LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s stunning interview with Oprah has shined a bright light on mental health and how people can reach out and get the help and support they need.
Los Angeles-based psychotherapist Dr. John Tsilimparis said he was impressed with the couple’s awareness that they needed help but weren’t getting it, forcing them to step back from the British royal family.
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“It seemed like their fate was already sewn up at that point, that the institution didn’t want them to be members, working members of the family anymore,” Tsilimparis said.
In this handout image provided by Harpo Productions and released on March 5, 2021, Oprah Winfrey interviews Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on A CBS Primetime Special premiering on CBS on March 7, 2021. (Photo by Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese via Getty Images)
In the highly-anticipated two-hour interview, in which Oprah said no subject was off-limits, the Duchess of Sussex said she contemplated suicide during her time as a member of the British royal family, and reached out to them for help – but rebuffed because “it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”
Tsilimparis has not met the Prince Harry or Meghan Markle, but says their transparency helps other people suffering symptoms of depression, which includes feelings of hopelessness and guilt, losing interest in things that usually bring pleasure, changes to eating or sleeping habits, irritableness and worry.
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“In her case, she felt trapped, and has felt trapped for a while, and didn’t feel supported. And when you don’t feel supported and you’re feeling that way, things can build up,” Tsilimparis said. “Not surprised she’s feeling this way and she had to leave.”
As a psychotherapist, Tsilimparis conceded that everyone feels ups and downs and feels sad now and then.
“But if you experience impairment, and you’re unable to fulfill role obligations like taking care of your kids, getting through a pregnancy or doing your work, then you really need to reach out because depression can get a lot worse,” he said.
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If you or anyone you know is experiencing depression or having thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800- 273-TALK (8255) or text “HELLO” to 741741.