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Prince Harry Turned To Drugs & Alcohol To Numb The Pain After His Mother Princess Diana's Tragic Death

May. 21 2021, Published 11:44 a.m. ET

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Prince Harry turned to drugs and alcohol to help numb the pain of losing his mother Princess Diana

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The now 36-year-old revealed he was willing to do whatever to "feel less like I was feeling" after his mom's tragic passing in 1997.

Sitting down with Oprah Winfrey for their Apple TV+ show, the Duke of Sussex spoke openly about his drug use, binge-drinking, and panic attacks that nearly ruined his life. 

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In The Me You Can't See -- which debuted on the streaming giant Thursday -- Harry discussed the trauma he faced after Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris. 

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"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,” he admitted to Oprah. 

Speaking candidly about his binge drinking, Harry said, “But I slowly became aware that, OK, 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."

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Making the revelation that he would drink to hide his pain, he continued, “And I would find myself drinking, not because I was enjoying it but because I was trying to mask something.”

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Harry was just weeks shy of his 13th birthday when Diana died and it scared him tremendously, especially because he had no one to talk to. 

“I wasn’t in an environment where it was encouraged to talk about it either, that was sort of, like, squashed," he explained. 

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His royal duties began filling him up with dread and he'd have panic attacks. 

"Every time I put a suit and tie on and having to do the role and sort of like go, ‘Let’s go.’ Before I even left the house, I was pouring with sweat, my heart rate was … I was in fight-or-flight mode. Panic attacks, severe anxiety — so 28 to probably 32 was a nightmare time in my life, freaking out,” he told Oprah. 

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He said his family gave him no support following his mother's passing. 

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“I thought my family would help but every single ask, request, warning, whatever it is, got met with total silence or total neglect," he revealed. 

“Family members have said ‘Just play the game and your life will be easier,’ but I have a hell of a lot of my mum in me. I feel as though I am outside of the system, but I’m still stuck there. The only way to free yourself and break out to tell the truth,” Harry continued. 

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It got so bad that he stopped bringing up Diana. 

“I don’t want to think about her, because if I think about her, then it’s going to bring up the fact that I can’t bring her back, and it’s just going to make me sad. What’s the point in thinking about something sad, what’s the point of thinking about someone that you’ve lost and you’re never going to get back again? And I just decided not to talk about it. No one was talking about it,” he remembered. 

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He also admitted that he'd start “freaking out every time he got in a car and saw a camera" and would "start sweating."

"I would convince myself that my face was bright red and therefore everybody could see how I was feeling but no one would know why it was embarrassing, you get in your head about it.”

Prince Harry eventually sought help and began therapy four years ago, all thanks to his wife Meghan Markle. 

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