James Middleton: my dog brought me back from the darkness

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James opened up about his battle with depression in January 2019. (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
James opened up about his battle with depression in January 2019. (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The Duchess of Cambridge’s brother has opened up about what’s helped him to beat his depression – and it has four legs and a tail.

James Middleton (33) has credited his menagerie of dogs especially his black cocker spaniel, Ella, for helping him through “some troubled times” in his life.

On Monday he shared a clip on Instagram from an interview he did the previous day with TV show Morning Live in which he spoke about his longtime struggle with mental health. “Dogs don’t just change lives . . . they save them,” he says.

“They’re a very, very loyal companion,” the hunky entrepreneur adds in the video. “For me, during troubled times and good times, they’re my consistent.”

James is also dog dad to Zulu, Inka, Luna, Mabel and Nala, but it’s Ella, his constant companion for the past 10 years, who he’s really leant on.

She even accompanied him to his therapy sessions. “I was reluctant to go from the start,” he shares. “But with her by my side I became really confident in understanding that I had a mental illness.

“I would go so far as to say that I owe Ella my life, and she doesn't know that.”

James first opened up about his battle with depression in January 2019 when he penned an open letter for the Daily Mail, in which he said he’d had professional help over the previous year. 

He also credited his dogs’ support and went on to describe depression as “a cancer of the mind”.

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

Late last year, he shared a photo of Ella for World Mental Health Day, captioning it, “This is Ella & these are the eyes which helped me get through the insufferable darkness.

“The gentle touch of your wet nose and a loving lick was enough to make me feel brave. I will forever be in your debt. Thank you Ella.”

The two are currently volunteers at the UK charity Pets As Therapy.

Sources: people.com, Instagram


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