Interview by the Duke and Duchess
By Nicole Huthwaite October 2019
I was very much impressed by the recent candid interview by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. At the heart of it, they both admitted that they were struggling, what a contrast to the rest of the Royal Family who typically keep their feelings hidden. For haven’t we all read interviews with Prince Charles being candid about his mother, the Queen and the very cool, distant upbringing he received and the resulting issues it caused.
It was refreshing to hear them both state that it has been hard, to admit that relationships had become strained, that no one asked if they were ok. Like the Royal Family or loathe them, there is a certain parallel that I can draw in my experience as a Psychotherapist.
We are all fairly adept at hiding not only from the outside world but to ourselves that we are struggling, that we aren’t coping, that life really has got too much. What stops us being so open? Especially in today’s society that seems to encourage us to talk more openly about our feelings?
There are many mitigating factors; being in therapy is still frowned upon by many, our upbringing is another – were you a product of keep a stiff upper lip and move on?, our work place may look progressive but may still have an antiquated view on having mental issues, do you feel punished when applying for a loan or insurance policy if you are required to pay more for once being diagnosed as having depression? And so on.
And then there are your own personal views, do you consider it to be a failure if you break down, see yourself as weak if you somehow can’t manage to be the superwoman/man you portray, see the world as a dog eat dog place, are you a private person who finds it nigh on impossible to share aspects of your life?
And people simply still have no idea where to go, who can help?
It is getting easier and opinions are changing however we still have a long way to go, that is why, anyone, particularly someone so high profile that can be interviewed on national television and say they are struggling, not coping, finding it hard will go a long way to putting meaning behind the “Let’s talk” campaign – maybe that should change to “It’s ok to need to talk – you’re allowed to”
Perhaps, Prince Harry, has taken a leaf out of his mothers’ book, who was very open about her battles since becoming the Princess of Wales. It seems like he is very aware of his duties, his responsibilities, his “job” but recognises that he needs to put himself and his wellbeing first. We saw him recently become very tearful as he gave a speech, his mother did the same thing.
And if that is the case, then we can all follow that example, nothing is more important than our own wellbeing, nothing should ever stand in the way, not society, not our peers, not our job, not even ourselves, we owe it to ourselves to be emotionally balanced and if we aren’t ?
“It’s ok to need to talk – you’re allowed to”