Kate Middleton's Brother Opens Up About Struggles With Depression

Just days after making his Instagram account public, Kate Middleton's brother James has continued to tell the world his story through a lengthy op-ed written for The Daily Mail.

In the honest, emotional essay, the 31-year-old businessman details his struggles with depression, or what he calls "a cancer of the mind" and confesses to sinking into a "morass of despair" before deciding to get help just over a year ago.

James credits his decision to get treatment and share his story with the hope of helping others to his eldest sister, her husband Prince William, and his brother Prince Harry, who use their platforms to discuss the topic of mental health.

“They believe we can only tackle the stigma associated with mental illness if we have the courage to change the national conversation, to expel its negative associations," he writes, before admitting those were the same people he found it most difficult to talk about his own struggles. "Those who are closest to you are the hardest to speak to. It was impossible to let my loved ones know about the torture in my mind.”

He goes on to describe the way he felt before seeking treatment. How he would drag himself out of bed and go to work, just waiting for the minute he could go home.

“I couldn’t communicate, even with those I loved best: my family and close friends,” James explains. “I know I’m richly blessed and live a privileged life. But it did not make me immune to depression. It is tricky to describe the condition. It is not merely sadness. It is an illness, a cancer of the mind."

At one point James thought about suicide, but instead decided to do something to battle his illness. "I packed my dogs into my car and, telling no one where I was going, drove to a wild part of the Lake District I’ve loved since I was a child," he writes, describing the calmness he felt while taking walks on snow-capped mountains.

 

“In the days before, I’d finally confronted the fact that I couldn’t cope any longer, that I wasn’t all right; that I desperately needed help. And this recognition led to a sort of calm: I knew if I accepted help there would be hope," he recalls. "It was a tiny spark of light in the darkness.”

He goes on to explain his recent diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and the "severe dyslexia" he coped with in his childhood before concluding that he believes he'd have depression even without the pressures of his sister marrying into the royal family.

"But I wouldn’t have found a voice or an outlet for my story if it hadn’t been for the people I’m related to. And that puts me in a unique position of privilege and trust. I feel I have a duty to speak out, so I can help others who are suffering as I did," he writes.

"Today -- hard as it is to admit this -- I am pleased I went through debilitating depression because I now have the skills to fight it... The end result of this journey has been a positive one," he says. "If I could leave you with just one thought, it would be this: ‘It’s OK not to be OK.’"

Photo: Getty Images

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