Kate Middleton's brother called his depression 'a cancer of the mind' in a rare interview

Junie Sihlangu
Jan 16, 2019
02:25 P.M.
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On January 11, Daily Mail published an opinion piece by Duchess Kate’s younger brother James Middleton. In the article, he opened up about his battle with depression and anxiety.


He revealed that clinical depression hit him for the first time at the end of 2016. In the article, the businessman also shared his reasons for speaking up now.

James Middleton, 31, revealed that his depression and anxiety would cause him to drag himself up and go to work. However, once at the office, he says he would just

”stare with glazed eyes at my computer screen, willing the hours to tick by so I could drive home again.”


Duchess Kate’s brother couldn’t even open or answer emails at work and pulled away from his family and close friends. They tried to text him and reach out but his despair just grew more intense daily.

Speaking about how he felt, Middleton explained:

“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.”


He didn’t want to kill himself but he also didn’t want to keep living with his “state of mind.” At the end of 2016, the businessman could sense that his heart had started beating abnormally fast.

Middleton phoned his GP and tests were done which revealed he had arrhythmia or an irregular heartbeat caused by stress and anxiety. Medication helped his system but the root cause of his problem he ignored.


In 2017, the year passed him by as he stopped communicating with his friends. After suffering from months of sleepless nights, inertia, and anxiety, the businessman realized he needed to reach out to his doctor again.

He told the GP, “I’m not OK. I need some help.” His doctor advised him to see psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Pereira and Middleton resolved to do that after taking a trip to the Lake District for a few days of escape with his dogs.


He took time swimming in the icy Coniston Water, walking alone on snow-capped mountains and stayed alone in a remote cottage. When he got back, Middleton started seeing Pereira every week.

The doctor sent him to be tested for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and the results came out positive. He learned more about the condition and it helped him understand why he struggled so much at school.


As he learned to deal with what was going on with him, he also gave his GP permission to talk to his family. Besides his family and friends, Middleton also acknowledged the role his dogs Ella, Inca, Luna, Zulu, and Mabel played in his recovery.

Ella, his companion of ten years, has even attended Middleton’s therapy sessions with him. She and Middleton now volunteer with the charity Pets As Therapy.


Kate's brother, who is also dyslexic, decided to speak up about his journey for two reasons. The first reason is that he now understands the depression he suffers from saying,

“Today, I feel a new sense of purpose and zest for life.”

The second reason was that his brother-in-law Prince William, Kate, and Prince Harry all advocate for speaking about mental illness through their mental health charity Heads Together. All three have motivated him to open up.


Middleton has since closed two of his businesses, but he now runs a personalized greeting card company called Boomf. He’s built more confidence since learning more about depression and how to handle it and he now views his journey as “a positive one.”

Kate's younger brother’s last words to readers are:

“If I could leave you with just one thought, it would be this: ‘It’s OK not to be OK.’ That is the mantra that gave me the strength to speak out. Having done so here, it feels as if a great weight has been lifted.”

In 2011, James registered Nice Group London, which compromised of Cake Kit Company, Nice Cakes, and Nice Wine. Boomf was registered in 2013.

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