Prince Harry: ‘I always felt slightly different to the rest of my family’

One of the interesting parts of Prince Harry’s Spare was his ability to describe with such clarity his own anxiety, trauma, neglect and magical thinking without actually using the language of psychology. I mean, in the first fifty pages of the book, with his descriptions of the days following his mother’s death, that is one of the clearest and most effective descriptions of childhood trauma and parental neglect I’ve ever read in my life. Well, Dr. Gabor Maté thought so as well. In their televised conversation to promote Spare, Dr. Maté spot-diagnosed Harry with ADD, PTSD, anxiety and depression just from reading Spare, and most of those diagnoses are based on the trauma of his mother’s death. Harry also acknowledged that his therapist had diagnosed him with PTSD as well. Harry and Dr. Maté also spoke about how Harry always felt different than the rest of his family, probably because he was and is so much like Diana.

The Duke of Sussex, 38, participated in a virtual book event on Saturday with Dr. Gabor Maté, an expert specializing in trauma, addiction, stress and childhood development, to discuss his groundbreaking memoir. Seated across from each other before a crackling fireplace, the Duke of Sussex and Maté, author of The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture, discussed living with loss and the importance of personal healing. Harry brought up how he related to his mother Princess Diana over feelings of not fitting in with the rest of the royal family.

“Certainly throughout my life, throughout my younger years, I always felt slightly different to the rest of my family,” he said. “I felt strange being in this container, and I know that my mum felt the same. It makes sense to me — it didn’t make sense at the time — I felt as though my body was in there, but my head was out, but sometimes it was vice-versa. The times that I ventured towards being myself, being my authentic true self, whether it was through media or family or whatever it was, it was almost like, ‘Don’t be yourself, come back to what you’re expected to be,’ if that makes sense.”

Prince Harry also said that writing Spare was a release, and stressed why it was important for him to be honest about his life story.

“I really hope, and I hoped right from the beginning, when I turned around to the people that were helping me write this book, I said, ‘I want this to be an act of service, it needs to be, because I know important it is, because you’re almost giving permission for people to talk about their own stuff, and be their own selves, and society doesn’t really help us,” he told Maté. “And I would say even more so within my family, because of the expectations and because of how you’re cast as individuals.”

Speaking of his time in therapy, Harry said, “A lot of families are complicated, a lot of families are dysfunctional, but for me when I was doing therapy regularly… I felt that I learned a new language.”

Sharing that other members of his family “didn’t speak that language,” he added, “This is working for me and I’m starting to go back to the point of trauma and unpack everything so I can be truly happy… but at the same time I’m feeling more and more distant from my loved ones and my family.”

[From People]

Part of his feeling that he was different from the rest of his family was because… he was treated like an afterthought at all times, chronically neglected and willfully misunderstood. Instead of taking one look at this broken boy and traumatized young man, the family turned a blind eye and told him to keep calm and carry on. He does have his mother’s temperament, and yet… I honestly feel like he’s less temperamental than Diana, you know? She was often short-sighted in her plans and executions, whereas Harry’s blind spot is that he gives his family the benefit of the doubt when it’s been clear this whole time that they’re completely f–king awful.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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119 Responses to “Prince Harry: ‘I always felt slightly different to the rest of my family’”

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  1. Dee(2) says:

    It is sad that the eternal optimism in his family is his blind spot, because I don’t think they’ll ever live up to it. It’s probably very odd for him too because those people know him. They know him outside of the tabloid stories and persona. They should realize he’s happier now, and he’s probably like why do you want me to go back to pretending to be that persona when you knew that I was drowning under it? It makes way more sense( even though they need to get over it) for random strangers who read the tabloids and Royal experts, commentators, etc. to miss” old Harry”, because that’s who they were sold to believe he was.

    • one of the marys says:

      But I don’t think they knew or cared to know that he was drowning. It asks too much of them to examine that time and their own behaviour. It’s frustrating for sure but he won’t get validation from his family, they’re not capable

      • Lucy says:

        One of the few Will stories that hasn’t gotten much attention is him making fun of Harry for having a panic attack during an event (I can’t remember if it was before or what) and being red and sweaty. He mentions that Will was there when Harry had his first panic attack before a speech and that he was concerned then.

        Just the idea that his brother could go from concerned to making fun of him in such a short time for a mental health issue is very telling.

    • Salmonpuff says:

      They don’t know the real him because they don’t want to. Harry being authentic threatens the fictions that uphold the family, from the superiority of their birth, to the individual roles they play in the family. If what they’ve told themselves about Harry is untrue, then what they’ve told themselves about them might be untrue as well, and they can’t handle that. It’s much easier to blame his wife and shun him than to self reflect.

      Signed, Another Family Outcast

      • Carty says:

        That’s a fantastic explanation.

      • Agreatreckoning says:


        The BRF/system needed Harry to be a certain way. Harry went along with it until he realized/admitted(to himself) the system was wrong. He’s felt that long before Meghan. Time and time again, Harry exited stage left to protect others. The story of him on the Australian farm and working hard, being happy and then the paps showed up. Time for him to leave to not threaten that family’ peaceful life. It’s been in him all along.

        I see it to some extent within my own family system. Fortunately, there are members that push back when needed and change has been made.

        When dating my husband, he was always this outgoing, social, person with opinions and push backed on people. My first holiday with them was interesting. There was the welcoming thing. But, the sister sibling, was something else. Passive/aggressive. She would jokingly say something unkind and others uncomfortably laughed. (I’m like WTF) She would share silly stories about everyone except herself. My social, personable and fun boyfriend was a different person around his family. WTF. My family isn’t perfect. At least we had a sense of selves around each other. I put a point blank question to him. Who are you? I need to know this to move forward.

        He said his true self is who he is around other people. Who I met him as. That he had to perform a certain way amongst his family. He lost his voice in his family environment. A lot has changed in the last 3 decades. He’s himself now around his family. Unafraid. For years, it was she, she, she changed him. Until, a lot of things happened to realize it wasn’t.

