In a new interview on Forces TV airing Wednesday in the U.K. ahead of the Invictus Games, Prince Harry opens up about the pain he suffered as a child.
Speaking to his good friend, and Paralympic medal winner, Dave Henson, Harry describes experiencing panic attacks as a child after Princess Diana‘s death.
“In my case, suit and tie, every single time I was in any room with loads of people, which is quite often, I was just pouring with sweat, like heart beating — boom, boom, boom, boom — and literally just like a washing machine,” the prince, 32, revealed.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God, get me out of here now,'” he added. “Oh, hang on, I can’t get out of here, I have got to just hide it.”
The fifth in line to the British throne admitted earlier this year to seeking professional help for his mental health issues when he was about 28 years old.
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Harry also described serving in Afghanistan as the “trigger” that finally forced him to deal with the death of his mother and his unprocessed grief.
“If you lose your mum at the age of 12, you have got to deal with it,” Harry said. “The idea that 20 years later I still hadn’t really… that 15, 17 years later I still hadn’t dealt with it. Afghan was the moment where I was like, ‘Right, deal with it.'”
He continued, “Once I plucked my head out of the sand, post-Afghan… it had a huge.. life changing moment for me. It was like, right, you are… Prince Harry, you can do this, as long are you’re not a complete tit, then you’re gonna be able to get that support, because you’ve got the credibility of 10 years’ service and therefore, you can really make a difference.”
He added that meeting other people who suffered through the same trauma as him helped him cope, adding, “There’s similarities there and you can help them and you can have a bit of banter. And the moment you have that banter, you can see them relax.”
“You help yourself, so you can help others,” he continued. “And I think that is hugely powerful.”