Prince Harry has spoken about two years of ‘’total chaos’’ in his late twenties and how he sought professional help aged 28 when he felt on the verge of punching someone and was anxious during Royal engagements in a candid interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph.
In an extraordinary interview, Prince Harry has revealed he was very close to a complete breakdown and had shut down all of his emotions for nearly two decades following the death of his mother Princess Diana.
Prince Harry’s unprecedented disclosures, at a time when his personal life is at a high with his relationship with Meaghan Markle, comes at a time he wants to highlight a mental health charity, “Heads Together” and approaching the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death on August 31.
Prince Harry revealed that shutting down his emotions following the death of his mother when he was 12 had “quite a serious effect, not only my personal life but my work as well”.
Prince Harry said: “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’’. He said he had been to a psychiatrist “more than a couple of times” and explained his way of coping.
“My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help?,” he said.
“[I thought] it’s only going to make you sad, it’s not going to bring her back.
“So from an emotional side, I was like ‘right, don’t ever let your emotions be part of anything’.
“So I was a typical 20, 25, 28-year-old running around going ‘life is great’, or ‘life is fine’ and that was exactly it.
“And then 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.”
Prince Harry’s older brother, Prince William tried to persuade him to seek professional help.
“It’s all about timing,’’ Prince Harry said. “And for me personally, my brother, you know, bless him, he was a huge support to me. He kept saying ‘this is not right, this is not normal, you need to talk to [someone] about stuff, it’s OK’.
“The timing wasn’t right. You need to feel it in yourself, you need to find the right person to talk to as well.’’
Prince Harry’s revelations and using his high profile influence to encourage people to seek help
will be hailed as a watershed moment by mental health experts. Prince Harry said the Heads Together charity, also promoted by Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge was to get people to talk to others.
He said: “What we are trying to do is normalise the conversation to the point where anyone can sit down and have a coffee and just go ‘you know what, I’ve had a really s**t day, can I just tell about it? Because then you walk away and it’s done.”
Prince Harry said he was now “in a good place”.
“Because of the process I have been through over the past two and a half years, I’ve now been able to take my work seriously, been able to take my private life seriously as well, and been able to put blood, sweat and tears into the things that really make a difference and things that I think will make a difference to everybody else.”