Prince Harry's drinking confession: 'Nightmare time in my life'

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey's mental health docuseries The Me You Can't See dropped on Apple TV+ today with the Duke of Sussex sharing some incredibly personal stories throughout the series.

Harry admitted he went through a very dark time between the ages of 28 and 32, calling it the worst period of his life.

Prince Harry waving in The Me You Can't See
Prince Harry has revealed he was willing to turn to alcohol and drugs during a particularly bad time in his life in an effort to 'mask' the pain. Photo: Apple

The 36-year-old shared he would often have panic attacks and had severe anxiety before leaving the house and was willing to turn to alcohol and drugs to mask his emotions.

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"I would just start sweating," he said. "I would feel as though my body temperature was two or three degrees warmer than everybody else in the room. I would convince myself that my face was bright red and therefore everybody could see how I was feeling, but no one would know why, so it was embarrassing."

"You get in your head about it and then you're just like, 'Everybody's looking at me.' One bead of sweat feels like the whole face is pouring down. Just sweating, and then just all in my head going, 'This is so embarrassing. What are they thinking of me? They have no idea. I can't tell them.'"

Prince Harry looking away at the beach
Prince Harry spoke candidly about his own mental health struggles. Photo: Apple

He added, "I was willing to drink. I was willing to take drugs. I was willing to try and do the things that made me feel less like I was feeling. But I slowly became aware that okay I wasn't drinking Monday to Friday, but I would probably drink a week's worth in one day on a Friday or a Saturday night. And I would find myself drinking not because I was enjoying it but because I was trying to mask something."

The similarities between Prince Harry and his mum Princess Diana

A young Prince Harry being held by Princess Diana
Harry spoke of the similarities between himself and his mother Princess Diana. Photo: Getty

The Duke also spoke in the documentary about how he realised he needed to seek help once his anxiety and stress became worse. He added that members of the royal family encouraged him to hold his chin up, but he knew he had too much of his mother Princess Diana in him to just grin and bear it.

"Towards my late 20s I was starting to ask questions of, 'Should I really be here?' and that was when I suddenly started going, 'You can't keep hiding from this.' Family members have said, 'Just play the game and your life will be easier,' but I've got a hell of a lot of my mum in me. I feel as though I'm outside of the system, but I'm still stuck there. The only way to free yourself and break out is to tell the truth," he said.

Harry and Meghan interview with Oprah
During Harry and Meghan's interview with Oprah earlier in the year, Meghan shared she was suicidal while pregnant with Archie. Photo: CBS

Speaking of his wife Meghan Markle and her mental health struggles, Harry referenced his mother's relationship with Dodi Al Fayed and the similarities of the two pairings.

"[Meghan] was going to end her life. It shouldn't have to get to that. Do I have any regrets? Yeah. My biggest regret is not making more of a stance earlier on in my relationship with my wife and calling out the racism when I did. 

"History was repeating itself. My mother was chased to her death while she was in a relationship with someone that wasn't white and now look what's happened. You wanna talk about history repeating itself? They're not gonna stop until she dies. It's incredibly triggering to potentially lose another woman in my life."

Meghan Markle 'didn't want to live anymore'

It comes after Meghan Markle revealed that she "didn't want to be alive anymore" after suffering during her time living in the UK, in a previous interview with Oprah Winfrey.

"I was ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry. But I knew that if I didn't say it — then I would do it."

She went on to say that she asked for help, but was turned away by the institution.

"I said that, I've never felt this way before, and I need to go somewhere. And I was told that I couldn't, that it wouldn't be good for the institution."

If you are concerned about the mental health of yourself or a loved one, seek support and information by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, Mensline on 1300 789 978, or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.

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