Prince Harry is helping to take the stigma away from mental health by revealing his own struggles after the death of his mother Princess Diana back in 1997.
Discussing his mental health campaign, Heads Together, which he also heads up with Prince William and Kate Middleton, the royal sat down with the Telegraph's Bryony Gordon for her podcast Mad World to open up about having sought therapy in his 20s.
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The 32-year-old shared:
"I've spent most of my life saying 'I'm fine' … and most of us aren't up for going that deep. So today I'm OK. I'm a little bit nervous. I'm a little bit tight in the chest but otherwise fine."
He explained how he was holding onto the grief of his losing mom for nearly 20 years:
"If you look back to the fact that I lost my mom at the age of 12 on the public platform of which it was, and then everything else that happens with being in the spotlight in this sort of role and the pressures that come with it. And then going to Afghanistan, and then working in the personal recovering unit with all of the soldiers as well and taking on a lot of their issues. Anybody would like at that and go, 'OK, there must be something wrong with you. You can't be totally normal.' My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand and refusing to ever think about my mom because why would that help. It's only going to make you sad. It's never going to bring her back."
The London-native also added it was all starting to build up:
"I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle."
Harry went on, crediting his big bro for pushing him to seek help:
"I can safely say that losing my mom at the age of 12 and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but also my work as well. It was only three years ago that, from the support around and my brother and other people around who started to say, 'You need to deal with this. It's not normal to think that nothing's affecting you.' I started to have a few conversations and actually all of a sudden all of this grief that I have never processed started to come to the forefront and I was like, 'There is actually a lot of stuff here that I need to deal with.'
After finally processing his emotions at 28 and "only two years … of total chaos," the prince chose to follow William's advice, and now he's better for it:
"Because of the process that I've been through over the last 2½-3 years, I've now been able to take my work seriously, be able to take my private life seriously as well, and be able to put blood, sweat and tears into the things that really make a difference."
He also says exercise and boxing helped him mentally:
"Exercise really is the key. Exercise is a simple solution. Instead of giving up, giving up, giving up. How about taking up?… During those years I took up boxing, because everyone was saying boxing is good for you and it's a really good way of letting out aggression. And that really saved me because I was on the verge of punching someone, so being able to punch someone who had pads was certainly easier."
Well, it's awesome Meghan Markle's other half has found a way to not only cope with his mental health, but improve it!
[Image via Ward/WENN.]
Tags: boxing, family, kate middleton, mad world, mad world podcast, mental health, prince harry, prince william, princess diana, therapy