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  1. ITV Report

Prince Harry opens up about suffering panic attacks where his heart beat 'like a washing machine'

Prince Harry has opened up about suffering panic attacks Credit: Forces TV/PA

Prince Harry has revealed he suffered panic attacks in the wake of his mother's death, as he credited the army with helping him deal with his grief.

Harry admitted he has "plenty of issues" and had felt helpless at times in a televised interview with Forces TV. He described how formal occasions and crowds would act as a trigger and cause his heart to beat "like a washing machine".

"You can tell the signs in people," he said. "In my case, suit and tie and every single time I was in any room with loads of people which is quite often, just pouring with sweat, heart beating bop, bop, bop, bop - literally like a washing machine - just like 'oh my god get me out of here now. Oh hang on I can't get out of here - I've got to just hide it'."

He said his own experiences have helped him to help young men who are dealing with their own issues.

"You go through all that stuff and then you meet other lads who've had a similar journey ... and you can help them and you can have a bit of banter....Once they realise 'Hang on I'm not the only person here - There are so many other people who have suffered and recovered - I'm going to go and sort this out and get help'."

He says serving in the military was 'the university of life' Credit: Forces TV/PA

The 32-year-old, who spent 10 years in the military and served on two front line tours with the Army, was filmed in conversation with Paralympic medal winner and former Invictus Games captain Dave Henson.

The Prince said Afghanistan was the moment he realised he had to deal with his problems and that the Invictus Games he set up for wounded service personnel had been "a sort of cure".

Going through Invictus and speaking to all the guys about their issues has really healed me and helped me.

I've got plenty of issues but none of them really relate to Afghanistan, but Afghanistan was the thing that triggered everything else.

Not to get too personal, if you lose your mum at the age of 12 then you've got to deal with it and the idea that .... 15, 17 years later I still hadn't dealt with it, Afghan was the moment. I was like "right - deal with it.

– Prince Harry

Harry was recently praised for revealing he sought counselling in his 20s after bottling up his emotions over the the death of his mother, which he said caused two years of "total chaos" before he learned to talk about it.

Prince Harry pictured with Diana in 1989 Credit: PA

He described Invictus as a "sort of cure".

"There was many times in my early life and also many times in Afghan and coming back from Afghan when you actually feel helpless," he said.

Once I plucked my head out of the sand, post-Afghan, it had a huge, life changing moment for me as well - 'Right, you are Prince Harry, you can do this, as long as you're not a complete tit, then you're gonna be able to get that support, because you've got the credibility of 10 years' service and therefore, you can really make a difference'.

– Prince Harry

He stressed the importance of speaking about emotions before mental health problems snowball and said the army helped him thanks to sharing similar experiences with his colleagues.

Harry, who is dating US Suits actor Meghan Markle, praised the service personnel taking part in the Invictus Games and described them as role models for his own future children.

"These guys ... are people who have literally sacrificed their lives and sacrificed body parts to serve their country and to be with their mates," he said.

"Those are the role models that I want my kids to follow."

  • Prince Harry: My Journey will be broadcast on Wednesday June 21 at 8pm (UK) on Forces TV.