'Worried' Prince Harry was 'afraid' to return for Philip's funeral but 'used coping skills from therapy to get through'
PRINCE Harry has said he was "afraid" to return to the UK for Prince Philip's funeral but "used coping skills from therapy to get through".
The Duke of Sussex, 36, opened up about his mental health struggles, as well as wife Meghan Markle's, in his new documentary The Me You Can't See.
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In the doc, Harry revealed he feared flying to Britain for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral, who died aged 99 last month, would "trigger" his past trauma.
But he said he had been helped through the emotionally difficult time by years of therapy.
The duke said: "I was worried about it. I was afraid about it.
"But then going through the motions and being able to lean on the toolbox, and lean on the learnings that I've grown from over the past, it definitely made it a lot easier.
"But the heart still pounds. That's a trigger, just like it is for anybody else."
Harry opened up about how he has been in therapy for years to work through his "past trauma".
He said: "I started therapy four years ago. Four years of therapy for an individual who never thought they would need or do therapy, that's a long time.
"I was never in an environment where it was encouraged to talk about it either, that was sort of squashed."
Oprah Winfrey, who co-produced the series with the duke, asked him why he needed therapy.
Harry replied: "The past. To heal myself from the past."
During the programme, Harry also admitted to taking drugs and regularly "drinking a week's worth of alcohol in one day" to "mask something".
The prince said he was never given the space or time to really mourn his mother's death, and that led him to eventually try drinking and drugs to numb his lingering pain.
Harry said he would try to "feel less" of what he was feeling and would abstain from drinking all week and then drink "a week's worth" in one sitting as a coping mechanism.
"I was willing to drink, I was willing to take drugs, I was willing to try and do the things that made me feel less like I was feeling", the duke admitted.
"But I slowly became aware that, okay, I wasn't drinking Monday to Friday, but I would probably drink a week's worth in one day on a Friday or a Saturday night.
"And I would find myself drinking, not because I was enjoying it but because I was trying to mask something."
When he was 17, Harry was reportedly sent to rehab by his father Prince Charles after he was caught smoking cannabis.
St James's Palace later confirmed that Harry had "experimented with the drug on several occasions" but said he was not a "regular" user.
Harry told Oprah his dad did little to help him through his mental health struggles.
He says: "My father used to say to me when I was younger, he used to say to both William and I, 'Well, it was like that for me so it’s going to be like that for you.'
"That doesn’t make sense. Just because you suffered, that doesn’t mean your kids have to suffer. Actually quite the opposite.
"If you suffered, do everything you can to make sure that whatever negative experiences you had, you can make it right for your kids."
During the series, the duke also said Meghan only didn't kill herself because she didn't want Harry to "lose another woman in his life".
He told Oprah that what stopped his wife from giving in to suicidal thoughts was how "unfair" it would be to him after the death of his mum Princess Diana in 1997.
"The thing that stopped her from seeing it through was how unfair it would be on me after everything that had happened to my mum and to now be put in a position of losing another woman in my life, with a baby inside of her, our baby," he said.
"The scariest thing for her was her clarity of thought. She hadn’t ‘lost it.’ She was completely sane. Yet in the quiet of night, these thoughts woke her up."
The five-part celebrity-packed doc was released on Apple TV in the US on Thursday night and the UK this morning.
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