Kate Middleton's brother James opens up about his battle with depression as he backs mental health charity Heads Together

James Middleton has spoken out about his depression as he backs mental health charity Heads Together.

Heads Together is led by Mr Middleton’s sister, the Duchess of Cambridge along with the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Mr Middleton, 31, told the Daily Mail that depression was a “cancer of the mind.”

He explained how clinical depression first hit him at the end of 2016 and left him with an “absence of feelings.”

Mr Middleton pictured at Wimbledon with his sister Pippa (Getty Images)

“I couldn’t feel joy, excitement or anticipation,” he said.

Mr Middleton explained that in December 2017 he travelled to the Lake District and spent some time reflecting, realising that he needed to seek help.

He explained: “I am compelled to talk about it openly because this is precisely what my brother-in-law Prince William, my sister Catherine and Prince Harry are advocating through their mental health charity Heads Together.

James Middleton pictured with Prince William (Getty Images)

“They believe we can only tackle the stigma associated with mental illness if we have the courage to change the national conversation, to expel its negative associations. So it wouldn’t be honest to suppress my story. I want to speak out, and they are my motivation for doing so.”

Mr Middleton says he used cognitive behavioural therapy to help change the patterns of his thoughts and behaviour.

James Middleton is backing his sister's charity Heads Together (Getty Images)

He also gave his GP permission to speak to his family.

“Those who are closest to you are the hardest to speak to. It was impossible to let my loved ones know about the torture in my mind. Equally, anything they’d have said would have been rebuffed.”

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Heads Together combines a campaign to tackle stigma and change the conversation on mental health with fundraising for a series of innovative new mental health series.

In April 2017, Prince Harry revealed that he sought counselling for his mental health while still struggling to come to terms with the death of his mother.

He told the Telegraph that he only began to address his grief when he was 28 after enduring two years of “total chaos”.