A trauma expert has diagnosed the Duke of Sussex with attention deficit disorder (ADD).
Prince Harry spoke to Dr Gabor Mate, author of The Myth Of Normal: Trauma, Illness & Healing In A Toxic Culture, in a live interview on Saturday (4 March), with topics including his use of cocaine, marijuana and alcohol. In his memoir Spare, Harry admitted to regular drug-taking and describes how in 2015, while living in Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace, he smoked marijuana.
Harry said: “(Cocaine) didn’t do anything for me, it was more a social thing and gave me a sense of belonging for sure, I think it probably also made me feel different to the way I was feeling, which was kind of the point. Marijuana is different, that actually really did help me.” The duke also told of using psychedelics such as ayahuasca.
He went on: “It was the cleaning of the windscreen, cleaning of the windshield, the removal of life’s filters just as much as on Instagram, these layers of filters. It removed it all for me and brought me a sense of relaxation, release, comfort, a lightness that I managed to hold on to for a period of time.
“I started doing it recreationally and then started to realise how good it was for me, I would say it is one of the fundamental parts of my life that changed me and helped me deal with the traumas and pains of the past.”
Harry also spoke about the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 when the duke was just 12 years old.
Dr Mate told him: “Reading the book, I diagnose you with ADD… I see it as a normal response to normal stress.” He said this can be “healed at any age”.
What is attention deficit disorder?
The term is used for people who have difficulties with concentration without the presence of symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as impulsiveness or hyperactivity.
How is it diagnosed?
A clinician must be satisfied there is excessive difficulty with the majority of the inattentive ADD criteria. These criteria need to be problematic at both home and school or work on an ongoing basis, to be significant and causing impairment.
What are the symptoms associated with it?
Not paying close attention to details, having trouble keeping attention on tasks, not listening properly and difficulty organising things can all be symptoms. Also, not wanting to do things which take a long time, failure to follow instructions and being easily distracted.
What is the treatment?
For a child, educational strategies to refocus and engage the mind can be key. This could include keeping lessons bright and interesting and sitting them at the front of the class.
Medication can also be taken. Dr Mate said: “It can healed at any age”.
What did Dr Mate say to Harry about it?
Dr Mate told the duke: “Reading the book, I diagnose you with ADD.” He went on: “I don’t see it as a disease, I see it as a normal response to abnormal stress.
“When a kid is in a stressful environment, one way they cope with it is they scatter their attention so that they remove themselves from the stress. I think there’s a lot of stress in your life. And I also think you’re one of these sensitive kids.”