        Hugs to you @salmonpuff and others who’ve gone through this.

        Decided that if Harry has another book, Unafraid works for me.

    • windyriver says:

      Harry’s an empathetic guy, and knows dysfunction runs deep in that family for others as well. In a radio chat prior to the interview, Dr. Mate mentioned the incident where, after returning from a long tour, TQ greeted six year old Charles with a handshake. And of course, Will was also affected by Diana’s death. I imagine few of these people are truly happy, for all their privilege. And there’s a lot in what @Salmonpuff says above.

      I expect Harry will continue to be open to any good faith overtures from his family, at least for a while. But the way he’s talked about freedom and feeling a weight lifted from his shoulders after Spare, he’s done trying from his end. In the documentary, he said his intention was to close a chapter. Writing everything down was his last attempt to reach them. He’s moving on with his own life.

      • Christine says:

        Listening to him talk yesterday, I was struck by how completely Harry recognizes that there’s no way back, and he’s HAPPY now, even with that sadness. He knows they don’t speak his language, at all. It would be tragic, but for Meghan, and Archie and Lili, and it’s clear that Harry is putting all of his energy into making sure history does not repeat itself with his children.

    • ecsmom says:

      In the book Harry describes where Willy “swears on mummy’s grave” that all he wants is for Harry to be happy. Harry for the first time when that “secret code” was used he said he didn’t believe him. The thing is I do believe William thought bringing Harry back without Meghan would make him happy because Harry is merely an extension of the 2 narcissists KC3 and Peggers. Harry w/o Meghan makes William happy, therefore is just must be best for Harry too. I honestly think William believed that. I just don’t think either of those 2 can see Harry or what his real needs are because they can’t get past their own needs. I am sure Harry’s therapist must have spoken about narcissistic personalities and how to deal with them, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt. But that is all I see for any Monarch is succumb to Narcissistic Personality Disorder. How terrifying it must be for everyone to think you are so important and the only thing you did was be born. Insecurities must be rampant and the spoiling toxic.

      Also Bravo Harry and Dr Mate!! With every conversation of mental health the world has a chance to be better. Thank you

    • Honey says:

      I think the blindspot is both love and hope based on yearning. He loves his family and hopes for the best in and for them—like most of us would for our families. I also think the hope he harbors is a hope that they will finally see him and see that he matters once they “become well” vis a vis therapy. He likely needs and wants validation. He seems to also have and is pushing against a bit of an inferiority complex (Spare) that was nurtured and reinforced since birth.

      I do think his family loves him (in their own limited way). However, I don’t think they’ll ever fully come to the light in the way he wants simply because (1) they are narcissistic and (2) the current system works for the two main players (Charles and William). What incentive does Charles or William have to change the system or to become more reflective? None. The system works well or well enough to protect and promote them. From their perspectives, what’s the problem? Their needs are met within that system with really few or minor trade-offs. So 🤷🏽‍♀️

      I wish Harry well on his mental health journey. It’s a process. It’s also understandable how he’d develop PTSD, anxiety and depression. His conditions and the people in his life helped to create the conditions for those things.

      • Well Wisher says:

        Thank you for your insight. It is full of grace.

        The only exception is that he has moved beyond yearning, while his idea of self within the institution has take a beating, he has endured the worse, to keep the best.

        This is reconciliation of ideas in terms of aspiration and reality.

        It is impossible to be the best version of himself and a productive human within that institution without a change in perspective.
        That seem unlikely, his needs and potential are always an oversight.

        He simply should love from a safe distance.

    • Cara says:

      I hope Harry has been told that it is normal to feel different than the members of your own family. He is. I am. You are. Who hasn’t looked around at family gatherings and thought WHO ARE THESES PEOPLE??

    • Maxine Branch says:

      Agree with you @Dee(2). But I also think some of us often feel we do not belong in certain situations because we do not share the hubris some in our families have. As Harry indicated in the recent interview, (paraphrasing), he feels one with nature not sitting around contemplating public expectation but just exploring the wilds while finding comfort in being in the outdoors, using his hands to create and being creative. This probably explains his disinterest in many material things, this just does not have a priority for him in his life. Enter Meghan who is very much a total human who while an activist she recognizes the value in presentation, catching the eye of those she needs assistance from to accomplish her goals which often requires dressing for the space you wish to occupy. You can see from how Meghan presents herself, she spent years working on herself to get to this place (personal development) she is in now. This is why for me they complement each other so well, besides their intense feeling for each other, they are on opposite ends of the material spectrum.

  2. Brassy Rebel says:

    I think he’s more Spencer than Windsor. Some of the difference from Diana can probably be attributed to the fact she was dealing with her own childhood trauma with marital trauma on top of that.

    • Elizabeth Phillips says:

      That’s a definite possibility. If Diana weren’t traumatized from her own childhood, no way would she have fallen for Charles.

      • Tessa says:

        Charles probably sweet talked her also. And kept telling her Camilla is just a friend.

    • applapoom says:

      I had a lot of preconceived ideas of Diana’s brother but I follow him on Twitter after watching him in a documentary. He is a very intelligent person and comes across as very thoughtful. He hated Eton as well.

      Unfortunately, him and Diana do come from a dysfunctional family so I do think that has affected their married lives.

