Prince Harry once again sat down with Oprah Winfrey and opened up about his mental health struggles, saying that his anger about his mother’s death and the lack of support from the Royal Family caused him to turn to drugs and alcohol.
The new interview between Harry and Oprah is a part of The Me You Can’t See, a documentary series that is meant to destigmatize discussing and taking action for your mental health. In the interview, Harry says that after the death of his mother, Princess Diana, he was filled with resentment and began having panic attacks into adulthood.
“I was so angry with what happened to her, and the fact that there was no justice at all … The same people that chased her through that tunnel photographed her dying on the back seat of that car,” he explained.
Harry says that he tried to reach out to his family for support but instead was told by his father, Prince Charles, that dealing with the stress and anxiety was simply part of being in the Royal Family. As a result, Harry ended up relying on substances in order to cope with his frustration and anger.
“I was willing to drink, I was willing to take drugs, I was willing to try and do the things that made me feel less like I was feeling,” he said. “Not because I was enjoying it but because I was trying to mask something.”
After stepping away from the Royal Family last year, Harry revealed that he has found relief in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), which was specifically designed to allow people to address and confront painful memories and trauma.
“One of the biggest lessons that I’ve ever learned in life is you’ve sometimes got to go back and to deal with really uncomfortable situations and be able to process it in order to be able to heal,” he said.
In the series, Harry is shown using EMDR to deal with the anxiety he has about flying to London because it reminds him of his mother’s death. Rather than avoid the feelings, he is told to follow the memories and negative feelings. Harry has credited his experience with EMDR for allowing him to care for his mental health effectively by dealing with his trauma.
The Me You Can’t See debuts on Apple TV+ on May 21.