Rylan Clark says he suffered breakdown and eating problems after divorce: ‘I was a danger to myself’

Presenter says that, without his family, ‘I genuinely have no idea if I’d be here’

Isobel Lewis
Sunday 16 January 2022 10:48
Rylan Clark-Neal's real name revealed on Celebrity Gogglebox

Rylan Clark has said that he was “a danger to myself” after suffering a breakdown in the wake of his divorce.

The former X Factor contestant split from his husband of six years Dan last summer, with Clark taking a four-month break from presenting.

Speaking to The Observer, Clark admitted that he got “quite ill” and stopped eating following the end of his marriage.

“I’d got to the point where I didn’t know if I wanted to come back. Or whether I would be able to do this job again,” he said. “It got bad. Like, very bad. And I didn’t think it would get better. I needed help.”

Clark said that he’d “felt alone” during the period and eventually “went away” to the hospital for “safety reasons”.

“I’m the last person that my friends would ever believe could feel as low as I did,” he said. “I was having thoughts and doing things that made me… f***ed up, for want of a better word… I didn’t think I’d be here. I didn’t think I could continue… I didn’t think I’d actually come back. I was very… gone.”

Clark has spoken candidly about his mental health struggles

The presenters then said that his employers had been “brilliant” in supporting him throughout the period.

“When I say I disappeared, I literally disappeared,” he said. “I think they knew how bad I was. There were a select few people that needed to know that I was a danger to myself.”

Through tears, Clark continued: “Strange situations do very strange things to people. If it wasn’t for my mum, and my family and close friends I genuinely have no idea if I’d be here.”

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For anyone struggling with the issues raised in this piece, eating disorder charity Beat’s helpline is available 365 days a year on 0808 801 0677. You can visit their website here.

NCFED offers information, resources and counselling for those suffering from eating disorders, as well as their support networks. They can be reached by phone on 845 838 2040 or their website here.

If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, the Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.

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