      • Tessa says:

        Charles Spencer has his faults. His first wife had an eating disorder and he cheated on her and married someone else that he dropped when their second child was still in infancy
        He apparently has a good third marriage. He was victim of his Spencer upbringing in that his father wanted a son and had to have one. He was sorry to see girls being born. Charles Spencer had three daughters and spoke openly about having daughters and no son. The system itself is messed up. Diana got out of a marriage where she was expected to be a doormat

  3. The Hench says:

    I think I’d disagree that Harry is doing better than Diana did because he’s ‘less temperamental”. I’d say, fortunately, he’s getting a lot more support and help than Diana ever did. I doubt that Diana ever got proper mental health counselling and she certainly never had a supportive, strong and empathetic partner like Meghan to help her. Back in the 90s nobody even thought about ‘mental health’. Honestly, it’s heartbreaking to think what Diana had to battle through entirely on her own and incredible that she managed to do what she did. What’s surprising is that she wasn’t MORE of a damaged human being. Her untimely death is such a tragedy given what she might have achieved in the future that we live in now.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      Patrick Jephson recently debunked the narrative that Diana was “crazy” or “irrational”. While she certainly had mental health issues due to life long trauma, he said she could think clearly and rationally. I agree that it’s something of a miracle she wasn’t a much worse mess. And she remained the most emotionally intelligent person in the royal family until her death. She was quite extraordinary in many ways.

    • SomeChick says:

      I agree. Diana had almost no support, and everyone around her was gaslighting her! and then when she was starting to spread her wings, she was killed. because only the crown and charles are important.

      I’m bummed that I couldn’t afford to attend the talk. I hope we hear more about what was said.

    • Tessa says:

      Diana was gaslit by that family. She got the bulimia under control. Charles and will should have gotten serious counseling.

      • Mary Pester says:

        TESSA, and there in lies the problem with the Royal family that Harry has proven. You have to be a puppet, you have to tow the party line. You must NOT think for yourself, you must NOT find or express fault with anything they do or say. You MUST accept whoever they say you MUST accept, but when you start to think for yourself question them and yourself, your finished and cast aside by all of them. I’m old enough to remember both princess Margaret’s and Diana’s words. Margaret said, “if they can’t control you, they control how others see you”, and Diana said, “that which they can’t control, they seek to destroy”, and the last few years have proven both of them so right

    • Kit says:

      The Hench, so ture…l saw an interview with Charles Spencer with the Late Gay Byrne, she spoke briefly about his childhood, when their parents divorced both he and Diana where very young and when her dad Johonny was given custody of his children.he said both of them naturally where extremely upset and mentioned bedtime when they where not allowed out of their rooms, so they sat in the doorway crying to each other across de hall , so hard to image isn’t, the loneliness and isolation of it at such a young age, heartbreaking

    • Tessa says:

      The trouble is that Charles friends in media and otherwise used the damaged Diana spin to try to justify his bad treatment of Diana. Even Charles elderly cousin a mountbatten daughter called Diana damaged. It was putting the blame on the bulimia that drove Charles to Camilla. Which is utter nonsense. Imo. Charles just used Diana

    • Tessa says:

      Diana married a temperamental selfish man who wanted an aristo with no experience. The man also thought it ok to keep mistresses. A man who got jealous of her. Charles had his own issues and problems that he brought to the marriage. Diana was a teenager when he proposed
      I notice that in some comments sections like the dm blame Diana for accepting his proposal rather than his proposing.

    • Nicki says:

      @thehench: I think you nailed it. Diana was utterly alone, and also at the center of the chaos. Harry had the military years to give him his first lifeline, and a sense of belonging and purpose. And then came Meghan, to show him genuine love, and a way out. Diana had none of that. It’s no surprise she was flailing.

      • windyriver says:

        Harry’s first lifelines even before the army were the surrogate families he connected with, briefly in Australia, then in Lesotho and Botswana. Because of what he either absorbed and/or inherited from Diana, he was able to connect with them in a productive, meaningful way. Prince Seeiso said he didn’t know what to expect when he first met Harry, but from the beginning, he was humble, and open to learning. So in spite of his deep early trauma, in his late teens, Harry was already starting to claw his way back on the long road towards a healthier life. Diana, meanwhile, at about the same age, was about to step off the cliff that was her marriage to Charles. Totally agree, it’s amazing in retrospect Diana, so much more alone, was able to become the person she was, however flawed, and accomplish as much as she did..

  4. Jan says:

    The Sunday Times tried to do a hit job on the Doctor and he called them on it, Harry told him they were trying to sabotage the talk.

    • vs says:

      I am always amazed of what the UK will tolerate of their press….I guess they are no different than what Maga think of Fox News! someone suggested this on twitter, it would be so perfect if the Maga can move to the UK; they will finally deal with people like them over there!

      Great conversation! It was much longer than I had anticipated and Harry is amazing! He is to William what Diana was to Charles!

      • SarahCS says:

        I think it’s less about tolerating and just not knowing what we can do.

        We (most of us) know our press lie to us, we know our government lies to us, and yet what can we do? Hopefully we’ll finally sort the government issues when the next election comes around but we are also fighting the muscle memory of having had decades of largely legitimate institutions and it’s hard to process how bad it has become. Britain still has a (fading) veneer of legitimacy.

        But what about the press? How do we tackle that?
        Refuse to buy/click? Check.
        Report anything completely out of line to the Press Complaints Commission? Check.
        Support organisations that try to call them out and report with some integrity? Check.

        It’s not working.

      • Taytanish says:

        Thats why I just laugh when some Brits pretend they are much better than the Russians because the Russians are being controlled through the propaganda machine, LOL. BOTH countries are held hostage by their governments and the RF/media mafia. The Russian propaganda mafia and the British media/BRF mafia are the one and the same. The only difference is that the Brits pay for their abusers to be kept in such luxury while the taxpayers wallows in poverty.

      • Blithe says:

        SarahCS, I think the best way to tackle the press is to have alternative options that people can trust — or at least trust more. Yet here in the US, I’ve seen alternative and independent newspapers and outlets close, and formerly reputable news sources that prided themselves on doing their homework crumble as they get purchased by people and monopolies with agendas. The worst part of this IMO is that it often takes quite a while for regular readers to notice that their preferred sources of information have changed. Some never notice. The lines between News and Opinions, and News and Entertainment have become horribly and deliberately blurred.

