Prince Harry says psychedelics helped him overcome grief
Prince Harry is talking about the tools he used to heal from his childhood trauma.
On Saturday the Spare author appeared at a virtual book event with trauma specialist Dr. Gabor Maté, author of the book . During their conversation, the two discussed the Duke of Sussex’s experience with losing his mother, Princess Diana, in a car accident, as well as the ways in which Prince Harry said he felt “slightly different” from the rest of the royal family.
“I felt strange being in this container, and I know that my mum felt the same. It makes sense to me — it didn’t make sense at the time — I felt as though my body was in there, but my head was out, but sometimes it was vice-versa,” he explained, . “The times that I ventured towards being myself, being my authentic true self, whether it was through media or family or whatever it was, it was almost like, ‘Don’t be yourself, come back to what you’re expected to be,’ if that makes sense.”
Prince Harry also spoke about how going to therapy to manage his grief was like “bursting a bubble” — and why he was initially hesitant to go down that road.
“I thought that when I went to therapy that it would cure me, and that I would lose whatever I had left of my mother,” he explained. “It was the opposite — I turned into what I thought should be sadness to show that I missed her into knowing that she would want me to be happy.”
In addition to therapy, the co-founder of Archewell said he turned to psychedelics to heal, per . He shared that initially he was using drugs recreationally, until he realized how “good it was for me,” calling it, “one of the fundamental parts of my life that changed me and helped me deal with the traumas and the pains of the past.”
“It was the cleaning of the windshield, removal of life’s filters,” he noted. “It removed it all for me and brought me a sense of relaxation, release, comfort, a lightness that I managed to hold onto for a period of time.”
Prince Harry has spoken about his use of psychedelics before. In a January 2023 interview with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes, he said that while he would not encourage anyone to use the substances recreationally, “doing it with the right people, if you are suffering from a huge amount of loss, grief or trauma, then these things have a way of working as a medicine.” He believes that experimental treatments like ayahuasca, psilocybin and mushrooms aided him in .
“They cleared away this idea that I had in my head that…I needed to cry to prove to my mother that I missed her,” he told Cooper at the time. “When in fact, all she wanted was for me to be happy.”
He had also mentioned psychedelic use in Spare, writing that they allowed him to “redefine reality.”
“Under the influence of these substances I was able to let go of rigid preconcepts, to see that there was another world beyond my heavily filtered senses, a world that was equally real and doubly beautiful,” he shared.
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