LIVING

Afghanistan Helped Prince Harry Deal With Diana's Death

"15, 17 years later I still hadn't dealt with it."

06/21/2017 12:26 EDT | Updated 06/21/2017 22:24 EDT

Prince Harry reveals his two stints in Afghanistan were crucial in helping him heal after his mother's death.

When Princess Diana died in 1997, Prince Harry was just 12 years old. For years after her death, the red-headed royal admitted his life was "in total chaos."

"I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and all sorts of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle," the prince told The Daily Telegraph earlier this year.

Reuters Photographer / Reuters
The Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince Harry, and housemaster Dr Andrew Gayley (behind) escort Prince William (2R), second in line to the throne, for his first day of term at the world famous Eton College September 6, 1995.

In the same interview, Harry revealed he turned to boxing as an outlet for his aggression, confessing it "really saved [him] because [he] was on the verge of punching someone, so being able to punch someone who had pads was certainly easier."

The prince also enrolled in the British Army, where he served two front-line tours of duty in Afghanistan in 2008 and 2012.

Handout . / Reuters
Britain's Prince Harry walks after disembarking from a Voyager transport aircraft at RAF Brize Norton, southern England January 23, 2013. The Prince, who served as a pilot/gunner with 662 Squadron Army Air Corps, returned to Britain on Wednesday from his posting to Afghanistan. REUTERS/Paul Crouch/MOD/Handout

Reminiscing about the experience with former Invictus Games Captain and Paralympic medalist, Dave Henson, Harry shared that while he has many issues that don't pertain to his time in Afghanistan, that particular experience triggered a change in his life.

"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,'" he said.

Prior to this discussion, Harry had credited his brother, Prince William, for helping him get the help he needed.

Eddie Keogh / Reuters
Prince William and Prince Harry watch England's Six Nations rugby match against Wales at Twickenham stadium in London February 6, 2010.

According to Harry, the Duke of Cambridge said to his brother, "Look, you really need to deal with this. It is not normal to think that nothing has affected you."

After that, Harry began talking about it more and realized he had never even started to process some of his emotions.

These days, the prince is very much in tune with his feelings, become more and more vocal about his struggles with mental health and his appreciation for therapy.