In a recent interview to coincide with World Mental Health Day, newly engaged James Middleton opened up about his battle with depression, revealing that he visited a private psychiatric hospital and underwent almost a year of cognitive behavioural therapy. The 32-year-old first revealed he was dealing with suicidal thoughts while at these sessions and eventually, his entire family - the Duchess of Cambridge included - attended therapy sessions to aid his recovery.
Speaking to The Telegraph, James talked about getting help for the first time and having to admit out loud the severity of the situation. "I remember thinking, 'I might have to answer this one truthfully, because I want them to help me,'" he explained of confronting the doctor's questions about suicidal ideation. "So I said, 'Well, actually, yes, but I don’t think I’ll ever action it.' In my report it said I had suicidal thoughts but wasn’t a threat to myself."
"Before I started [therapy] I was completely lost," he said, describing it as like, "sitting in a chair with a ball of wool made up of eight different colours, and then a therapist is sitting opposite you with a needle untangling it. When we started mapping everything out, and it was on a page, it was absolute chaos."
James went through nearly a year of cognitive behavioural therapy with his family attending sessions to help understand what their son and brother was going through.
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"All of them," he said, confirming that Kate took part in the therapy process with him. "Not necessarily at the same time, but either individually and [sometimes] together. And that was so important because that helped them understand me and how my mind was working. And I think the way the therapy helped me was that I didn’t need my family to say, 'What can we do?' The only thing they could do was just come to some of the therapy sessions to start to understand."
When asked if he would have found happiness with his bride-to-be Alize Thevenet without seeking help, James answered, "To have fallen in love with her, and for her now to be my fiancee? Probably not…"
If you or anyone you know needs help or advice, please call Lifeline (131 114) or Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636). If you need help immediately, please call 000.