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Prince Harry to Oprah: "Mental Illness is an Invisible Evil"

The power of fragility

By Jessica Marinetto

Prince Harry with the program "The me you can't see" by Oprah Winfrey manages to tell his story without masks, to be able to break down the stigma of silence, the barriers of shame and infinities prejudices that lurk in society.

A visceral journey above all intimate through the emotions and feelings that the Duke of Sussex he had to live after Lady Diana's death.

This is why I have chosen to tackle this theme by talking about the emotions that Harry mentions during the entire course of the interview.

As the real focus is not so much the use of drugs or alcohol, as most of the media reported, of course it is shocking but that, as the Prince reports, is only there consequently of "living in an environment that does not encourage you to talk about it".

Thus begins the dialogue between the two, sitting opposite each other, discussing the amplification of the problems following Covid-19, the loneliness that brought the historical moment and how much there is a need for mutual listening today more than ever.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Oprah (@oprah)

Harry, at this point, admits that he has been in therapy for four years, a long time for a person who has always believed he didn't need it and that at some point he felt the urge to heal from past "because if you do not process the pain, it comes back in many other forms", and again "Something unsolved consumes you”.

You know, I heard a while ago that a branch of psychology says that if we tell each other something several times, even if it is not true, we end up believing it and it becomes reality. This is exactly that happened to Harry, we are convinced that we are fine even if it is not so, for a thousand reasons different: fear, shame, little courage or guilt.

The protection

"The most vivid image I have of my mother, it seems incredible, but it's me and my brother William,sitting in the back with the belt and her trying to drive with four or five paparazzi mopeds chasing her. She was never able to drive because her eyes were full of tears ”.

Powerlessness

Harry experiences a strong sense of guilt because he wanted to protect her from all that persecution which has seen Lady D. as its protagonist since day one but, rationally, wonders “how could I protect a woman, my mother from all that? I was just a young man ”. This it happened every day, until the day of her death in Paris.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Princess Diana Spencer (@princesdianaa)

The estrangement

Diana's death occurred due to a mad pursuit by the paparazzi. The world whole mourned her death and we all looked at those two children with pain, we cried for them and we felt guilty about the hunger for news about the royal family that flooded the tabloids of Worldwide.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Princess Diana Spencer (@princesdianaa)

At this point, the sentence that most made me think about Harry was this: “I had to share the pain of my mother's death with the whole world. I only remember the horses footsteps over the red bowl road and showed a tenth of the emotions compared to others and I said to myself: “she was my mother, you didn't even know her”.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Princess Diana Spencer (@princesdianaa)

Anger

Once again there has been no justice and no consequences for the paparazzi who have it followed in that gallery, the same people who photographed her as she died in the back seat.

I don't want to think about it The Prince tells Oprah that he doesn't want to remember his mother's death “I get sad because I can't bring it back to life so I avoid thinking about it ”.

So, Harry tells us that he decided not to talk about it, nobody around him did. A pain so great, like the loss of your mother and not being able to overcome it with the love of your family, but repress it in the most deafening silence.

“When I had to wear a jacket and tie to go to some public event I said: “well wear the mask, fight or run away”. Thus he began to suffer from severe panic attacks and forms of anxiety that accompanied him for years.

The black period

From the age of 28 to 32, the Prince was convinced that during the official exits of the royal family, the audience and the paparazzi could see the emotions he felt, even if it wasn't.

"At first I entered a state of anxiety, and then of strong embarrassment. I was always chased by photographed while talking to visiting people. I could only melt if I noticed that too my interlocutor was visibly embarrassed ”.

Masking emotions

“I started taking alcohol and drugs to feel less emotion. I didn't drink during week but one day on the weekend I drank the amount of a whole week. I didn't drink either I took drugs because I liked it but to hide my mood but I was completely unaware at that moment that I was trying to mask my emotions”.

Then Harry joined the army and admits it was the best years of his life “I had to wear a uniform, like everyone else. No one has ever privileged me, I wassimply equal to the others".

The interview ends with a great reality about the royal family that we have already learned with the Winfrey's last interview with Meghan Markle is an encouragement to all the people who they need help: ”My family used to tell me:“ play the game, everything will be easier. But I I looked so much like my mother I couldn't be a prisoner of the system though I feel like I'm still a part of it. For many years I have not thought about it. I kept everything inside and I was not aware that if you do not process the pain, it recurs in many other forms ”.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Princess Diana Spencer (@princesdianaa)

So, let's break the barriers, let's not build them, let's not turn around anymore. Who is sick knows how to hide it, he/she wears a thousand masks despite being in pieces inside, always ask “how are you? " to those around you, maybe it is thanks to this question that the other person finds the strength to tell you what's wrong.

The fragility of the human being is something to be treasured. We must not repress it and render it invisible more than it already is, but to tell it and live it to be stronger tomorrow.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Princess Diana Spencer (@princesdianaa)

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Princess Diana Spencer (@princesdianaa)