Duchess of Cam­bridge’s brother re­veals strug­gle with de­pres­sion

The Sunday Telegraph - - News - By Nic Brunetti

THE brother of the Duchess of Cam­bridge has said he was so badly struck by de­pres­sion that he asked his GP to speak to his fam­ily on his be­half, as he strug­gled to talk about his “can­cer of the mind”.

James Mid­dle­ton, 31, said his fam­ily had been “des­per­ately wor­ried” about him for months as he strug­gled to com­mu­ni­cate about his de­pres­sion dur­ing 2016 and 2017, ig­nor­ing phone calls and their “anx­ious texts”.

The younger brother of the Duchess and Pippa Mid­dle­ton opened up about his fight with the men­tal ill­ness, telling the Daily Mail that he could not con­fide in his loved ones “about the tor­ture in my mind”, as he found it im­pos­si­ble.

He has since had ther­apy for the con­di­tion, which he linked back to his suf­fer­ing with dys­lexia as a child and At­ten­tion Deficit Dis­or­der (ADD), which he was only di­ag­nosed with last year.

He told the Mail: “I’d given my GP per­mis­sion to talk to my fam­ily. At that stage I couldn’t talk to them and wanted an in­de­pen­dent and ob­jec­tive pro­fes­sional to ex­plain what was wrong with me. Those who are clos­est to you are the hard­est to speak to, that’s why I with­drew from them, re­pelled their well-in­ten­tioned ad­vice and stopped an­swer­ing their calls and texts.”

Mr Mid­dle­ton re­vealed that in De­cem­ber 2017, he fled to the Lake Dis­trict to be alone with his men­tal suf­fer­ing and try to make him­self feel bet­ter.

He swam in Con­is­ton Wa­ter, took long walks and stayed in a re­mote cot­tage with his dogs.

He ac­knowl­edged that although he was “richly blessed” and priv­i­leged, he was still not im­mune to de­pres­sion, which had made him feel “like a com­plete fail­ure”. Although he did not con­tem­plate sui­cide, he re­vealed that he “didn’t want to live in the state of mind I was in ei­ther”.

As a young man, Mr Mid­dle­ton con­stantly had dif­fi­cul­ties with his stud­ies and when he moved to board at Marl­bor­ough Col­lege, which both his sis­ters at­tended, he be­came “hor­ri­bly home­sick”.

“Cather­ine had already left for uni­ver­sity by the time I got there, but hav­ing Pippa around was a com­fort.

“Even so, I didn’t fit in. I was given longer to fin­ish my ex­ams [due to his dys­lexia], which was a waste of time. It just meant I had more time to re­alise I couldn’t an­swer the ques­tions.”

Mr Mid­dle­ton, who now owns his own per­son­alised greet­ing card com­pany, Boomf, said con­fronting the fact that he needed help had given him hope, and he had wanted to speak out about his plight after feel­ing “com­pelled” to do so by the in­spir­ing work of the Duchess, the Duke of Cam­bridge and the Duke of Sus­sex with Heads To­gether, their men­tal health char­ity.

He also cred­ited his dogs, Ella, Inca, Luna, Zulu and Ma­bel, with help­ing his re­cov­ery and has since be­come a vol­un­teer for the char­ity Pets as Ther­apy.

James Mid­dle­ton: ‘I’d given my GP per­mis­sion to talk to my fam­ily’

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