Prince Harry revealed an argument with then-girlfriend Meghan Markle was what pushed him to get therapy.
In candid interviews with Oprah Winfrey on his new Apple TV show, The Me You Can’t See, the Duke of Sussex, 36, said he realised he could ‘lose the woman he could see spending the rest of his life with’ if he didn’t ‘fix’ himself.
Harry told how he had tried drugs and alcohol to numb his pain, not realising at the time that was what he was doing, and when people close to him told him to seek help, he would say he did not need help.
It wasn’t until he met Meghan, he said in the second episode, that he decided he needed help. He’s now been in therapy for four years.
Prince Harry revealed an argument with then-girlfriend Meghan Markle was what pushed him to get therapy
‘I saw GPs. I saw doctors. I saw therapists. I saw alternative therapists. I saw all sorts of people, but it was meeting and being with Meghan,’ he explained.
‘I knew that if I didn’t do the therapy and fix myself that I was going to lose this woman who I could see spending the rest of my life with.
‘When she said, “I think you need to see someone,” it was in reaction to an argument that we had. And in that argument not knowing about it, I reverted back to 12-year-old Harry.’
Prior to seeking help, Harry told how he simply tried to push his mother from his mind.
‘I don’t want to think about her, because if I think about her then it’s going to bring up the fact that I can’t bring her back and it’s just going to make me sad,’ he said.
‘What’s the point in thinking about something sad, what’s the point of thinking about someone that you’ve lost and you’re never going to get back again. And I just decided not to talk about it.’
It wasn’t until he met Meghan, Harry said in the second episode, that he decided he needed help (pictured together after announcing their engagement in November 2017)
He said the moment he started therapy, his therapist told him that during his argument with his girlfriend, it sounded like he was ‘reverting to 12-year-old Harry’.
‘I felt somewhat ashamed and defensive. Like, “How dare you? You’re calling me a child”. And she goes, “No, I’m not calling you a child. I’m expressing sympathy and empathy for you for what happened to you when you were a child. You never processed it. You were never allowed to talk about it and all of a sudden now it’s coming up in different ways as projection”.
‘That was the start of a learning journey for me. I became aware that I’d been living in a bubble within this family, within this institution and I was sort of almost trapped in a thought process or a mindset.’
He added: ‘For me, therapy has equipped me to be able to take on anything.’
Harry also admitted he felt ‘ashamed’ about how he dealt with his wife Meghan’s traumatic feelings, referencing the suicidal thoughts she spoke about during their interview with Oprah in March.
The Duchess, 39, said she considered ending it all while she was pregnant with Archie, now two, and claimed she went to the Palace for help, but they refused.
In the new programme, Harry said the way Meghan was feeling reminded him of his mother’s final days.
The Duchess, 39, said she considered ending it all while she was pregnant with Archie, now two, and claimed she went to the Palace for help, but they refused (pictured at the Royal Albert Hall, after sharing her suicidal thoughts with Harry)
‘History was repeating itself,’ he told Oprah. ‘My mother was chased to her death while she was in a relationship with someone who wasn’t white. And now look what’s happened.
‘It’s incredibly triggering to potentially lose another woman in my life. Like, the list is growing. And it all comes back to the same people, the same business model, the same industry.’
Harry told Oprah he thought his family would help, but claimed ‘every single ask, request, warning, whatever, it is just got met with total silence, total neglect’.
‘We spent four years trying to make it work. We did everything that we possibly could to stay there and carry on doing the role and doing the job. But Meghan was struggling,’ he explained.
Before they walked into the Royal Albert Hall in London for a charity event when Meghan was already six months pregnant, gripping each others hands, Harry said on the show, ‘Meghan decided to share with me the suicidal thoughts and the practicalities of how she was going to end her life.
‘I’m somewhat ashamed of the way that I dealt with it,’ he said, ‘and of course because of the system that we were in and the responsibilities and the duties that we had, we had a quick cuddle and then we had to get changed and had to jump into a convoy with a police escort and drive to the Royal Albert Hall for a charity event.