    • Christine says:

      CNN had an article or opinion, I can’t remember which, about why Dr. Maté was problematic, mid to late last week. I searched and searched after the talk yesterday, and it’s gone. I think they realized they got played by the British media, along with TMZ, and the Times. I can’t believe there are outlets that fall for this, it’s so transparent.

      • Tricia says:

        They smear Gabor Mate as an antisemite because he is critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Never mind that his family were Jewish victims of the holocaust and his own trauma in childhood stems from that. Not sure the corporate media of the US is any better than that of the UK either.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      LOL. Of course they did. It’s expected from the BM! D@mn, they went after Anderson Cooper. AC already put his family’s history out there. Don’t remember if they went after Strahan & Colbert too.
      Love this.

  5. DouchessOfCornwall says:

    He expresses himself so we’ll about what he’s trying to do. Diana was too young amd inexperienced to be able to plan a long game with these royal bullies. What she did was already ground breaking. Thank god Harry had someone mature and smart from the outside world to navigate this bs with him

  6. Cessily says:

    I imagine anyone with empathy and a heart would feel like an alien being in that cold hearted selfish institution. I am just happy he is healing himself and away from that isle. The rag headlines today were horrific and very triggering. Shame on them all.

  7. Noor says:

    Prince Harry said, “but at the same time I’m feeling more and more distant from my loved ones and my family.”

    How sad!!! The royals supposed to be a symbol of UK national unity but instead it stands as a house divided.

    • K8erade says:

      Sadly, that’s just how therapy works. Especially for PTSD. For another example, my mother and I had an okay but distant relationship before I went into therapy, despite her abuse and neglect when I was a child. When I began therapy, I could no longer listen to my mother trying to convince herself – and me – what an amazing person she was and I had the courage to finally call her out on it and stand up to her. Our relationship went downhill pretty quick because I was no longer willing to toe the line. Now we no longer speak to one another and I plan to remain no contact. I don’t want or need a BPD abuser in my life, especially one that will never change. I see her for what she is now. For Harry, he chose to no longer toe the line and given his family’s privilege, they have no use for anyone who doesn’t toe the line.

  8. Amy Bee says:

    I think Harry is still working out things about himself and his family but he’ll get there in the end. He’ll realise that his family will never change.

    • Whyforthelove says:

      Exactly. Change requires self reflection and courage. Harry and Eugenie are the only royals who seemed to inherit those traits. God knows the Windsors are not courageous

    • kirk says:

      He understands that other people have to see things for themselves. But he keeps setting himself as someone who can lead Chuck & Willy or show them the way to change. As if.

    • K8erade says:

      I think Harry might be paying a little lip service there. I think he sees his family for what they are and I think doesn’t want that much to do with them but he would only prove the British media right if he said that. Also given what a lot of us suspect, how likely would he end up like his mother if he bashed them publicly? There’s an argument to be made that his mother was published for her interview with Martin Bashier.

      • K8erade says:

        Just realized I said published not punished like I intended. Whoops.

      • Jais says:

        Additionally, anything Harry says, he knows, will come back on his wife, fair or not; misogyny and misogynoir will prevail. Meghan hasn’t said a word since December, been barely seen, and two unfunny comedians still have her name in their mouths. The dehuminisation is real. While Harry will get hit in the press, as a white prince, it will never compare to what’s happening to Meghan.

  9. Kingston says:

    Harry’s life journey is such a classic case of “you can’t go home again” (credit: Thomas Wolfe.)

    For me, the prologue to Spare was so heart-rending to read. That’s where, I believe, H realized that the “language barrier” between he & his relatives (meaning, father & brother) was a metaphor for all the ways in which they wd never accept that they were in fact the biggest part of the problem that led to this unprecedented impasse.

    Later in the bk when H picks up the prologue and brought it to conclusion with the heart-rending outburst: ” When will someone in this family break free and live!” it’s clear that he knew there was no going back……no likelihood that the Sussex family wd ever be enfolded within the Windsor family. And that neither chucky nor Bully wd ever accept that they’re being manipulated by their handlers as well as the shidtmedia, at the expense of a real family-life.

    • Well Wisher says:

      ‘You cannot go home’ again, because that ‘home’ no longer exist.

      My Canadian co-workers stressed this to me and I can attest that it true.

      Harry and Meghan probably made their peace with the eviction, despite the initial upheaval, they can find a place in the Coltswald to have a summer home.

    • HeatherC says:

      I like the meme “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.”

  10. Tessa says:

    There was little Diana could do. Charles ditched her after he got the heir and spare. The royal family got control of William and he is fully establishment and as bad as his father

  11. Jan says:

    Dr. Maté said even animals hug their young in reference to Chucky not hugging Harry after he told him his mother passed, then he mentioned that the Queen was away for a few months, and when she retuned she shook a very young chuckie’s hand.

    • CallyForbes says:

      Odd thing for him to say. Some animals have also been known to eat their young.

      • Amy Bee says:

        @Callyforbes: And the Royal Family throw their young under the bus.

      • Kingston says:

        Seriously? Is this an attempt at a counter-argument or just a red herring? Because it doesnt weaken Dr. Mate’s point at all. Theres a reason that both science and religion tell us that human beings are “higher than” and have dominion over all other living things.

      • Nic919 says:

        This article only serves to confirm that caged mammals sometimes attack their young. Basically confirms that this family acts like caged animals.

      • tamsin says:

        And those are the animals the Windsors take after. ( I didn’t read the article- just responding to the comment.)

      • kirk says:

        CallyForbes – the link you provided to an article requires a login and I chose not to. So I’m just taking your word for it that, “SOME animals have been known to eat their young.” Not all, not most, not even many, just “some.” You did not refute Dr Mate’s assertion that even animals hug their young, but you said his statement was “odd,” without specifying the oddity. What’s the point?

      • Tan says:

        Be explicit and provide a link that isn’t paywalled – Dr Mate did not say all animals.

