Kate Middleton's brother James opens up about battle with depression in emotional op-ed

James Middleton is hoping his story can help others. 

Kate Middleton's brother revealed his battle with depression in an emotional op-ed for The Daily Mail on Friday, in which he candidly recalled sinking into a "morass of despair" before deciding to get treatment just over a year ago. 

As James shared, he was inspired to speak out after seeing how his oldest sister, her husband, Prince William, and his brother, Prince Harry, have used their platforms to shine a light on mental health. “They believe we can only tackle the stigma associated with mental illness if we have the courage to change the national conversation, to expel its negative associations," he said, before noting that his family members were some of the hardest people to discuss his depression with. 

"Those who are closest to you are the hardest to speak to. It was impossible to let my loved ones know about the torture in my mind,” James, 31, explained. 

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James Middleton out and about
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James Middleton out and about
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: James Middleton seen attending The Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund's Christmas Carol Service at St Luke's Church on December 04, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Ricky Vigil/GC Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 08: James Middleton arrives for the 20th GQ Men of the Year Award at Komische Oper on November 8, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images for GQ Germany)
James Middleton arrives at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, London, where his sister Pippa Middleton gave birth to a baby boy on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Nick Ansell/PA Images via Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 12: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) James Middleton attends the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Philippa Matthews (Middleton) (C), James Middleton (CR), the siblings of Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Pippa's husband James Matthews (CL) arrive to attend the wedding of Britain's Princess Eugenie of York to Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on October 12, 2018. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / various sources / AFP) (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Pippa Middleton and James Middleton attend day nine of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 11, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage )
Pippa Matthews and James Middleton applaud Kyle Edmund after his win on centre court on day four of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) James Middleton attends the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales marries Ms. Meghan Markle in a service at St George's Chapel inside the grounds of Windsor Castle. Among the guests were 2200 members of the public, the royal family and Ms. Markle's Mother Doria Ragland. (Photo by Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) James Middleton, Pippa Middleton and James Matthews attend the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales marries Ms. Meghan Markle in a service at St George's Chapel inside the grounds of Windsor Castle. Among the guests were 2200 members of the public, the royal family and Ms. Markle's Mother Doria Ragland. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 05: James Middleton attends the launch of Bazaar Art, published in association with Bentley, Mark's Club on October 5, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Pippa Middleton & James Middleton seen arriving for day thirteen at The Championships at Wimbledon on July 16, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by HGL/GC Images)
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Before seeking treatment, James said he was consumed by "debilitating inertia." "During the day I’d drag myself up and go to work, then just stare with glazed eyes at my computer screen, willing the hours to tick by so I could drive home again," he expressed. 

“I couldn’t communicate, even with those I loved best: my family and close friends,” James wrote. “I know I’m richly blessed and live a privileged life. But it did not make me immune to depression. It is tricky to describe the condition. It is not merely sadness. It is an illness, a cancer of the mind."

The younger brother of Kate and Pippa Middleton continued, divulging that at one point, he thought about suicide. Instead, he decided to do something. "I packed my dogs into my car and, telling no one where I was going, drove to a wild part of the Lake District I’ve loved since I was a child," he described, adding that it was there that he found calmness through solitary walks on snow-capped mountains. 

“In the days before, I’d finally confronted the fact that I couldn’t cope any longer, that I wasn’t all right; that I desperately needed help. And this recognition led to a sort of calm: I knew if I accepted help there would be hope," he recalled. "It was a tiny spark of light in the darkness.”

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Kate Middleton's younger brother on Instagram
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Kate Middleton's younger brother on Instagram
Storms a coming
Hello Wednesday 🐾💦☀️
Highland swim 🏊
Mabel's getting all grown up 🐾
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😉
Hello Hong Kong ✌️
Ella Air LHR-INV
No I didn't say I would shave the beard when we finished! 6 days10 hrs, 3000 miles thank you for all sponsorship nearly at £40k for Michael Matthews Foundation #raam2014
Double Denim & Dogs
Tigger
It's Friday!!!
Sunday Run day
Bromance
13hrs of pain but we made it! ÖtilÖ SwimRun World Championships! Thank you for all the support for Michael Matthews Foundation
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In his op-ed, James wrote about coping with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), which he was diagnosed with last year, and being "severely dyslexic" as a child. He also revealed how his dogs -- Ella, Inca, Luna, Zulu and Mabel -- have played a part in his recovery. 

"Ella, particularly, has been my constant companion for ten years and she’s been with me to all my therapy sessions. In her own particular way, she has kept me going," he said. "As a result, Ella and I now volunteer with the Pets As Therapy charity and Ella is a fully-fledged therapy dog for PAT."

James concluded his piece by noting that he believes he still would have suffered from depression without the pressure of his sister marrying into the royal family. "But I wouldn’t have found a voice or an outlet for my story if it hadn’t been for the people I’m related to. And that puts me in a unique position of privilege and trust. I feel I have a duty to speak out, so I can help others who are suffering as I did," he shared. 

"Today -- hard as it is to admit this -- I am pleased I went through debilitating depression because I now have the skills to fight it... The end result of this journey has been a positive one," he wrote. "If I could leave you with just one thought, it would be this: ‘It’s OK not to be OK.’"

See more of the family below: 

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Carole Middleton and her family
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Carole Middleton and her family
Carole and Kate 
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