Prince Harry Talks Candidly About Anxiety, Coping With Trauma

By David Konow 06/27/17

Prince Harry believes his anxiety attacks were a result of not properly dealing with the death of his mother, Princess Diana.

Prince Harry

In a series of recent interviews, Prince Harry has opened up about his battles with depression, trauma and anxiety. He told Newsweek, “My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television. I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances.”

Speaking to Forces TV, Prince Harry said anxiety made him feel like “a washing machine” in social situations. “I was just pouring with sweat, my heart beating—boom, boom, boom, boom…I was like, ‘Oh my God, get me out of here now. Oh, hang on, I can’t get out of here, I have got to just hide it.’” He also told The Daily Beast that he believes his anxiety attacks were a result of not dealing properly with his mother’s death.

Prince Harry confessed that he joined the army because he felt like quitting the royal family, telling People it was the “best escape I’ve ever had. I wasn’t a prince, I was just Harry.”

Fighting in Afghanistan was Prince Harry’s “trigger” that finally made him deal with the loss of his mother. “So many people who suffer from depression, anxiety, alcoholism, it can be from when you were younger…So many people are, you know, like slightly mental. Awesome! We are, we are all mental and we have all got to deal with our stuff.”

In recent years, Prince Harry has been a strong advocate for mental health, forming an organization, Heads Together, that helps reduce the stigma against mental illness, and helps people that are struggling. (Prince William’s wife Kate Middleton also formed a program called M-PACT, which helps children with parents who have substance use problems.)

With his military experience, Prince Harry speaks with people in the armed forces about post-traumatic stress disorder as well, and he encourages people with mental health issues to get help so they can remove their personal stumbling blocks, and live life to the fullest.

“Rather than running around at 50% capacity, imagine if we could run around at 100% capacity. Imagine what we could achieve.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.