Prince Harry Opens Up About His Struggle With Mental Health
On March 7, 2021, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, spoke with Oprah Winfrey in an interview that aired on CBS. Meghan Markle opened up about the many struggles she has faced after becoming a part of the royal family, including her struggle with mental health. Recently, Prince Harry has come forward to discuss his own mental health.
Prince Harry and Oprah have teamed together once again, only this time for an Apple TV+ series that focuses on mental health that they co-created and executive produced together called “The Me You Can’t See.”
Harry experienced severe anxiety and panic attacks while working as a member of the royal family. In an interview, he told Oprah Winfrey that he had started going to therapy four years ago. This is when he realized that his relationship with Meghan could be damaged or lost if he did not “fix himself.”
During one exchange in the series, Harry is asked if meeting his wife, Meghan Markle, helped him realize that there are parts of his past that he hasn’t yet processed or healed from. "I quickly established that if this relationship was going to work, that I was going to have to deal with my past because there was anger there — and it wasn't anger at her, it was just anger,” Harry told Oprah.
"It was a case of: You need to go back to the past, go back to the point of trauma, deal with it, process it, and then move forward,” Harry stated.
As a senior member of the royal family and the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry has been in the public eye ever since he was born. According to AP News, in “The Me You Can’t See,” Harry describes “feeling helpless as a young boy while riding in the car with his mother, Princess Diana, who cried as they were surrounded by paparazzi and she struggled to drive.”
In 1997, when Harry was just 12, his mother Princess Diana, was killed in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris. After his mother’s death, Harry “suppressed his own feelings to meet the mourning public gathered outside Kensington Palace,” said the Associated Press in a recent interview.
During an interview for the Apple TV+ series, Prince Harry reflected on Princess Diana’s funeral procession. “It was like I was outside of my body and just walking along, doing what was expected of me,” Harry explained. This traumatic experience began to take a toll on his mental health during his late 20s.
According to The New York Times, to address his grief regarding the death of his mother, Harry turned to substance abuse. “I was willing to drink, I was willing to take drugs, willing to try and do the things that made me feel less like I was feeling,” Prince Harry revealed in an interview for the series.
“I would probably drink a week’s worth in one day on a Friday or a Saturday night and I would find myself drinking not because I was enjoying it but because I was trying to mask something,” Harry said, referring back to his late 20s and early 30s. According to The New York Times, Harry described this time period as a “nightmare.” Although he opened up his past drinking habits, he did not reveal which drugs he had taken.
With the help of Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry was finally able to talk about what his life was really like as a senior member of the royal family and how it has impacted him. He exposed a different side of himself and has proved that discussing the importance of mental health is necessary for the healing process.