The Duke of Sussex has expanded on the difficulties he faced in confronting his mental health, saying that he thought therapy “would kill” him if he pursued it. Joining Hungarian-Canadian physician Dr. Gabor Maté Saturday morning for a recorded conversation, the pair examined the intricacies of trauma, mental health diagnoses, mental health awareness and Prince Harry’s personal experience with trauma growing up as a member of the Royal family.
After the Jan. 10 release of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex’s memoir “Spare,” the new author has joined journalists and physicians to discuss the overarching theme of freedom, and lack thereof, when growing up in the public eye, and specifically as a present-day junior royal.
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Less than two months since the Prince shocked readers with explicit and intimate details about his unique childhood and how he has raised his own two children, Archie and Lilibet, Harry continues to focus on raising awareness for mental health.
In his conversation with Dr. Maté, Harry revealed his initial apprehension and fears regarding therapy, in general, and since the decades following the death of his mother, Princess Diana.
“One of the things I was most scared about, was losing the feeling that I had of my mom,” he said during the conversation. “I thought that if I went to therapy, that it would kill me, and that I would lose whatever I had left — whatever I had managed to hold on to of my mother.”
The Duke added, “It turns out that that wasn’t the case. I didn’t lose that. It was the opposite. It turned what I thought was supposed to be sadness, to try to prove to her that I missed her into realizing that actually she really just wanted me to be happy. And that was a huge weight off my chest.”
While the Prince has expressed his concern about losing the memory of his mother through the grieving process, he notes he’s discovered similarities between himself and his late mother: “I always felt slightly different to the rest of my family. I felt strange being in this container and I know that my mom felt the same.”
“The times that I ventured towards being myself, being my authentic true self for one shape or another, whether it was through media or family or whatever it was, it was almost like ‘Don’t be yourself. Come back to what you’re expected it to be,’” continued the Duke.
Throughout therapy, writing and retelling his story, the Prince was able to reckon with his upbringing and explore the mental health effects of his abnormal situation. At the end of the conversation, Harry affirmed that he was met with significant assistance and guidance from his wife, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.
“People have said my wife saved me. I was stuck in this world and she was from a different world and helps sort of draw me out of that. But none of the elements of my life now would have been possible without me seeing it for myself.” concluded the Duke.
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