‘There wasn’t an option to say, “You know what, tonight we’re not going to go, because just imagine the stories that come from that,” he said, recounting how once the lights dim Meghan started to cry and he felt ashamed he could not go to his family.’
Harry said in an interview with Oprah that the only thing preventing Meghan from killing herself was the thought that it would be unfair to him to lose another woman he loved in his life while also pregnant with their baby.
‘The scariest thing for her was her clarity of thought,’ he said. ‘She hadn’t lost it. She wasn’t crazy. She wasn’t self-medicating, be it through pills or by alcohol. She was absolutely sober. She was completely sane. Yet in the quiet of night, these thoughts woke her up.’
Harry claimed his family tried to prevent him and Megan from leaving when she was struggling to cope.
Harry said his family tried to prevent him and Megan from leaving when she was having suicidal thoughts
‘That feeling of being trapped within the family, there was no option to leave. Eventually when I made that decision for my family, I was still told, “You can’t do this”,’ Harry recounted to Oprah. ‘And it’s like, ‘Well how bad does it have to get until I am allowed to do this?’ She [Markle] was going to end her life. It shouldn’t have to get to that.’
When asked if he has any regrets, he says it is not taking a stand earlier in his relationship with Markle. Ultimately, he claimed, he and Meghan had to leave the U.K. to ‘put our mental health first.’
‘That’s what we’re doing,’ the prince said, ‘and that’s what we’ll continue to do.’
‘It was like that for me so it’s going to be like that for you’: Harry criticises his father Charles for continuing the cycle of generational suffering
In the third episode of the series, Harry talks about how his family would not discuss their feelings, leading to more ‘generational suffering.’
‘My father used to say to me when I was younger, he used to say to both William and I, “Well, it was like that for me so it’s going to be like that for you”,’ Harry says. ‘That doesn’t make sense. Just because you suffered, that doesn’t mean your kids have to suffer. In fact, quite the opposite. If you suffered, do everything you can to make sure that whatever negative experiences you had, you can make it right for your kids.’
‘Isn’t this all about breaking the cycle?’ he asked, rhetorically. ‘Isn’t this all about making sure that history doesn’t repeat itself.’
He said in an interview with Dax Shephard before the series aired he doesn’t blame anyone, ‘but certainly when it comes to parenting, if I’ve experienced some form of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered, I’m going to make sure I break that cycle so that I don’t pass it on, basically.
‘It’s a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on anyway so we as parents should be doing the most we can to try and say ‘you know what, that happened to me, I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen to you’.’
He added: ‘I never saw it, I never knew about it, and then suddenly I started to piece it together and go ‘OK, so this is where he went to school, this is what happened, I know this about his life, I also know that is connected to his parents so that means he’s treated me the way he was treated, so how can I change that for my own kids’.
‘And here I am, I moved my whole family to the US, that wasn’t the plan but sometimes you’ve got make decisions and put your family first and put your mental health first.’
‘This is my mum. You haven’t even met her’: Harry hit out at mourners at Diana’s funeral who showed ‘ten times’ as much emotion as he could
In the first episode of the Apple TV+ series, the Duke of Sussex recounts how he was only allowed to show ‘one-tenth of the emotion everyone else was feeling,’ making him angry as he saw strangers on the street crying over Diana’s death.
‘This was my mother,’ he said, ‘you never even met her.’
Prince Harry said on the show he was discouraged from talking about his mother’s death. Pictured, a young Prince Harry and Prince William with Princess Diana in 1995
The prince has previously spoken of the emotional turmoil he faced after his mother was killed in a Paris car crash in 1997, saying he spent nearly two decades ‘not thinking’ about her death before eventually getting help after a period of ‘total chaos’.
He said on the show he was discouraged from talking about his mother’s death, and when people would ask him how he was feeling, he said, ‘fine was the easy answer.’
But, the prince said in his new show, by the time he was 28 he would ‘freak out’ whenever he saw a camera flash or he had to get into a car, and over the weekends he ‘probably drank a week’s worth in a single day.’