JAMES MIDDLETON reveals his private fight with depression with devastating honesty and courage

James Middleton & # 39; felt a complete failure & # 39; while he secretly suffered from depression. Sleep woke me every night. A cacophony of imaginary sounds sounded in my head. It felt like ten different radio stations were fighting for airtime and the noise was endless and exhausted. During the day that I would swallow up and went to work, I just stared at my computer screen with gleaming eyes, willing to tap the hours so I could drive home again. The debilitating inertia caught me. I could not respond to the simplest message, so I did not open my e-mails. I could not communicate, even with the people I liked most: my family and close friends. Their anxious texts became more emphatic by the day and yet they went unanswered as I gradually sank deeper into a swamp of despair. All color and emotion had leaked out of my world and everything was gray and monotonous. I know that I am richly blessed and live a privileged life. But it did not make me immune to depression. It is difficult to describe the situation. It is not just grief. It is a disease, a cancer of the mind. It is not a feeling but an absence of feelings. You exist without purpose or direction. I could not feel joy, excitement or expectation – only anxious fears brought me out of bed in the morning. I did not really consider suicide, but I did not want to live in the state of mind I was in. I also felt misunderstood; a complete failure. I would not wish the feeling of worthlessness and despair, the isolation and the loneliness of my worst enemy. I felt like I was going crazy. More than a year ago – in December 2017 – after a gradual deterioration of my mental health for 12 months, I picked up my dogs in my car and told no one where I was going, drove to a wild part of the Lake District where I loved when I was a child. There I swam in an ice-cold Coniston Water, I made lonely walks on snow-covered mountains and I stayed alone in a remote house for a few days, eating packets and trying to keep the tumult in mind. In the days before I had finally faced the fact that I could no longer handle it, that I was not good; that I desperately needed help. And this recognition led to a kind of calm: I knew that if I accepted help there would be hope. It was a small spark of light in the darkness.

James Middleton was struck by a deep clinical depression at the end of 2016, which caused his mental health to deteriorate for a year. You may wonder why I have now chosen to talk about the clinical depression that struck me for the first time towards the end of 2016. There are two reasons. First, I feel – although I would never say that I am cured of it – that I understand it now and with professional help I have developed strategies to deal with it. Today I feel a new sense of purpose and joy of life. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, I feel compelled to speak openly about it, because this is exactly what my brother-in-law Prince William, my sister Catherine and Prince Harry are advocating through their charitable mental health heads together. They believe that we Only address the stigma associated with mental illness if we have the courage to change the national conversation and dispel its negative associations. So it would not be fair to suppress my story. I want to speak out, and that is my motivation to do that. Depression is only a small part of the complex jigsaw puzzle that I am. From childhood I knew that I was very dyslexic – both letters and numbers are jumping and still fading on the page in front of me and sometimes I struggle to spell even the simplest words. But when I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) a year ago, all the peculiarities and weaknesses of my character started to get meaning.ADD, an adult variant of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which is associated with children, produces a series of symptoms.And it was a revelation when I was told that I had it. It has explained so much. It is the reason that I have difficulty with focusing; why does my mind wander to extravagant daydreams; why simple tasks such as making my bed take the same amount as filing my tax return. ADVERSION also explains other things: why am I restless, energetic and impulsive; why I start tasks but can not complete them; why I sometimes seem impatient and do not listen, because my spirit carries on some flight. But I also see my ADD as a gift: it explains my creativity and emotional intensity. It means that I think of fantastic, original ideas – but it also explains why I have had problems with the details of running a business.

Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have tackled the stigmatization of mental health by charity-minded heads together. (Front LR) Prince William, Prince George, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Queen Elizabeth, (Standing LR) Michael Middleton, Pippa Middleton, James Middleton, Carole Middleton, Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Philip. But now I am beginning to impose order on my life. I write a list of ten things that I want to do every day. If I know that I really have to concentrate on a task, I can use medication that my doctor has prescribed to keep my symptoms under control. If that is the present, then it also explains my past. As soon as I can remember, I knew that my brain was wired differently than most people's. In my preparatory school – St. Andrew's, in Pangbourne, Berkshire – I was very slow in reading and calculating, but also convenient and practical. At a young age I was curious to take things apart and rebuild them. I made mini-steam toys. I have assembled IKEA flatpacks without the instructions, intuitively exactly how the pieces fit together, just from a drawing of the finished product. But when I was read aloud to read aloud from a book in front of the class, letters would jump, form strange words; I would read another story from everyone else. I was terrified of ridicule and ashamed of being a slow learner. I hid my beginner's book in a more advanced book, so none of my classmates knew that I was so far behind them. I also started to feel the pressure not to be able to write well. Words became unreadable wriggles because I did not know how to spell them (I still often do not). And I became isolated because of my dyslexia because I lost extracurricular activities while I was catching up on academic work. I stayed behind permanently. Now of course I know that it was ADD, so I could not concentrate on the smallest tasks: even brushing and dressing teeth seemed insurmountable, senseless exercises. But I found great mechanical and practical work. I removed old tractors and Land Rovers and rebuilt them. I remembered in the smallest part I went to. When I went to high school and followed my sisters to board the Marlborough College in Wiltshire, I had terrible homesickness.

