Duchess of Cambridge’s brother reveals struggle with depression
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’