  12. Tessa says:

    Diana would have been heartbroken at how William turned out imo

    • Snuffles says:

      I’m convinced Diana has been in heaven snatching his hair off of his head an siphoning off her face from his as punishment for turning out to be just like Charles but without the work ethic.

    • Nlopez says:

      I agree!! I still can’t fathom how he called her paranoid and tried to control her narrative that she wanted out there. Smh…

  13. Jan says:

    On a superficial note, damn Harry looked great.

    • Whyforthelove says:

      OMG yes happiness and decent clothes have elevated his game lol

      • Honeyplease says:

        @Whyforthelove – please, please don’t start on his clothes😂😂. I used to wonder why his suits were so ill-fitting and second hand looking. I used to post things like “can someone buy the man a decent set of clothes” up until his revelations in Spare. Then I felt guilty.

        But, but . . . you ain’t never lied. It’s something about a set of good fitting clothes making a person look and feel better . . .make you stand up straight and walk with new found pride . . . and if you are happy too . . . Please. No one can tough you.

      • SomeChick says:

        @Honeyplease, totally! there’s a reason he looked like his clothes came from TK Maxx. because they did!

        amazing how this was acceptable for a prince of the realm. that lot has more money than they know what to do with, and they treat a “much loved member of the family” like that.

      • Princessk says:

        But Harry loved finding bargains in TK Maxx, just like I do.
        I bonded with him even more now I know that we have both searched for items in the very same branch of TK Maxx , and have shopped for groceries in Whole Foods, down the same aisles that he walked with Meghan.

    • Well Wisher says:

      His wife shops for his clothes, with his particlar taste in mind.

    • L4Frimaire says:

      He’s really upped his wardrobe game. Everything is fitting better, you can tell these are much better clothes with better fabrics and he’s wearing more than just blues and grays. He looked really good and confident during this talk.

  14. It’s really a matter of good and evil. Harry is beyond good and Peg is just f ing evil.

  15. Hamalka says:

    Although I applaud Harry for seeking help on his own mental health journey, I’ll take Dr. Mate’s armchair diagnosis for what it is. He is a family physician with no training in psychology. He partnered with a shaman to hold ayahuasca treatment seminars in Canada. Not only is he not licensed or trained to provide a diagnosis, diagnosing ADD/ADHD requires psychological tests in addition to therapy. Studies have found that those with ADD/ADHD often try to self medicate and can be more susceptible to addictions. Psychedelics have not been studied enough for their affect on mental health, nor are they available in a treatment setting for the average Joe. This can be dangerous to promote, especially if someone is going to look for quick fixes through unregulated/illegal drugs, in addition to alcohol and cannabis, because it can be easier than finding a doctor’s help. I’m no expert though and am only speaking from my experience in seeking treatment and coping with ADD/ADHD, depression, anxiety, and trauma among children and adults in my family.

    • CallyForbes says:

      Interesting, thank you. I did wonder how it would have been possibly for someone to produce a reliable diagnosis of ADHD merely from reading a book ghost-written by someone else.

    • Linder says:

      Thank God someone had the guts to say this here.

      • Honey says:

        In an earlier post, I didn’t tough on the diagnosis of ADD because that’s such a circuitous route and deals with the brain. However, I do think it was and is much easier to actually see and speculate regarding the PTSD, anxiety and depression.

        My two cents.

    • Zengirl says:

      Ok, so rarely comment but this hits me wrong. My children both have diagnosed ADHD and it certainly could be diagnosed by a doctor with Dr. Mate’s experience. Yes, from a book would be rare but that is more info than what is often used. While some people go through a whole neuro-psychological work up, most kids are diagnosed through ADHD inventories which are checklists filled out by parents and teachers that give a heck of a lot LESS info than provided in Harry’s book. Teachers like me identify it often and then diagnosis is backed by doctors. Often nowadays, the diagnosis comes from a family physician who looks at the checklists. I am suspicious of this whole thread of comment here.

      • ArtFossil says:

        Thank you @Zengirl. Right there with you (personal experience and experience as a teacher).


      • Jaded says:

        Great comment. I hope your kids are doing well.

      • Tan says:

        Be suspicious – I was waiting for the naysayers to come out.

      • Christine says:

        Word, Zengirl, WORD.

      • HeatherC says:

        My son’s pediatrician diagnosed him with ADHD and made a referral to a developmental psych to get him diagnosed as on the autism spectrum. Dr P said he was 100% sure on the spectrum, but the schools would require paperwork from psych to receive the early intervention services where we lived.

        Dr P was right on both counts. 20 years later, Kiddo is still ADHD and high functioning spectrum (both managed thanks to early intervention due to his very smart and observant pediatrician).

    • Jojo says:

      I watched the talk and I agree that framing the ADHD as a flat out diagnosis in such a setting was wrong. He should have said his professional opinion from reading Harry’s book & their two short discussions was that it sounded as though it could be ADHD. However, both Harry and the doctor made it really really clear that the Psychedelics treatment should never be attempted without professional support in the room with you. They also emphasised the differences between it and the taking of longer term prescribed medications and using strategies such as meditation, talking etc. The dr said how psychedelics might be beneficial for some people as a one off or very short term kind of ‘kick start’ to healing and was not a thing to really be done on a regular basis.

    • Jaded says:

      While I agree that he doesn’t have the appropriate clinical training, his work experience is invaluable. He was the medical coordinator of the palliative care unit at Vancouver Hospital for seven years. For 12 years, he was the staff physician at Portland Hotel, a residence and resource centre located in downtown Vancouver that provides help for those suffering from mental illnesses, substance abuse, homelessness, and the aftermath of exposure to violence from a young age. Many of his patients had co-occurring chronic health concerns such as HIV and tuberculosis. He also worked in harm reduction clinics in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, which is a real hell’s kitchen full of those struggling with mental health and addiction problems. Current research is also showing that the use of hallucinogens can provide lasting remission for people suffering from depression. Sometimes on-the-ground experience can be just as good as a degree.

