James Middleton on 'turning point' in depression battle

Duchess of Cambridge’s brother James Middleton reveals ten-day Christmas trip with sister Pippa and family to her brother-in-law Spencer Matthews’ Scottish home was ‘turning point’ in depression battle

  • Duchess of Cambridge’s brother spoke of Christmas trip which changed mindset
  • James, 33, joined Pippa and brother-in-law James Matthews in December 2017
  • Parents and James’ brother Made In Chelsea star Spencer were also on holiday  
  • Group went to the Matthew’s family home of Highland Lodge in Glen Affric 
  • He ‘wasn’t looking forward to going away’ but felt he had ‘nowhere else to go’
  • Entrepreneur revealed trip was ‘a turning point’ for recovery from depression  

James Middleton has revealed a ten-day Christmas trip to Scotland with his family to sister Pippa’s brother-in-law Spencer Matthews Scottish home was a ‘turning point’ in his depression battle. 

The Duchess of Cambridge’s brother, 33, has long been open about his mental health struggles, explaining last year he had had suicidal thoughts before undergoing a year of therapy. 

He has now revealed a trip with his parents Carole and Michael and sister Pippa to her husband’s family home with James Matthews, his parents, Jane and David, and his brother Spencer and his wife, Vogue, was the beginning of ‘getting back to being James Middleton.’

Writing in The Telegraph about the December 2017 trip, which came a month after he was diagnosed with depression and started therapy, he explained: ‘On Christmas day, Spencer and I wore kilts and took a three-hour walk on the Affric trail, around the loch…I hadn’t been in the right state of mind for a while, but this was a turning point for me.’ 

James Middleton (picture right) has revealed how a ten-day break in Scotland with his sister Pippa and their parents to her husband James Matthews’ family home marked a ‘turning point’ in his battle with depression

James said he was not ‘looking forward to going away’ but didn’t ‘have anywhere else to go.’

Meanwhile his therapist encouraged him to go on the family trip, saying it would ‘do him good.’  

James moved on to say how he carried out odd jobs to keep himself busy and prevent himself from staying in one place for too long.

The entrepreneur also brought along his five dogs – Golden Retriever Mabel and four black Spaniels called Ella, Zulu, Inka and Luna – who he has often credited with helping him through his struggles. 

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, James described how his dogs acted as a constant distraction for him and gave him. He even said he went paddleboarding on a loch with his spaniel Ella

He also said that his dogs helped him because they acted as a constant distraction, with his spaniel Ella resting her head in his lap and nudging his hand so remind him to pay her some attention. 

The entrepreneur recalled taking long walks with family members, including Made In Chelsea star Spencer, around the loch.

James and Spencer are understood to have formed a close friendship since Spencer’s brother James married Pippa in May 2017. 

The two men spent part of the day eating mince pies and drinking a little coffee with whiskey. 

James revealed how he walked around the loch near the family home with Made In Chelsea star Spencer Matthews and drank whiskey together 

James also said that he adopted a morning ritual of jumping into the freezing cold loch to help himself feel alive. 

‘After a restless night, every single bit of my body woke up,’ he said. 

Another activity James picked up was going paddleboarding with his spaniel Ella, which he described as looking into a mirror when he looked at the water’s surface.

Eventually James said he found that the smile he wore on his face became ‘less forced’ and started to become genuine. 

James has long been open about his mental health struggles and often credits his dogs with helping him on his recovery 

It’s far from the first time that James has opened up about his battles with his mental health. 

In May, James revealed how his dogs were his ‘medicine’ amid his mental health battle as he opens up about how his pets have helped him with his therapy.    

James has also opened up about his depression in an interview with The Mail when he said his depression was like ‘a cancer of the mind’.

He said that he suffered in silence as his mental health deteriorated and described feeling like he was a ‘complete failure’ as his depression spiralled.

James immersed himself in recovery and underwent nearly a year of cognitive behavioural therapy where his family attended some of the sessions. 

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