July 20, 2024

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How Princess Diana sparked conversations around mental health

How Princess Diana sparked conversations around mental health
When we look at the lives led by the royals, we are almost envious and to an extent begrudging. We wish to have a life like theirs, to own the luxuries they possess, the recognition they get, we wish to have it all. However, what meets the eye is often only a part of what really goes on in their lives. While you may see the riches, the great fortunes, the fame and the inheritance, what lies beneath is unknown and almost undecipherable.

Diana was the people’s princess for a reason

Princess Diana, the rebel, the people’s princess, was the one who helped her see through the royal walls and made us understand the complexities of a royal life.

Besides her greatest charitable contributions to the world, she became a true icon by recognizing mental health issues and by speaking openly about her struggles with bulimia and postnatal depression. Doing so, not only made people aware of such mental health conditions, but also undermined the taboos surrounding the same. Many people dealing with the same issues and troubles came out of hiding and recognized their illness.

She opened up about her struggles with bulimia, self injury and post-natal depression

Although mental health discussions have gained much momentum in recent years, it was a taboo in the earlier century and it didn’t get any easier for the royals especially. Princess Diana lived in an era and a household, where mental health wasn’t a topic widely discussed.

However, Diana stepped up and spoke openly about her struggles with bulimia, a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder. She shared her experience with post-natal depression and revealed instances of self injury.

In Andrew Norton’s biography of Princess Diana called “Diana: Her True Story”, he wrote in detail about Diana’s eating disorder.

In an explosive interview with the BBC, Diana spoke of bulimia as a consequence of what was happening in her marriage. “That’s like a secret disease,” she said. “You inflict it upon yourself because your self-esteem is at a low ebb, and you don’t think you’re worthy or valuable. You fill your stomach up four or five times a day — some do it more — and it gives you a feeling of comfort,” she explains.

Furthermore, talking about her struggles with postpartum depression, Diana said, “I was unwell with postnatal depression, which no one ever discusses, postnatal depression, you have to read about it afterwards, and that in itself was a bit of a difficult time.” “I received a great deal of treatment, but I knew in myself that actually what I needed was space and time to adapt to all the different roles that had come my way,” she added.

Her candid interview broke through many stigmas and stereotypes that revolve around mental health disorders that take a toll on men, women and children alike.