At his lowest point, James put his dogs in a car and drove to the Lake District to be alone. Catherine had already left for college when I got there, but having Pippa in the neighborhood was a consolation. Yet I did not fit in. Because of my dyslexia, I had more time to complete exams, which was a waste of time: it simply meant that I had more time to realize that I could not answer the questions. I was coached and walked through my GCSEs, but A levels turned out to be impossible. My numbers were terrible, so I took them again – and again in the sixth grade, finally with results that allowed me to refine the University of Edinburgh to study the management of environmental resources. in, I thought: & # 39; What am I doing here? & # 39; I could not deal with studying independently and wanted to quit – and after a year I did that. I do not criticize the system. But because I did not know that my brain worked differently – and my parents did not – I could not find a way to send my ADD. If the diagnosis and help had happened earlier, I would have found life so much easier. I felt that it was not able to match the expectations of society. I also knew that I could only work for myself – I could not do it I followed the limitations and the habit of working – so I set up two companies by the time I was 20: a supplier of cake making kits to home bakers, then another, Nice Cakes, making personalized photo cakes. They are closed now, but I have learned from them and made progress. Today I have my personalized company for greeting cards, Boomf, which I am very proud of, and I am enthusiastic about future companies. It is run by a fantastic team that supported me in my dark times and encouraged my creative range. it's hard work to do business – even without ADD and dyslexia it's like pushing your water up. Obtained by both (although the ADD was not yet diagnosed) I found it difficult to deal with it. Doubt to itself has eroded my self-confidence; nothing made me happy, passionate or more excited. At the end of 2016 my heart started to beat so fast that it felt like an engine was running at full speed. I knew something was wrong, so I called my doctor and I had tests that showed arrhythmia – irregular heartbeat – caused by stress and anxiety. After a short time with medication, the symptoms disappeared. But, against the advice of my doctor, I did nothing to treat the cause of the problem. The best part of 2017 passed in a fog. I hardly functioned, stopped talking to my friends, went through the movements of life and work, but achieved nothing at all. I came very close to closing my business. And my heart was still pounding as if it was strenuous to jump out of my body. But I tried to convince myself that things were going well for me. I explain everything about the stress of work. Meanwhile, my family – afraid of distraction – could not break through the barrier of my silence. I wanted to stay in bed all day, and it was only intense fear-a feeling as if someone were screaming in my face-that was driving me in the Morning. So at the end of that year, after months of insomnia, anxiety and slowness, I realized that I should consult with my doctor again. When I called her, I felt like I was trying to hold a waterfall of emotions. I struggled to get the words out and I was almost sobbing. "I'm not OK. I need help, "I could say. This time I knew I was ready to give her advice and go to psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Pereira. After that recognition I drove to the Lake District for those days of escape. And it felt like a release. Since then, I see Dr. Pereira every week. He sent me to be tested on ADD, and it was the only test I ever passed. Once I started to understand the condition, everything about me started to fall into place and become logical. In addition to unraveling the confused mess in my life, I still have sessions with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help me change the patterns of my thoughts and behavior. In the meantime I had given my family doctor permission to talk with my family, who had been desperately worried about me for months. At that stage I could not talk to them and wanted to explain to an independent and objective professional what was wrong with me. You may wonder why I did not trust them, but those who are closest to you are the hardest to contradict. It was impossible to inform my beloved in my mind about the torture. Similarly, everything they would have said would have been rejected.

James has a renewed 'joy of living & # 39; now he begins to talk about the way he felt and sought help. That's why I retired, rejected their well-intentioned advice and finally stopped answering their phone calls and text messages. at the beginning of January last year I took work free. It was a huge relief, I did not have to trade and work completely to get better. I learned about depression and enjoyed going to therapy. Each and every one of the shafts of sunlight began to penetrate the twilight. My family was proactive in helping me – it was an education for all of us to understand the complex nature of depression. I also began to embrace my ADD, to understand that my impulsiveness, energy and ability to be distracted were connected to a creative and individual mind. I now consider myself a starter. I have a lot of inspiration, but I have to make my ideas light up by people who are better at managing a company every day. I also recognize the role of my dogs – Ella, Inca, Luna, Zulu and Mabel – have played in my recovery. Ella has been my regular companion for ten years and she has been with me during all my therapy sessions. In her own way she has kept me going. As a result, Ella and I have now volunteered at the charity Pets As Therapy and Ella is a full therapy dog ​​for PAT people have also asked me if my public profile made it more difficult for me. Would I have become so depressed if I were not subject to the pressure of public control that accompanies my association with the royal family? The answer is, I believe I would do that. But I would not have found a voice or outlet for my story if it were not for the people with whom I was a family. And that places me in a unique position of privilege and trust. I feel that I have the duty to speak so that I can help others who suffer as I do. I now know that I do not give it a weakness. The stigma that attaches to a mental illness becomes less. Today – however difficult it is to admit this – I am glad that I am going through a debilitating depression because I now have the skills to fight it. I have more knowledge of my strengths and weaknesses and am a more confident person than I was before. The end result of this trip was positive. If I could leave you with one thought, it would be this: "It is OK not to be OK." That is the mantra that gave me the strength to speak out. Now that I've done it here, it feels like a big weight has been lifted. No fee has been paid for this item. At the request of James a donation was made to Pets As Therapy and Heads Together.