SUBSCRIBE NOW
99¢ per month for 3 months
SUBSCRIBE NOW
99¢ per month for 3 months

Prince Harry’s frank interview on mental health issues

Gregory Katz
Associated Press

London — Prince Harry has broken with royal tradition of maintaining silence about mental health issues by speaking candidly about his severe emotional problems following the death of his mother Princess Diana.

The 32-year-old prince told The Daily Telegraph in an interview published Monday that he had nearly suffered breakdowns since his mother’s 1997 death in a car crash and had needed counseling in his late 20s.

It was by far the most frank interview of Harry’s life, and gives the public its first glimpse of the inner turmoil he suffered growing up in the public eye after losing his mother when he was only 12.

He told the newspaper he “shut down all his emotions” for nearly 20 years and had been “very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions.”

He describes a long, painful process of refusing to face his sense of loss that only came to an end when he was in his late 20s and sought professional counseling to cope with the pressures and unhappiness.

“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?” he said of his teens and 20s, a period in which he embarked on a successful military career but also occasionally attracted unwanted headlines, notably for being photographed playing “strip billiards” in Las Vegas.

In the interview, Harry said he had at times felt “on the verge of punching someone” and had taken up boxing as an outlet for the aggression he felt.

He said the long suppression of his grief eventually led to “two years of total chaos.”

He said he was pretending that life was great until he started counseling and faced his problems head on.

“All of a sudden, all of this grief that I have never processed started to come to the forefront and I was like, there is actually a lot of stuff here that I need to deal with,” he said.

Harry praised his brother Prince William for helping him seek help after many years of suffering in silence.