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Meghan’s confession to Oprah shows depression, suicidal thoughts don’t know status, psychiatrist says

The warning signs someone you love is struggling and what you can do to help a friend or family member who may be contemplating suicide.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The fallout continues over Oprah’s royal interview with Prince Harry and his wife, the former Meghan Markle.

Meghan said her isolation and unhappiness inside the royal family grew so bad that “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.”

“And that was a very clear, and real, and frightening, constant thought,” she said.

So she said she sought help from the palace’s human resources department, but did not receive it.

“I went to the institution and I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help. I said that I’ve never felt this way before and I need to go somewhere,” she said. “And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”

Following the interview, some high-profile critics, including British talk show host Piers Morgan, have questioned whether Meghan is telling the truth.

“This was a very important message coming from Meghan Markle that anybody, no matter what status you are in, you could experience depression and suicidal ideation,” said psychiatrist Dr. Amit Vijapura. “When you are experiencing it, the first thing you can do is definitely talk about it. The unfortunate part about this interview was that she was denied the appropriate treatment, which is scary. We want to get the message out that depression and suicidal ideation is real and it needs to be addressed. Never suppress those kinds of feelings. You need to get out and either call a suicide national hotline or ask a family member to get a therapist or a psychiatrist to evaluate this individual and get help.”

Statistics show more than 50% of people who die from suicide reached out and asked for help from a primary care doctor or from family members and were not given help in time, Vijapura said.

Anybody who expresses suicidal thoughts should be believed and not judged, Vijapura said.

“You have to remove all those barriers,” he said. “It’s about the person’s suffering.”

He said these are medical conditions that need to be addressed by professionals, and he stressed that those are confidential treatments.

For more from his interview, watch the video above.

If you or someone you love is contemplating suicide, there is help.  You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


About the Author:

Jennifer, who anchors The Morning Shows and is part of the I-TEAM, loves working in her hometown of Jacksonville.