During a recent episode of the Teenager Therapy podcast, which is hosted by a group of high school students from Anaheim, the Duchess of Sussex opened up about her experience being so heavily criticized online. Markle began the conversation by touching on the ways the coronavirus lockdowns have led to more digital screen time, which has only increased the risk of online harassment.
“If you’re not in school, then you’re finding yourselves on your devices or online more, and there’s a lot of vulnerability there that I think so many people are experiencing there,” Markle explained. “Yes, it’s a great way to connect, but it also ends up being a place where there’s a lot of disconnection.”
Markle went on to say that she was reportedly the “most trolled person in the entire world” in 2019, which was especially unusual since she rarely made public appearances at all that year.
“Eight months of that, I wasn’t even visible. I was on maternity leave with a baby, but what was able to be manufactured and churned out ― it’s almost unsurvivable,” she continued “That’s so big you can’t even think of what that feels like. Because I don’t care if you’re 15 or if you’re 25, if people are saying things about you that aren’t true, what that does to your mental and emotional health is so damaging.”
Prince Harry chimed in on the conversation too and challenged listeners to remember that vulnerability is a “sign and strength” and that people should be open when talking about the difficulties they face.
“It’s very easy to be sucked in and consumed by negativity but we all have a choice to be able to cut that out of our lives. Hate-following has become a thing,” sad Harry. ” We don’t need to do that … for me I made the choice not to read it, not to see it and to remove myself from that and to very much focus on the uplifting and hopeful side..”
In honor of World Mental Health Day, the royal couple sat down with the Teenager Therapy podcast for a conversation about prioritizing mental health, removing the stigma around the issue, and how we can all contribute to a healthier world: physically, mentally, emotionally, and holistically.
You can listen to the full episode of Teenager Therapy down below: