Shrink Rant: Kill Me, Heal Me, Disappoint Me

June 17, 2018
image from aminoapps
Yay, another rant. Spoilers. 

I've become that person! Just kidding. This rant is not so much that, but a lament. Several posts ago, I wrote about how thrilled I was with Kill Me, Heal Me, a South Korean drama about a man with Dissociative Identity Disorder and the psychiatrist who, in treating him, falls for him. I also touched on the fact that as his personal doctor, it was very unethical of her to continue treating him once they began a romantic relationship, and it was unethical as well to begin a romantic relationship after she had begun treatment. Basically, those two do not mix.

Any shrink in the U.S. will tell you, Professional Therapy Never Includes Sex.  Not only is it potentially harmful and exploitative and not only does it lend itself to continuing the abuse that a vulnerable person such as a patient may have suffered, but it can also mean losing one's license. Much of the time, it only really serves to enlarge the ego of the shrink engaging in that relationship. Then again, psychiatrists have their own Boards that are different from psychologists, and it is a different country.

Instead of continuing to bore you with the ethics of practicing therapy and keeping it in your pants at the same time, I'll move on to my rant/lament.

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I really enjoyed how the series presented the different alters, and how they informed their viewers of what certain terms meant. I myself learned a few terms. For example, the helper alter is one who develops as a way of helping the person heal. Toward the end of his treatment, Cha Do Hyun develops this helper alter. This was a very interesting twist that I would have liked to see more of, however, the helper alter in Kill Me, Heal Me was presented and then disappeared in the same episode.

I liked that they emphasized how early childhood trauma creates lasting effects, at times ones we don't become aware of until much later in life. For example, that BIG TWIST (BIG SPOILER) that (seriously stop reading now if you haven't seen it and want to find out for yourself, skip to the 2nd paragraph from here, right after the photo if you're cool with some spoilers but not the big one)...

...the big twist that Cha Do Hyun was an alter himself the entire time. The fact that he seemed to be so fused with that, that this was his entire identity from childhood, it does make it seem like perhaps as a child this was an alter for him, but as he grew up, this just naturally merged with whatever his main identity was, and it just became his main identity. It seemed like he was fine and functioning, and this didn't harm him at all. The fact that this was not revisited was a bit of a letdown.

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I would have LOVED to have seen more of Ahn Yona, the 17 year old alter who was created from Do Hyun's desire to live. It's obvious that she loves life and she wants to experience it, and I think it's great that they wrote a feisty teenage girl to depict that. I would have loved to have learned more about the circumstances that created all the other alters, not just cool criminal Shin Se Ki.

The resolution at the end was way too fast. All the identities integrating just because he wanted them to and within one episode was way too fast. It makes me wonder if their budget ran out or if they were told to just cut it short. I think it would have been okay if they alters were not all integrated. It would have shown that people with DID are still able to live their lives and co-exist. It could have shown an alternative to the so-called "norm."

I think overall, this series had a lot of potential, but it seems like they wanted to or had to end it very quickly, and they just decided to resolve everything within one or two episodes, and this led to a very sloppy ending. Despite this, I liked that it didn't end in wedding bells or with the main characters getting everything they wanted. It was not quite a fairy tale ending, and I really appreciate that.


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