The younger brother of Kate Middleton, James Middleton, has opened up about his battle with mental health issues.
In an essay he wrote for The Daily Mail, the businessman openly speaks about his attention-deficit disorder (ADD) and his fight with depression.
James, 31, struggled for about a year before reaching out for help in December 2017.
He wrote, “I know I’m richly blessed and live a privileged life. But it did not make me immune to depression. It is tricky to describe the condition. It is not merely sadness. It is an illness, a cancer of the mind.”
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James added, “It’s not a feeling but an absence of feelings. You exist without purpose or direction. I couldn’t feel joy, excitement or anticipation–only heart-thudding anxiety propelled me out of bed in the morning. I didn’t actually contemplate suicide—but I didn’t want to live in the state of mind I was in either.”
He also opened up about dealing with dyslexia and undiagnosed ADD as a child, saying, “I’m not criticizing the system. But because I didn’t know my brain worked differently — and neither did my parents — I couldn’t find a way of steering round my ADD. If diagnosis and help had happened sooner, I’d have found life so much easier.”
In 2016 he found out that he had an irregular heartbeat due to stress that medication was able to help. However, it took until late 2017 for him to confront his depression.
His sister, brother-in-law Prince William, and Prince Harry started the charity Heads Together in the United Kingdom to help reduce the stigma around mental health. Their work in this sector was one of the factors when James decided to speak out.
“This is precisely what my brother-in-law Prince William, my sister Catherine and Prince Harry are advocating through their mental health charity Heads Together,” he said.
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James wanted the readers to know that even if he wasn’t a public figure he would still have had a battle with mental health issues. He said how people have asked him “Would I have become so depressed if I hadn’t been subject to the pressure of public scrutiny that comes with my association with the Royal Family? The answer is, I believe I would.”
Adding on that the flipside he would have not have “found a voice or an outlet for [his] story.”
He ended it by saying, “If I could leave you with just one thought, it would be this: ‘It’s OK not to be OK.'”