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James Middleton opens up about mental health struggles

13 October 2019 National


The younger brother of the Duchess of Cambridge says it’s only now, after nearly a year of therapy, he feels he has been "re-born".

The 32-year-old told The Daily Telegraph Kate was among the family members who came along with him to cognitive behavioural therapy sessions.

He also said it was very difficult to open up to his family about his problems, admitting at times he behaved "like Kevin from Kevin & Perry".

Mr Middleton revealed his battle with depression earlier this year, motivated by the Heads Together campaign.

The royal charity was founded by Kate and Prince William along with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to end stigma around mental health.

Mr Middleton described the worst points of his depression, saying: "I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t read a book, I couldn’t watch a film, I couldn’t eat. If I ate something it just sat there."

At times he would distract himself by listening to Stephen Fry’s narration of Harry Potter audiobooks.

Mr Middleton also suffers from attention deficit disorder (ADD) and dyslexia.

Along with the support of his siblings and parents, he also credits his "emotional support dog" Ella, with aiding his recovery.

Posting a photo of the black cocker spaniel on Instagram to mark World Mental Health Day, he wrote: "The gentle touch of your wet nose and a loving lick was enough to make me feel brave. I will forever be in your debt. Thank you Ella."

Earlier this month, he announced his engagement to French financial expert Alizee Thevenet after proposing in the Lake District.

He previously dated Byker Grove actress Donna Air for five years.

Mr Middleton currently works as an ambassador for the charity Pets As Therapy to raise awareness about the healing effects pets can have on their owners’ mental health.

He is also the founder of personalised gift company Boomf, known for its printed marshmallows.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.

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