me as I’ve been able to channelise my inner fears & pain as sunehri. My director would ask me to cry & on days I would howl & he would let me be. I have been honest & worked very hard. I hope you all enjoy tonight’s episode.

P.P.S Thankyou @adeelhusain78 for being an amazing supportive co-star & for everything that you are💫

Mahira Khan:

Mahira Khan stated regarding mental health several times;

 Deepika Padukone:

Deepika Padukone is a superstar and loved by all but still she revealed in an interview that she suffered from depression.

“Mental illness crept up on me when I least expected it,” Padukone said “The perception and the general understanding was that I was at a professional high,” she said last Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “But what I was also experiencing was this hollow, empty, pittish feeling … I would just cry out of nowhere.”

Zayn Malik:

Famed singer Zayn Malik also shared his feelings & mental state;

““We’re all human. People are often afraid to admit difficulties, but I don’t believe that there should be a struggle with anything that’s the truth. If you were a guy, you used to have to be really masculine, but now expressing emotion is accepted and respected.”

Chester Benington:

Late pop singer Chester Benington committed suicide and people relate it that with his depression;

“I don’t know if anybody out there can relate, but I have a hard time with life… sometimes,” explained Bennington. “Sometimes it’s great, but a lot of times for me, it’s really hard. And no matter how I’m feeling, I always find myself struggling with certain patterns of behavior… I find myself stuck in the same thing that keeps repeating over and over again, and I’m just, like, ‘How did I end up…? How am I in this?’ And it’s that moment where you’re in it and then you can just separate yourself from that situation and you look at it and you see it for what it is and you’re able to then do something about it; you’ve now broken out of that circle, that cycle.”

Hina Altaf:

Actress Hina Altaf in an interview revealed about her depression and her disturbed family life;

“When I did the scene in Udaari where I was the witness and recalling what had happened to younger Zebo, I could relate to those dialogues because of what I have been through in my life, At the age of 14 years, I could not sleep for the whole night because of the fear of what I had been through might happen again, my paranoia kept me up whole night”

 These stories from our favorite celebrities helps contextualize the very real issue of mental health as a tangible and very real illness, like any other physical illness that we all face to varying degrees at some point in our lives. Rather than shutting ourselves off from those around us and sinking ever deeper into the hole of fear and depression, we should reach out to those around us and ask for help. There is nothing wrong with talking about your mental health.

Like we ask for some paracetamol to cure a headache, we need often no more medication that the soothing and reassuring words of a trusted confidant. To speak out is to be brave, to face your worries is to take the first step on the road to recovery. We all should be mindful of what we say, we never know what others are feeling. Be considerate of those around you and create a culture of compassion and support and help create a society where those in need of help feel empowered and brave enough to reach out and get the support they need.


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