The silent victims of Meghan Markle's bombshell interview

Olivia Lambert
·News Editor
·4-min read

Meghan Markle made an explosive revelation during an interview with Oprah that she "didn't want to be alive" and had thoughts of suicide before she and Prince Harry distanced themselves from the Royal Family.

The Duchess of Sussex said she was ashamed to admit her mental health state to her husband as her spiralling thoughts began to "frighten" her.

She spoke about how after revealing her feelings to Prince Harry, they were due to attend an event.

"I remember [Harry] saying, 'I don't think you can go', and I said, 'I can't be left alone'," she said.

Meghan Markle told Oprah she didn't want to be alive anymore. Source: CBS
Meghan Markle told Oprah she didn't want to be alive anymore. Source: CBS

However in the wake of the exclusive chat, people across the world took to social media to air their own opinions, with many suggesting she was saying it for attention and lying.

Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan said on-air, "I don't believe a word she said", while masses on Twitter have accused her of spinning a narrative.

"I'm sorry, but Meghan Markle is a liar," one tweeted in response to her mental health battle.

"If anyone says anything against her she'll lie and claim suicide," another claimed.

"Meghan Markle is psychopathic. Her cruelty with the 'suicide threat' is beyond belief," a third said.

Dangers of calling Meghan Markle a 'liar'

Despite whether you're rich or royal, an expert has explained nobody is immune to mental health issues and condemned the "dangerous" comments on social media invalidating mental health struggles.

Professor of psychiatry at Monash University, Jayashri Kulkarni, told Yahoo News Australia while the Duchess herself won't see the harmful comments, they could be seriously detrimental to others struggling with mental health issues.

Meghan Markle said she was putting on a facade during an event at the height of her mental health battle. Source: Getty
Meghan Markle said she was putting on a facade during an event at the height of her mental health battle. Source: Getty

"If you have a condemning approach towards a celebrity a person might think that's how you feel about suicide and depression," she said.

"It could cause a persons struggling to retreat and not open up.

"What is really critical when dealing with mental ill health is openness and discussions and getting help quickly and early."

Professor Kulkarni said revealing a mental health issue was difficult and there was a fear of being slapped down by those they confide in.

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"Precariously saying that about Meghan ... it creates a harmful ongoing situation," she said.

The professor claimed people already struggled to prove the severity of mental health issues and many did not understand feelings of depression could ebb and flow.

"Mental ill health is not only invisible, but it fluctuates," Professor Kulkarni said.

"People say Meghan could put on a glittery gown and dance the night away, there's nothing wrong with her, but it is a fluctuating condition and people can put on a facade.

"On the inside they are experiencing a considerable amount of hurt and pain."

The consequences of condemning mental health claims

Professor Kulkarni said a person who admitted to thoughts of suicide was in a desperate situation and we had to be careful about invalidating people with a mental health issue.

"Saying, 'No, they are putting it on, it's not bad, it's not real', that can be harmful to a person's mental health," she said.

"When people look fine on the outside so others say it's a put on, it's a really dangerous thing.

"What we are saying is it's manipulative, dishonest and attention-seeking, but of course Meghan wants attention – she was feeling dreadful so who wouldn't, what's wrong with that?

"People want attention or help when they are not feeling good."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle speak to Oprah about their split form the Royal Family. Source: Getty
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle speak to Oprah about their split form the Royal Family. Source: Getty

Professor Kulkarni said people saw celebrities as "fair game" and felt it was their right to criticise them as they put themselves in the public eye.

"There's a sense of it's an open slather and this person isn't real. It's not someone you know in reality like your cousin or your friend – they're a figure," she said.

"You get snippets of their life but not the whole, grounded person, so therefore you think your comments won't hurt or be taken seriously."

Professor Kulkarni said the dangerous condemning of an individual who had suicidal thoughts could have serious consequences.

"Sometimes it can have a 'go on, I dare you' effect and that is extremely unhelpful and very, very harmful," she said.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

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