Prince Harry says Meghan Markle was the reason he started therapy: 'She could tell that I was hurting'

·4-min read
Prince Harry gets candid about his decision to go to therapy. (Photo: Getty Images)
Prince Harry gets candid about his decision to go to therapy. (Photo: Getty Images)

Prince Harry opened up about his mental health in an episode of Dax Shepard's podcast Armchair Expert, sharing that he began going to therapy after meeting Meghan Markle.

"It was a conversation that I had with my now-wife," Harry said of the moment he decided to seek help. "And she saw it, she saw it straight away. She could tell that I was hurting and that some of the stuff that was out of my control was making me really angry and it would make my blood boil."

Harry went on to explain that he "always felt different" in his role of privilege, recognizing early on that he related more to the people and communities throughout the commonwealth that he was working with than he did to those inside of the palace. More specifically, it was three moments of "helplessness" that pushed him to take action about how "unjust" he felt the treatment he and his family received.

"The three major times that I felt completely helpless — one when I was a kid in the back of the car with my mom being chased by paparazzi. Two was in Afghanistan in an Apache helicopter. And then the third one was with my wife and those are the moments in my life where, yeah, feeling helpless hurts. It really hurts," he explained. "And that's when you think to yourself, s**t, I've got the privilege, I've got the platform, I've got the influence and even I can't fix this. I can't change this. And when you start getting in your head about it, that's when it starts sort of taking a toll."

Much of that helplessness for Harry came from the fact that he was born into his role as a member of the royal family. "It’s a mix between the Truman Show and being in a zoo," he said. "Being born into it, you inherit the risk. You inherit the risk that comes with it, you inherit every element without choice."

Throughout his upbringing, he experienced the ins-and-outs of the monarchy, which led him to dislike it even more. After meeting Markle, he found tools that would help him to compromise the privilege that he had and the dissatisfaction he was feeling. 

"In my early twenties, I was a case of, I don't want this job. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be doing this. Look what it did to my mom. How am I ever going to settle down, have a wife and a family when I know that it’s going to happen again? Because I know. I've seen behind the curtain. I’ve seen the business model, I know how this operation runs and how it works. I don't want to be part of this," he explained. "And then once I started doing therapy, suddenly it was like the bubble was burst. I plucked my head out of the sand, gave it a good shake off and I was like, 'OK, you're in this position of privilege. Stop complaining or stop thinking as though you want something different. Make this different. Because you can't get out. So how are you going to do this differently? How are you going to make your mom proud? How are you going to use this platform to really affect change and be able to give people that confidence to be able to change their own lives?"

Although at the time, Harry didn't believe that he could change his narrative, he pointed out that the "course is being altered now."

"Now here I am. I moved my whole family to the U.S," he said. "Well, that wasn't the plan. But sometimes you’ve got to make decisions and put your family first and your mental health first."

While paparazzi in California are still a consideration for the family of three — soon to be four with the upcoming birth of Harry and Meghan's daughter — Harry recognizes that his lifestyle is already healthier than it was back in England.

"Living here now I can actually lift my head and, actually, I feel different. My shoulders have dropped, so has hers, and walk around feeling a little more free. I get to take Archie on the back of my bicycle," he said. "I would never have the chance to do that."

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