The Me You Can’t See: Prince Harry And Oprah’s New Series On Mental Health
Asking for help is a sign of strength
After the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down for a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey two months ago, Prince Harry and Lady O have teamed up again for a brand new series on mental health. The Me You Can’t See is a 5-episode show for Apple Tv+, co-produced by the two of them, and it navigates through the subject of mental illness at length, covering the various issues through different journeys of different human beings.
The stand-out element of the show is the fact that it places celebrities and regular people on the same pedestal, sending a strong message that mental health problems are common amongst all, regardless of your wealth and fame. Here are some of the noteworthy highlights from the show.
Prince Harry On His Trauma
Being in the public eye has been a routine for Prince Harry since he was born, but his relationship with the media and paparazzi changed at the age of 12. As a young boy, when the Prince lost his mother, the late Princess Diana, in a car crash in a tunnel in Paris, what he most remembers is the bike chasing photographer that followed her and led to the accident. While the world mourned the loss of its favourite princess, the Duke couldn’t process this trauma for the longest time.
After the incident, being at social events caused him anxiety and bouts of sweat, and he only felt comfortable in his own skin after he met his now-wife, Meghan Markle. But watching the same maligning behaviour towards his wife from the media and aggressive following of the paparazzi triggered the same emotions for him. He turned to therapy and spoke about the changes it brought in his life. Although after no help from his family, the couple decided to leave the royal life behind, placing their mental well being over everything else.
Oprah Winfrey On Her Childhood And Sexual Assault
Known as the most renowned host and larger-than-life TV personality, Oprah gave a glimpse into her growing up years through this show. She spoke about being sexually assaulted by an older cousin during her teenage years and how her mother’s negligence affected her self-confidence. Through the narration of her journey, Oprah emphasised finding a role model that cares; in her case, it was her grade 4 elementary teacher Mrs Duncan.
The support and love of this teacher inspired her to further help girls, leading to all her educational initiatives in South Africa and America. Oprah also touched on the subject of trauma and how it translates differently for everyone through the stories of the young girls she mentored.
Lady Gaga On PTSD
Lady Gaga appeared on the show under her real name Stefani. She opened up about being raped and made pregnant by a producer at the age of 19 when she was starting out in the music industry. Gaga spoke about this traumatic incident at length and also revealed the psychotic breakdown that followed. For years she dealt with PTSD by losing herself and by inflicting self-harm. It took her years to find a way to regulate it and find a way to live with it.
Lady Gaga’s message through her own journey is that it will never be completely okay, but one can live with it and not just survive but thrive. When the interviewer asked her about her last low phase and what was she doing during that time, she laughed and shared that she was busy winning an Oscar. Appearances are surely deceptive.
Famous Athletes On Depression, Anxiety and OCD
Virginia Fuchs, an American Olympic-level boxer, talks about living with OCD. There are different types of OCD, but Fuchs’s condition stems from the fear of contamination and cross-contamination. During her part in the series, you see her managing her condition by washing and re-washing her surroundings and cleaning herself until exhaustion. Through the episode, you watch her talk about finding a balance, losing it, and then finding it again, which is precisely how a mental health journey works. It’s not always hunky-dory, but it isn’t always this bad.
NBA players DeMar DeRozan and Langston Galloway speak about depression as a taboo within the black community and how it has affected them. It was after DeMar’s tweet on depression did NBA take notice of its mental health policies, and it was followed by multiple players who spoke about their personal struggles. From the pressure of the game to how they dealt with the loss of a global basketball hero Kobe Bryant, the players confess about more than what meets the eye.
Apart from these famous names and stories, the show also sheds light on regular people like students, war refugee kids, a chef from the minority community and people with disabilities. It sensitively approaches all their individual complications while also showing the tools and methods they apply to deal with them. A team of psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors bind it all together for the viewers. The show threads conversations about the difference between depression and sadness, anxiety and nervousness through the expertise of these doctors, making it even more informative for the audiences.
Images: Apple TV+