      • Pointillist says:

        Adding to your much more informed comment, Jaded – psychedelics and MDMA were also being studied up until the 60s and were found to be effective for a range of mental illnesses. Political agendas got in the way and research was stopped.

        I haven’t even tried ecstasy and will never take psychedelics but when I studied psychology I had to open my kind to the facts above.

    • Weetzie says:

      @Hamlaka I agree with you that it can be unwise and unhelpful for people without proper training to diagnose ADHD. That being said, as someone who has it myself, it would not surprise me one bit if Harry was diagnosed with it. Especially given his co-morbidities of PTSD, depression, and anxiety, of which I also share.

      However, I do have to disagree with your take on the effectiveness of psychedelics. I’ve struggled with severe depression for much of my life and thanks to Medicaid, was able to start ketamine treatments and it has completely changed my life. I use it in a medical setting, along with therapy and additional specialist trauma treatment, I can’t even begin to describe the difference it has made for me. We have a long way to go towards making psychedelics as accessible and available as they should be for a lot of complex reasons, but just by bringing them more into the mainstream Harry is truly doing us all, and anyone who struggles with their mental health a potentially life-saving service. I can honestly, and without one bit of hyperbole, say I would not be alive right now if it wasn’t for psychedelic treatment for my depression.

    • SomeChick says:

      there’s a lot going on in this comment. first you say he’s not qualified to diagnose. then you say he’s advocating for psychedelics as treatment. but that’s not something he said. you’re conflating these things, likely from that Telegraph article. nice try. your agenda is transparent.

    • The Old Chick says:

      No, you’re wrong.. Family physicians diag adhd all the time. I was as a 50 something. Dr Mate has experience that most psychiatrists will never see. Love that you didn’t even mention that in your comment. Decades of work. But sure, he just got on the psychedelics bandwagon and has no training. I believe you 💯. And since you’ve never listened to him speak or read his books (I have) then you wouldn’t know that he absolutely does not recommend psychedelics in unsupervised situations. Haters gotta do their best to hate.

      • Tan says:

        Been watching him and reading his interviews for awhile. I don’t always agree with what he says concerning fairly specific things but he is a trustworthy, well educated and informed medical expert on many issues including mental health ones

    • Blithe says:

      Just wanted to throw this out there:
      – Dr Mate literally wrote a book on ADD.
      While you may disagree with his approach or his conclusions, how many of you who are questioning his training have actually read his book — Scattered Minds?
      I’ll include a link for anyone who might be interested.

      Since I didn’t watch the interview, I can’t comment on the appropriateness— or inappropriateness— of Dr Mate’s comments or diagnostic impressions. I will say though, that in the US, psychiatrists and child psychiatrists (an area that I know more about) are in very short supply in many communities, so, as others have said, diagnoses of ADD / ADHD are often made by primary care providers, who may also prescribe interventions.

      • Margot says:

        How did you feel about Scattered Minds? I read it and came away feeling like a lot of blame is placed on the primary caregiver if the child has ADHD. I am a big fan of Gabor Mate – I’ve also read In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts and The Myth of Normal and agree that he does good work, but I have a quibble on the way he frames the origins of ADHD. Maybe I’m coming from a place of feeling blamed, since my child has it.

      • Blithe says:

        @Margot – I’m new to his work — one more thing I get to thank Harry and Celebitchy for! Grin! I just got three of Mate’s books less than a week ago, so I’m happy to revisit this issue once I’ve read — and digested — Scattered Minds.

        FWIW, here are a few of my baseline thoughts before reading the book.

        — It’s often hard to assess ADD without also looking at other, possibly related concerns, like anxiety, learning issues, sensory issues, and environmental factors.
        (All of these issues can have similar presentations , particularly in young kids, and can co-occur.)

        — While I don’t think that the diagnostic indicators of ADD are in any way created by parenting, I do think that parents & adults in general, can structure environments in ways that make it easier for people with ADD to thrive in environments that largely haven’t been set up with their needs in mind.

        — I don’t know you or your child, but I feel confident in saying that caregiving does not create ADD. As a parent though, you MAY have the ability to chose school environments, activities, and interventions for your child that mitigate the presenting issues in significant ways.

        tldr: If Mate is putting blame on primary caregivers, I would vehemently disagree with that stance.

        Thank you for alerting me to some of the issues raised in the book. I’m sure I’ll be a much more careful reader now!

  16. Dee Kay says:

    The event w Prince Harry and Dr. Maté was really interesting, I learned a ton about mental health, illness, and recovery/healing. But I wish Random House had picked a younger interlocutor for Harry. Maté is 79 years old and did that thing that older men do of going on and on about what *he* thinks, without realizing the other person is trying to speak. He cut Harry off or prevented him from answering numerous times. It was a bit frustrating to watch. And it was clear Maté thinks he knows everything. It wasn’t horrible by any means — Harry spoke plenty and a lot of what Maté said, I found valuable — but I wished for a different kind of vibe, one that respected Harry is a global superstar who just published the best selling non-fiction book of all time, and ppl buying tickets want to hear from HIM.

  17. ArtFossil says:

    Since I already own SPARE I decided to purchase Gabor Matè’s book The Myth of Normal instead of attending the talk. But I did follow two people on Twitter who were live-tweeting the conversation and it seemed like an important conversation about childhood trauma and its consequences in our adult lives. The dialogue Harry engaged in will help a LOT of people begin to examine some of the roots of their anxiety and stress. I’m looking forward to reading Matè’s book!

    After the live talk, there were 10 articles on the Daily Mail just on the talk! One of them was about how “beige” Harry had become. (He looked terrific, BTW–relaxed and happy and beautifully dressed.)

    • Well Wisher says:

      I followed it on twitter too. More insightful that the fail.

      Dr. Mate is all about solutions as an end result.

