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LONDON – Prince Harry spoke openly in a recent interview about his mental health issues as a senior member of the royal family, admitting that he used alcohol and drugs to deal with personal trauma.
“I was ready to drink, I was ready to take drugs, ready to try and do the things that made me feel less,” he said, referring to the effort to end his grief years after death to address his mother. Princess Diana.
Harry’s comments were made in episodes of the documentary series The Me You Can’t See, which he co-produced with Oprah Winfrey, the latest in a series of open discussions he has had on mental health. Ever since Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex stepped down from their royal duties last year, they have spoken openly about their strained relationship with the rest of the British royal family, particularly in an explosive television interview with Ms. Winfrey earlier this year.
In interviews for the AppleTV + series released on Friday, the prince said he was “mentally everywhere” to address the death of his mother, who was killed in a car accident in 1997.
“I would probably drink a week in one day on a Friday or Saturday night and I would find that I drink not because I enjoy it, but because I try to mask something,” said Harry, now 36, when he did this described his late 20s and early 30s as a “nightmare”. He did not state what medication he had taken.
He said he had experienced panic attacks and severe anxiety while working as a member of the royal family and told Ms. Winfrey that he started therapy four years ago when he realized he could lose his relationship with Meghan if he would not “fix” this himself.
Harry also spoke of the moment his wife told him she had suicidal thoughts – something she revealed during the couple’s interview with Ms. Winfrey earlier this year.
“I was ashamed to go to my family because, to be honest, like many other people my age, I probably know that my family will not give me what I need,” he said.
“I thought my family would help, but every single question, please, warning, whatever it is, has just been received with total silence or total neglect,” he said. “We’ve been trying to get it working for four years. We did everything to stay there. ”
The prince also described how he felt helpless before his mother died and remembered sitting in a car with her as a child and being followed by the paparazzi. He said Diana almost couldn’t drive because of the tears in her eyes.
He also considered her funeral procession. “It was like I was out of my body and just going to go ahead and do what was expected of me,” he said. Harry said he avoided thinking and talking about his mother’s death until he took a mental toll in his late twenties.
Harry and his brother, Prince William, and sister-in-law Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, launched a campaign called Heads Together in 2016 to encourage people to talk to friends and family about their spiritual wellbeing.
In an interview with Ms. Winfrey in March, Harry touched on the divide his sharp separation from the royal family had opened between him and his relatives. “There’s a lot to do there,” he said of his relationship with his father.
Last week, in a podcast interview, Harry alluded to the difficulties he faced as a member of the royal family, saying it was “a cross between” The Truman Show “and” being in a zoo “.
“It’s incredibly sad,” Harry said in the documentary released Friday, referring to the decision he and his wife made to leave Britain and their work in the royal family behind. “But I don’t regret it at all.”
If you are thinking of suicide, call the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). For a list of additional resources, see SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources in the United States and on the NHS website in Britain.