“I know I’m richly blessed and live a privileged life. But it did not make me immune to depression,” Middleton, 31, wrote in an article for The Daily Mail published on Friday, January 11. “It is tricky to describe the condition. It is not merely sadness. It is an illness, a cancer of the mind.”
He continued: “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.”
Middleton credited his sister Duchess Kate, her husband, Prince William, and Prince Harry with giving him the strength to speak out about the clinical depression that struck him in late 2016. “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,” he noted. “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.”
The entrepreneur sought help in December 2017, at which time he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
James, who is also the brother of Pippa Middleton, admitted that he cut off his family amid his health issues. “You may wonder why I didn’t confide in them, but those who are closest to you are the hardest to speak to. It was impossible to let my loved ones know about the torture in my mind. Equally, anything they’d have said would have been rebuffed,” he explained. “That’s why I withdrew from them, repelled their well-intentioned advice and finally stopped answering their calls and texts.”
Eventually, the Brit’s family “were proactive in helping [him] enormously.” In addition, James praised his dogs for assisting in his recovery.
He concluded: “If I could leave you with just one thought, it would be this: ‘It’s OK not to be OK.’”
James is the youngest child of Michael and Carole Middleton. He has previously been open about living with dyslexia.
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