When James Middleton was at an all-time low due to depression and anxiety, he completely cut himself from his family. Now, the British entrepreneur — who was dragged into the public eye when sister Kate Middleton first began dating Prince William in 2003 — recently opened up about suffering from mental health disorders.
“[The depression was] crippling,” the 32-year-old candidly admitted to Tatler for the magazine’s August issue. “It’s what keeps you in bed, while anxiety makes you feel guilty for being there. I thought, What do I have to be depressed about? I’ve been so lucky with my upbringing, I had all the things I wanted. It’s not that I wanted more, but there was something that wasn’t always there … And the more I ignored it, the more it was taking over.”
James also admitted that being associated with the royal family made him question his self-esteem. “Suddenly, and very publicly, I was being judged about whether I was a success or a failure,” he confessed. “That does put pressure on you because in my mind, I’m doing this irrespective of my family and events that have happened.”
The Scottish tour guide, who is also the brother of Pippa Middleton, even revealed that he is quite guarded when it comes to speaking about Kate the royal family. “I lead a separate life to them. If there’s an interest in me, great,” he said. “If there’s an interest in me because of them, that’s different.”
The Boomf founder first opened up about privately battling mental health issues after writing an op-ed piece for the Daily Mail in January. James revealed that he finally sought treatment for depression, which he called “a cancer of the mind,” for the first time last year. He also revealed that besides suffering from dyslexia, he was also diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder.
At the time, James’ parents, Carole Middleton and Mike Middleton, “knew something wasn’t right,” he shared with Tatler. James, however, had a very difficult time coping with depression and anxiety. “I didn’t want them anywhere near me. I shut myself off, I didn’t communicate with my family at all,” he admitted. “But there’s only so long you can hold your breath.”
Thankfully, the British businessman — who said his dogs, Ella, Luna, Zulu and Mabel helped him kickstart recovery — finally got the help he needed after he suffered a fit of terror in late 2017. “‘The doctor said, ‘James, are you okay?'” he recalled. “And I said ‘No, I’m not.'” Luckily, James’ doctor had referred to a specialist within the hour.
After taking a step back from everyday life and finding love with Alizee Thevenet, James finally feels like he’s on a path to recovery. “I am happy – I feel like James Middleton again,” he gushed. “I feel like I was when I was 13, excited about life. I feel like myself again and I couldn’t ask for more.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety or contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.