Will Young reflects on 'appalling' prep school days that caused PTSD

Singer Will Young outside St Pancras Coroner's Court, London, during the inquest into death of his twin brother Rupert Young, 41, who died after falling from a bridge in August 2020. Picture date: Monday January 25, 2021. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
Will Young has spoken about lockdown and anxiety. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)

Will Young has opened up on the harrowing experience he had at boarding school, which he says left him with PTSD.

The former Pop Idol winner told The Guardian that he could trace his mental health issues back to his prep school days, which he had been reflecting upon a lot over lockdown.

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He said: “I’ve been thinking a lot about prep school, and wondering if any of those institutions will be brought to justice for the things that I saw happen.”

Talking about having seen pupils "thrown against radiators" and drunk teachers "rolling around dormitories", he said he could not speak about some of the worst moments.

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He also told how teachers would stare at boys' bodies during sports lessons where they were forced to not wear underwear and in showers, and said a landline phone that could have been used to contact parents or ChildLine was "ripped out twice".

Young said: “It was appalling. That’s why I’ve got PTSD. There was such a sense of injustice from things that I experienced and witnessed. I think I escaped – not that it didn’t damage me.”

In 2016, Young's struggle with PTSD caused him to quit Strictly Come Dancing after just three weeks, losing out on his £100,000 fee, but he said he had no regrets about prioritising his mental health.

Photo by: zz/KGC-138/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 10/11/19 Will Young performing in concert at the Eventim Apollo in London, England, UK.
The singer has spoken about his struggles with PTSD. (AP)

The singer also said that the order to stay at home during lockdown had been welcome for him as someone who had problems with agoraphobia and said that his mental health had improved.

On his experiences of the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, he said: "I’m mildly agoraphobic, so being given permission to stay at home: hallelujah!

“I don’t miss the social pressures. I’ve completely recalibrated, and given myself permission to act how I want to act. It’s actually been amazing for someone who suffers from anxiety.”

However, the past year has not been without heartache for Young, 42, who lost his twin brother Rupert to suicide in July after a 20-year struggle with depression and anxiety.

Young has spoken in the past about his struggles with various addictions and about suffering from PTSD.

Watch: Will Young questions why brother not assessed by psychiatrist before death