      • HeatherC says:

        To be fair, the daily deposits my cat makes in his litter box are often more insightful than the Daily Fail.

  18. Well Wisher says:

    This discussion evince the question of nature versus nurture?
    What is precise and brilliant about the book ‘Spare’ was its expression in context with clarity in describing a 12 year old motherless boy’s experience.

    This discussion made a compelling argument for both sides.

    It showed what can go wrong for either case.

    In injecting my personal belief that a person is born with all they need to be the best versions of themselves if they are in the right environment to facilitate that growth.

    The type of environment vary from each individual like their individual style of learning.

    Harry kept going back to his mother, since she planted the seed of embracing difference.

    The royal family, on the other hand, seem to be perpetually in a seige type mentality that has it under the impression that its very survival is at stake and there is only one way of surviving, similar to selective adaptation.

    It is stifling and destructive to those who are different and without emotional roots as Harry was at the time.

    This is where the discussion became interesting, good versus bad coping mechanisms without the societal attachments of stigma, labels and prejudices.

    It is a hopefully memoir, the role ??? fate, kismet, destiny etc. played??

    At the very moment he decided that he wanted to live, Harry found a reason that very evening in his Instagram feed, eventually the right person, space and conditions to facilitate that dream and make it a reality.

    Now he fighting to maintain that type of existence, the only difference he no longer a twelve year old and he is not doing it alone or by himself.

    It has come full circle….

  19. Jaded says:

    To know the real Harry, to treat him with respect and affection, would mean that his family would have had to face up to their own cruelties, shortcomings, and familial dysfunction. Instead, they used Harry as the proverbial punching bag to shore up their own inadequacies. Narcissists always project their own frailties onto those around them. They have a grandiose “false-self” that takes over as a defense mechanism to protect them from the reality that they’re basically weak, jealous and deceitful people. I’m glad all of this is coming out and that Harry’s family is being revealed as the malignant, manipulative monsters they really are.

    • L4Frimaire says:

      I’ll never understand why they decided to go Defcon1 on Meghan so early on, and seeing the damage it caused, went even harder. If they loved Harry as much as they claimed, and he was so popular, why would they do that? One thing Harry said that stood out to me was that he said his partner gives him space. That’s really important. He also realized that he couldn’t bring up his children in that atmosphere, even if he and Meghan could tough it out.

  20. K8erade says:

    I decided to pay because, why not? I came out of that conversation feel so much less alone in this world. While I think that Dr. Maté’s diagnosis should be taken with a grain of salt and Harry should take it to a professional he trusts, I was given the exact sake diagnosis by a psychiatrist and it wouldn’t be surprising to me at all if Harry deals with exactly this. I sensed a kindred spirit with Harry after I watched The Me You Can’t See. It’s kind of weird and sad for me knowing Harry’s possibly got to deal with the same symptoms and the same sh*t I deal with on a day to day basis. Even if his health insurance is excellent and has all the right experts it’s still a pain to deal with.

    I started EMDR therapy during the pandemic and it’s been a game changer. The more you treat the PTSD, the more the ADHD symptoms go away (at least in my case). If you read Dr. Maté’s book, he discusses these types of conditions that crop up as a result of PTSD. I wish Harry the best of luck. My best guess, if Harry’s been putting in the work the ADHD becomes obsolete the more work he puts in with the PTSD.

  21. Mary Pester says:

    From what was said on the news I don’t think we are going to have to bother with the Daily Mail diatribes much longer. They are having to make hundreds redundant, ain’t karma great!

    • Jojo says:

      I’m hoping it goes one better than having to downsize staffing. My wish is for Harry, Elton, Mrs Lawrence etc. to win their legal challenges against the rag and it have to shut down completely, just like the News of the World had to. Then a new press standards inquiry put in place, the current toothless (corrupt) regulation body got rid of and a truly independent regulatory system put in place.

  22. HeyKay says:

    The more Harry shares, the more relatable I think he is as a human being.
    A lot of people IRL are working at being a better parent, wanting to teach their kids coping skills, etc. Break the endless childhood trauma cycle.
    Harry has empathy. Diana certainly did too.

    Charles does not. Me, me, me King!
    And William has been trained, brainwashed, and sold his soul out.
    William is so angry all the time, he certainly is not a happy man. iMO, William realizes he IS trapped just as Harry said.

    Again, JMO, but going completely silent until after the Con-A-Nation would be a great plan for H&M. Use Queen Elizabeths game plan, “Never explain, Never Complain” against The BRF.
    C & his awful mess is digging their own hole deeper. I predict the C will be a hot, hot, mess.

    Meanwhile, H&M and their lovely kids can spend Archies’ birthday together. Outside, sunny days, the beach, cake, toys, Blessings. 👍

    Btw, I really dislike that statue of Diana. It just does not capture any of Diana to me, sadly.

    • Dee Kay says:

      @HeyKay (greetings to another Kay!), your wish for Archie on his birthday, and for the remainder of his and Lilibet’s childhoods, are mine exactly: “Outside, sunny days, the beach, cake, toys, Blessings.” And their parents’ and Doria’s love, and the love of their dad’s cousin and their mom’s niece, and their Uncle Tyler and all the kind and caring friends of the family. They won’t grow up in palaces and castles, but they will have so much more real treasure. All that glitters isn’t gold. Archie and Lilibet have gold right now and may they always keep it.

  23. QuiteContrary says:

    Harry does such good every time he has these public discussions. It can be so difficult for men to open up about mental health issues.

    For this military veteran to discuss his experience with therapy so candidly was indeed an act of great generosity and service. His mother would be so proud of him.

    (And his clothes … Meghan has upgraded his style for sure.)

