Prince Harry, who had largely been silent about his mother, Princess Diana, her tragic death and the impact of this on his life, was the first Royal to make headlines having spoken openly about his mental health.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph Prince Harry revealed that in his late 20’s his life “began to crumble.” He found himself “overcome by fight or flight sensations” - overwhelming sensations that are present during an anxiety attack.”
He went on to reveal how he began to experience strong feelings of anger and at times was so overwhelmed that he felt as if he were “on the verge of punching someone.” He said that he didn’t understand where these eruptions were coming from, that he “just couldn’t put a finger” on what was wrong.
Harry described how it was his brother, Prince William, who provided the greatest support and encouraged him to seek professional help.
The young Prince revealed that it wasn’t until he began speaking with friends and family, and eventually a therapist, that he realised it was “unresolved grief” following the loss of his mother at such a young age that was crippling him.
“Losing my mum at the age of 12”, he said “and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had quite a serious effect not only on my personal life but my work as well.”
Harry, now 34, states that he is “in a good place” but really regrets not having talked about it for so many years. “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?” “It’s only going to make you sad, it’s not going to bring her back”, he told himself.
Following professional support Harry revealed, “the experience I’ve had is that once you start talking about it, you realise that actually you’re part of quite a big club”.
On mental health, Prince Harry states; “I can’t encourage people enough to just have that conversation, because, you will firstly be surprised at how much support you get and secondly, how many people literally are longing for you to come out.”
Sometimes we think our children/adolescents are coping well because they don't talk about their grief or loss. But, often the lack of discussion can be a result of bottling things up, which can sometimes lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, anger or other distressing symptoms. If you feel that you, or someone close to you is overwhelmed by any of these emotions now is the time to take that step forward and seek professional support. In my therapy practice we provide Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic (CBT) support to children, adolescents and adults experiencing these and other mental health difficulties . Talking about what is causing distress and looking at ways of coping is the first step on the journey towards mental wellness and improving quality of life. You can find out more About Us, CBT and How We Can Help. Get in touch or call for a chat.
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