Note: The following article contains discussion of themes including suicide.
Rylan Clark has spoken candidly about his about his mental health struggles following the breakdown of this marriage.
"I think my marriage ending was the catalyst for the machine stopping," he said, adding that the pressure of working non-stop for a decade after his audition on The X Factor also contributed to his breakdown in 2021.
Rylan continued: "But actually, it was nine years of never stopping and never having time to breathe and actually understand what happened to me.
"For five months, I just stopped and shut down. I tried to take my own life. I tried to do it twice.
"I couldn’t make my mum a cup of tea. I had the fear. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t listen to music and I couldn’t watch TV."
The TV presenter also opened up on how he managed to work through his mental health struggles, explaining that he would treat himself like a "toddler" and celebrate small milestones in his day, such as switching on the kettle or shower.
"What I look back on is little things. You need to look at yourself like a toddler," he said.
"I remember I didn’t want to clean myself. I didn’t want to shower. I remember the first step, another step on that ladder, I would turn the shower on then go away then turn it off.
"That’s one step. I’d turn the shower on, I’d put my leg in and turn it off and go away. I just went under the water, come out, like when you’re faking it as a kid, and come out in a towel and sort of pretended I’d had a shower.
“I didn’t wash myself, I didn’t have shower gel, I didn’t wash my hair, but that was a step. A few days later I did put shampoo in my hair."
"The day you do that, that’s a little step," Rylan explained of his recovery process. "And the reason I say toddler is because you sit and applaud yourself for that."
We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
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