  24. Lily says:

    I didn’t realize how fully awful my parents are and how much damage they did to my brother and I until my forties. Before then, all I knew was that my life was a more of a struggle than my peers in the personal life department and I was chronically frustrated, angry, anxious or stressed. I couldn’t point to why. I also knew I didn’t not fit in with my parents and neither did my brother. Now, I seek solitude to heal and my brother moved from the west coast to the midwest for distance from my parents and their siblings. So I can relate to the feeling alone in a crowded room emotion and feeling like you are standing outside looking through a picture window at your family having fun.

  25. Lily says:

    Harry also says in Spare he likes Americans while his family find them too this and too that. For example, too loud, too straightforward, etc.

    Hearing that his family wouldn’t like me because I am an American and therefore too this and too that was a big turnoff for me. Why support a group of people who wouldn’t have you as friends?

    • Jojo says:

      @LILY I think like this too.

      I’m not American I’m British. However, I’m mixed race (white mum, black dad). So, if I were ever in a workplace line up being forced to do a PR hand shake with visiting C&C or WanK all I would be thinking about as they approached is…

      How they don’t really want to touch me at all because of the colour of my skin.

      How they think I’m ‘less than’ because of the colour of my skin.

      How Charles blanked the friendly black guy in the crowd on that walkabout.

      How Camilla ‘finger & thumb’ held the sleeve of that lovely little girl rather than actually touch her.

      How Kate recoiled from that woman in the Caribbean and pulled a disgusted face with that American sportsman.

      How Willy angrily snapped ‘very much not a racist family’ in such a clearly superficial & false manner.

      And, most of all how not one of them have ever spoken out once against 7 years (7 fu**king years) of racist bile and bullying directed toward Meghan by the BM.

      By the time they finally moved toward me to shake my hand I know I would have either left the line altogether & walked away or I would refuse to play the PR ‘token POC’ for their public image charade and keep my arms firmly by my sides.

  26. Emily_C says:

    I really need people to do a close reading of Spare. All the way through, beginning to end. It is partly the story of Harry learning that his family are in fact fucking awful, but if you don’t actually pay attention, you might miss it.

  27. MyCatLoveTV says:

    I come here several times a day especially to read the articles about Prince Harry. There are so many (if not all) people here who love him and applaud his becoming his true self. Do you think that Harry and Meghan ever read Celebitchy? I hope so.

  28. Jojo says:

    Well @MYCATLOVETV he did mention in the live talk that he read, and appreciated, all the Amazon book reviews. He was touched by all the people sharing their stories and relating to things in his book. So, you never know, someone might have directed them here too where they’ve both clearly inspired many people with their love, resilience & bravery 😊.

    • MyCatLoveTV says:

      I hope so! I know I appreciate how much love the tragic little boy who became an amazing man, husband & father gets from people here!

  29. blunt talker says:

    I love him saying you got to put in the work for things to change and get better-even though he did not have much affection after his mom’s death-he does not want that for his children-when they were in England for the queen’s funeral-when they got back home to California-they held on to their two children for dear life because they missed them so much-he did a little smothering that time-I glad he shows affection and love to his kids-those kids are truly bless to have loving parents.

  30. Nicky says:

    Me and my sibling were victims of abuse but because our maternal aunt worked in the nhs and was friends with the GPS nothing was done, no other family members offered to get us out even for a night or two and because she’s still to this day even though retired she’s very well respected. Nothing was done. The doctors, social workers even the doctor who found physical evidence on one of us. And one off us was on an ‘at risk’ list, Nothing. She too this day has even turned doctors and social workers on us, abusers are well practiced liars. I have to believe that God will get them because I can’t-and I can tell you that no amount of blessing or holy oil is going to save King Charles III and his whore. He’s going down. Maybe because of my experience I’m reading too much between the lines but what I’m reading in Spare is something worse going on that H is hinting at but not able to say outright. I really hope I’m wrong with my suspicions. That he’s taken this and been brave enough to speak out is amazing.

  31. 0Rackel says:

    Ofcourse harry felt out of place. Je is so German and Dutch looking. Remember the british royal family tries to hide how foreign they are. So, yeah they probably treated harry different in favor of the more British looking ones. The queens grandmother didn’t speak in public because of her thick accent.

  32. SadieMae says:

    I remember watching TV news the day Charlotte was born, and they had footage of William coming back to the hospital with toddler George in his arms, obviously bringing him to meet his brand-new sister. As they were walking down the sidewalk, William leaned in and gave George a sweet little kiss and a gentle smile, and as a parent, I felt I knew what he was feeling – when the second child comes, the first child often has some hurt feelings over it, and you want to show that first kiddo that you still adore them. To me that little kiss said so much.

    I think living in the terrible monarchy fishbowl (along with the trauma of his mother’s death) has warped William and made him terribly unhappy (which he takes out on other people). But I do think he really loves his children. Hopefully he will see that the best thing for them is for him to get some good therapy and learn better ways of managing his life and his emotions. I’m rooting for him (and I think that Harry, while holding healthy boundaries, is too – he knows better than anyone what William has gone through because he’s gone through it too). Whenever people here eviscerate William, I do understand, because he can be a titanic jerk. At the same time, I remember that sweet little kiss. Where there’s love, there’s hope.

    • Tessa says:

      William loves his children but he treated harry and Meghan horribly. And I doubt William will get therapy.even though he needs it badly imo.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Where there are cameras, there will always be W&K’s kids being used for PR by W&K kids. If he loved his children, he wouldn’t treat them differently based on birth order nor would he do what he’s done to their Uncle Harry and Aunt Meghan.

  33. Soni says:

    I know it was a live event, but does anyone have a link to watch the recorded discussion?

    • Erica says:

      I doubt you’ll be able to watch it, it cost money for anyone who wanted to watch this.

  34. Silent Star says:

    Wow, this is one of the best threads I’ve ever read on CB!

    When I read that Harry said other members of his family “didn’t speak that language,” it just broke my heart. They simply don’t understand the meaning of trauma, healing, & authenticity.

    It makes me so mad that they thought they could bring awareness to mental health back when they worked on Heads Together with Harry! They had no awareness of their own!