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The Unusual Way Prince William Has Dealt With Anxiety

The Duke of Cambridge opens up about how he’s managed to deal with intense anxiety while giving important speeches.

There’s possibly no better time to discuss mental health than during a pandemic when many are struggling with anxiety and depression. It’s a featured topic in a new documentary called Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health.

In the documentary, which aired earlier this week on BBC One, William interviews soccer players and fans across the U.K. in an attempt to destigmatize mental health issues surrounding men.

Having grown up in the public eye, the Duke of Cambridge is no stranger to anxiety himself. In the documentary, he shares that, “Certain days, especially certain speeches as well when I was growing up, you definitely get a bit of anxiety.”

William revealed that his failing eyesight actually helped him manage his anxiety when giving public speeches.

“My eyesight started to tail off a little bit as I got older, and I didn’t used to wear contacts when I was working, so actually when I gave speeches I couldn’t see anyone’s face,” he says. “And it helps, because it’s just a blur of faces and because you can’t see anyone looking at you—I can see enough to read the paper and stuff like that—but I couldn’t actually see the whole room. And actually that really helps with my anxiety.”

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Speaking to former soccer player Marvin Sordell, William added that the trauma and anxiety he experienced when his mom, Princess Diana, died, resurfaced when he had his own kids.

“Having children is the biggest life-changing moment, it really is. I think when you’ve been through something traumatic in life…my mother dying when I was younger, the emotions come back, in leaps and bounds.”

Last year, in another BBC documentary, William talked about the loss of Princess Di when he was just 15-years-old, saying that he experienced “pain like no other.”
It’s one of the reasons he’s able to be a proponent of mental health and why he is urging British men in particular to open up about their struggles.

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