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James Middleton opens up about suffering from 'crippling' depression

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 6/25/2019 Georgia Slater
Family of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge wearing a suit and tie © Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc.

James Middleton is continuing to share his hardships with depression.

The brother to Duchess Kate and Pippa Middleton, 32, credits his sudden rise to fame at age 23 to when his older sister married Prince William and he was thrown into the public eye. James, an entrepreneur from Berkshire, told Tatler magazine for their August issue that the transition was more than challenging and made him question his sense of self.

"Suddenly, and very publicly, I was being judged about whether I was a success or a failure. That does put pressure on you. Because in my mind I’m doing this irrespective of my family and events that have happened," he said.

James also explained that there wasn't just one reason for his "crippling" depression.

"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," he continued. "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."

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A post shared by James Middleton (@jmidy) on Jun 24, 2019 at 10:35am PDT

However, he does attribute his decision to speak out about his health battles to Duchess Kate and Prince William's mental health crisis charity, Heads Together

In January, James first revealed his struggle with depression in an editorial published by The Daily Mail. He explained that he had a better understanding of his condition, was receiving professional help and was working on coping strategies.

His parents knew something wasn't right, James continued in his interview with Tatler, however he did not want them to be involved. 

"I shut myself off, I didn’t communicate with my family at all. But there’s only so long you can hold your breath," he said.

James said the turning point came in late 2017 when he was unable to leave his car and face the day. He called his doctor and said he was unable to explain what was happening.

"The doctor said 'James, are you okay?' And I said 'No, I'm not."

He was referred to a specialist and underwent a period of intense therapy, according to Tatler. He stepped back from running his marshmallow business, Boomf, spent time relaxing at Glen Affric, his brother-in-law's Scottish estate, and has found happiness in dating French-born girlfriend Alizee Thevenet.

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A post shared by James Middleton (@jmidy) on May 7, 2019 at 10:23am PDT

“I am happy – I feel like James Middleton again. I feel like I was when I was 13, excited about life. I feel like myself again and I couldn’t ask for more,” he said.

Contributing: Kim Willis

Related video: How 1 doctor uses music to help kids cope with mental struggles (Provided by TODAY)

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