DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s explosive, exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey left many jaws on the floor.
But mental health experts said it also had them cheering while they wiped away tears.READ MORE: 2 People Found Dead Inside Abandoned School In Parker County
The Duchess said suicide was a “real and frightening thought” while she was pregnant with her son, Archie, and a working member of the Royal Family.
“I was really ashamed to say it at the time, and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry especially, because I know how much loss he suffered. But I knew that if I didn’t say it, that I would do it,” she said. “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.”
Mental health experts in North Texas call her candor unprecedented.
“I’m going to go with dumbfounded that someone of that stature, someone that everybody knew, was willing to put herself out there and say what she felt,” said Bonnie Cook, Executive Director of Mental Health America of Greater Dallas. “It brought tears to my eyes when I think about her. I knew she knew what that pain was like.”
And talking about it on an international stage, they said, can help others avoid that shame.READ MORE: Tony Evans Jr., Lancaster Football Player And University Of Wyoming Recruit, Killed In Shooting At Dallas Hotel
“Here’s royalty. She has her prince,” said psychotherapist Leigh Richardson. “She has everything, and yet she was so alone and so overwhelmed that she felt like she could not move forward.”
They said 1 in 5 people suffer from mental illness, yet it’s still stigmatized.
Experts hope Markle’s vulnerability will prompt those suffering to ask for help.
“I think calls to suicide hotline numbers will go up,” said Cook. “I think people might be more willing to have that conversation with a loved one to say ‘Hey, I’m struggling.’”
And they hope it shows particularly young women in a social media world that the perfect life doesn’t exist.MORE NEWS: 11-Year-Old Fatally Shot By Child Who Found Gun In Vehicle At Dallas Walmart, Police Say
“Nobody lives a fairytale life. Everybody has struggles. Nobody knows what we are all going through individually,” said Cook.