James Middleton, Kate and Pippa Middleton's younger brother, is reminding us that mental illness doesn't discriminate in a new article he wrote for The Daily Mail.
In the lengthy piece, Middleton candidly discusses his crippling battle with depression and other conditions - Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and dyslexia - that took a massive toll on his mind and body.
The 31-year-old emphasized that having a "privileged life" did not make him "immune to depression," an illness he described as "a cancer of the mind."
Middleton knew from a young age that his brain worked differently, but things became worse when he slipped into severe depression in 2016.
Middleton's condition got so bad that he developed insomnia, anxiety, and inertia which pushed him "progressively deeper into a morass of despair." He described the world around him as "grey and monotone."
At one point, he no longer could bring himself to properly communicate with his family and friends. He stopped answering calls, texts and emails because they triggered anxiety attacks.
While he did not contemplate suicide, Middleton revealed that he "did not want to live in the state of mind" he was in.
"I felt misunderstood; a complete failure," he continued. "I wouldn’t wish the sense of worthlessness and desperation, the isolation and loneliness on my worst enemy. I felt as if I was going crazy."
It took spending time alone in one of his favorite childhood places, Lake District, for him to finally come to terms with his situation and make the decision to seek help.
“I’d finally confronted the fact that I couldn’t cope any longer, that I wasn’t all right; that I desperately needed help," Middleton wrote. "And this recognition led to a sort of calm: I knew if I accepted help there would be hope."
Middleton admits that he can never say that he's cured of the depression, but he understands it better now that he's gotten professional help.
With a "new sense of purpose and zest for life," Middleton also feels a responsibility to be honest about his struggle because it is exactly what his sister Kate, brother-in-law Prince William, and Prince Harry advocate about through their mental health charity Heads Together.
"They believe we can only tackle the stigma associated with mental illness if we have the courage to change the national conversation, to expel its negative associations," the businessman wrote. "So it wouldn’t be honest to suppress my story. I want to speak out, and they are my motivation for doing so."
While depression is something Middleton continues to fight off, he has learned to cope with dyslexia and now views his ADD as a gift. "It accounts for my creativity and emotional intensity. It means that I come up with fantastic, original ideas — but it also explains why I have had difficulties with the minutiae of running a business."
The most important lesson Middleton wants to impart is that "It's OK not to be OK."
It is highlighted that Middleton was not paid to pen this article, but a donation has been made to Pets As Therapy and Heads Together on his behalf.