Prince Harry has made a startling revelation on the first episode of his and Oprah Winfrey’s five-part Apple TV+ docuseries focusing on mental Health called The Me You Can’t See. The Duke of Sussex has spoken candidly about taking to drugs and alcohol years after the death of his mother, Princess Diana and resorting to therapy only after meeting is wife Meghan Markle.
Diana died in a car crash, being chased by paparazzi in 1997 when Harry was only 12 years-old. He told Oprah that he ‘never processed’ his grief and couldn’t get over his mother’s death for years. He said that while growing up, he “wasn’t in an environment where it was encouraged to talk about it, either. That was sort of, like, squashed.”
When we hear others' stories, it empowers us to share our own. In #TheMeYouCantSee, you will hear from people around the world about their experiences with mental health and emotional well-being. Watch now on Apple TV+ #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth https://t.co/W8F9pbw1CI pic.twitter.com/dPG0b1uXVM
— Apple TV (@AppleTV) May 21, 2021
During the episode he said, “If people said, ‘How are you?’ I’d be like ‘fine,'” Prince Harry added. “Never happy. Never sad, just fine. Fine was the easy answer. But I was all over the place mentally. Every time I put a suit on and tie on and having to do the role, and sort of like go, ‘Right, game face’ look in the mirror and say, ‘let’s go,’ before I even left the house, I was pouring with sweat. I was in fight or flight mode. Panic attacks, severe anxiety. … So 28 to probably 32 was a nightmare time in my life, freaking out.” To cope with the anxiety and stress he turned to drugs and alcohol.
Talking about the substance abuse, Harry said, “I was willing to drink, I was willing to take drugs, I was willing to try and do the things that made me feel less like I was feeling,” he revealed, adding that he’d drink “a week’s worth of alcohol” on a Friday or Saturday night “not because I was enjoying it, but because I was trying to mask something.”
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) May 21, 2021
He further credited his wife Meghan for coming through and helping him get therapy only four years ago. Harry said, “It was meeting and being with Meghan. I knew that if I didn’t do therapy and fix myself, that I was going to lose this woman who I could see spending the rest of my life with. There was a lot of learning right at the beginning of our relationship. She was shocked to be coming backstage of the institution of the British royal family. When she said, ‘I think you need to see someone,’ that was in reaction to an argument we had. And in that argument, not knowing about it, I reverted back to 12-year-old Harry. 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. And she recognized it. She saw it.”