“It was 20 years of not thinking about it and two years of chaos.”
He was only 12 when his mother died a traumatic death. He shut down all his emotions for almost 2 decades. He often felt on the verge of punching someone. He suffered severe anxiety during social engagements. Living in the public eye left him feeling he could be very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions.
His response to the tragedy was to stick his head in the sand and refuse to think about it as that was not going to bring her back. It was only going to make him sad.
During those years he took up boxing as he was told that it is a good way of letting out aggression. That certainly helped him a lot as punching someone who had pads on was easier.
He finally sought help after persistent encouragement from his older brother. Since learning to talk about it honestly, he now feels able to put his ‘blood, sweat and tears’ into making a difference for others.
“The experience I have had is that once you start talking about it, you realise that actually you’re part of quite a big club” he said.
He’s now in a good place and will commemorate his mother, Diana, on her 20th anniversary later this year. He is Prince Harry.
I think it is wonderful the conversation Harry has opened up for young people and others who are suffering from distress of the mind/depression/bi-polar illnesses. Coming out into the open is so powerful. Big hugs..xx
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Yes. Thanks Marie. Diana would be proud of her boys following in her footsteps. She broke the taboo of AIDS and they are doing what they can for Mental Health. xxx
I agree with all of the above. Prince Harry and the HeadsTogether campaign have done amazing work in breaking down stigma and I am really grateful but don’t forget there are no mental health services, or inadequate services, for people who now realise their need for support and who perhaps now have the courage to seek it. The effect of opening up the mental health conversation is to fuel greater need for counselling and talking therapies at a time when the existing system is already groaning. I hope it is not two steps forward and one step back.