Mind

Basmah Qazi

Duchess Kate's brother speaks out about secret battle

Duchess Kate's brother speaks out about secret battle

James Middleton has opened up about his battle with depression in the hopes to eliminate the stigma surrounding the mental illness.

The 31-year-old labelled the illness as a “cancer of the mind” and said it was his sister, her husband Prince William and Prince Harry who inspired the entrepreneur to reveal the details about his struggles, as all three are advocates for mental health.

“I feel compelled to talk about it openly because 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,” wrote James in an article for the Daily Mail.

“They believe we can only tackle the stigma associated with mental illness if we have the courage to change the national conversation, to expel its negative associations. So, it wouldn’t be honest to suppress my story. I want to speak out, and they are my motivation for doing so.

“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.”

Depression completely took over James’ life for over a year, and it wasn’t until he sought treatment over 12 months ago that he started seeing an improvement.

“During the day I’d drag myself up and go to work, then just stare with glazed eyes at my computer screen, willing the hours to tick by so I could drive home again,” wrote James.

“Debilitating inertia gripped me. I couldn’t respond to the simplest message, so I didn’t open my emails.

“I couldn’t communicate, even with those I loved best: my family and close friends.”

James – who also has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) – said that while he never thought of suicide as an option, he “didn’t want to live in the state of mind” he was in either.

It was after he sought professional help through therapy that he felt he was able to control his depression.

James also credited his family for helping him “enormously” as he asked his doctor to speak to them on his behalf, as he found it difficult to explain his condition.

If you are troubled by this article, experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide, you can call the Depression Helpline at 0800 111 757 or visit depression.org.nz.