Meghan Markle may be literal royalty, but she’s human just like the rest of us. The Duchess of Sussex recently opened up about the impact of social media on her mental health — especially as it relates to online harassment.
During an appearance on the Teenager Therapy podcast in conjunction with World Mental Health Day, Meghan admitted that while social media can be a great way to connect with others, it’s also a place of “disconnection” and harm. “I can speak personally too,” she explained to three of the show’s five young hosts, saying that she’s been told she was the “most trolled person in the entire world” in 2019.
She went on to note that for a large portion of the year, she wasn’t very visible in the public eye because she was tending to her son, Archie. “But what was able to just be manufactured and churned out, it’s almost unsurvivable,” Meghan added. “That’s so big, you can’t even think of what that feels like. Because I don’t care if you’re 15 or 25, if people are saying things about you that aren’t true, what that does to your mental and emotional health is so damaging.”
Meghan pointed out that hurtful language can be impactful to anyone, regardless of whether or not they’re famous (or royalty). “It’s still a very human experience and that’s universal,” she explained. “We all know what it feels like to have our feelings hurt. We all know what it feels like to be isolated or the other…We are all figuring it out.”
Prince Harry, who appeared alongside Meghan for the conversation, added that fighting the stigma surrounding mental health is important to him. “As I’ve always said to Meghan, before we even met, I’ve had this deep sense of community once I started to talk about my own mental health,” he explained, emphasizing that showing vulnerability in today’s world is absolutely a strength — not a weakness. “Because it’s a community of people that no matter what, every single person wants to make sure that no one else goes through all they went through. And that’s a community that I want to be a part of.”
The Duchess of Sussex has previously spoken about the challenges of living life and experiencing motherhood in the public eye, revealing in her 2019 documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey that hardly anyone has simply asked if she’s doing OK. “I would hope that people — the world — will get to a point where you just see us as a couple who is in love,” she said of the intense media and public scrutiny she experienced at the time. “Because I don’t wake up every day and identify as being anything other than who I’ve always been. I’m Meghan and I married this incredible man, and this, to me, is just part of our love story.”
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