And now, James Arthur, 34, has decided to revisit the ‘trauma’ of being put into foster care aged 14, in a bid to tackle ‘decades’ of battling with his mental health.
The former X Factor winner has filmed a new documentary – James Arthur: Out Of Our Minds – which sees him open up to his parents about how their decision to give him up impacted his whole life.
After leaving foster care, his depression and anxiety were so bad he felt unable to leave his bedsit, while the star ended up feeling suicidal after his rise to fame.
Also appearing in the BBC Three show, which airs on November 13, is his ex-girlfriend Jessica Grist, who he was in a relationship with during his first years in the spotlight.
Trauma: James Arthur, 34, has decided to revisit the ‘trauma’ of being put into foster care aged 14, in a bid to tackle ‘decades’ of battling with his mental health (Pictured in 2021)
Jmes, who has moved ‘seven or eight times’ has now moved back to his hometown of Redcar, North Yorkshire, after feeling ‘more and more isolated’ living in the south west of the country.
He told The Sun how he’s hoping to feel closer to ‘who he is’ when surrounded by people who knew ‘the weird little ADHD kid’ that he was.
James admitted that he’s battled his with mental health ‘for decades’, and at times depression and anxiety have overwhelmed him.
Despite trying antidepressants, therapy and exercise to help, the singer explained: ‘I decided that to tackle my mental health issues, I had to start by going back to my hometown to revisit my past, and the separation from my parents.’
Looking back: The X Factor star has filmed a new documentary – James Arthur: Out Of Our Minds – which sees him open up to his parents about how giving him up impacted his whole life
The former X Factor winner confessed how he has previously ‘felt a lot of resentment’ towards his parents and I did his best to keep them away.
But now, he sees his move back to Redcar as an opportunity to get to know them again, have the uncomfortable conversations that are necessary to deal with what happened.
However, James confessed: We’ve not gone there fully. I need to talk to my dad. With Mum, I don’t know if I’ve ever got closure from her — to hear her say ”sorry” without hearing a ”but”.’
The singer’s mum, Shirley, split from his dad, delivery driver Neil, when James was just two-years-old, and both remarried new partners a year later
Needing closure: However, James confessed: ‘With Mum, I don’t know if I’ve ever got closure from her — to hear her say ”sorry” without hearing a ”but”,’ (Pictured: Shirley in 2012)
When James was nine-years-old, his stepdad Ronnie Rafferty, a computer engineer, moved the family to Bahrain, where they lived happily for four years.
Aged 13, they suddenly moved back to the UK, and Ronnie ‘disappeared,’ leaving James’ mum Shirley alone to raise four children.
A year later, at an emergency social worker meeting, his parent admitted they couldn’t cope, and James was sent to live with a foster family.
James explained how his mother was struggling with mental health problems and had needed his father to ‘step up.’
Heartbreaking: James said of when his parents put him into foster care: ‘I felt pretty hopeless. I watched both my parents decide to say, ”He can’t live with us’.’ (Pictured in 2019)
He told the publication of that time: ‘I felt pretty hopeless. I watched both my parents decide to say, ”He can’t live with us”. I was a kid and actually I just needed somebody to put an arm around me. I’ll never forget that day.’
James recalled the ‘scary’ drive to his foster carer’s house, and admitted he would cry at night, feeling confused because, at worst, he’d simple been ‘a little disruptive’ at school.
He revealed how he kept the fact he was in foster care a secret from his friends for two years, because he felt ‘ashamed,’ bottling up his feelings while his mental health ‘spiraled.’
James said of his parents’ decision to give him away: ‘I resented them so much and have carried that situation, and how it all played out, for the rest of my life.’
Carrying it: James said of his parents: ‘I resented them so much and have carried that situation, and how it all played out, for the rest of my life’ (Pictured on X Factor in 2012)
Aged 19, jobless and penniless, James left foster care and moved into a tiny bedsit next to a drug dealer in North Yorkshire.
Overwhelmed with anxiety, teenage James became a recluse and spent his time sleeping, before his GP eventually prescribed him with antidepressants.
Back in 2012, aged 24, he called his mum Shirley to ask her for a fiver so that he could pay for electricity. She lent him the small amount, on the condition that he would go to The X Factor auditions in Middlesbrough.
James’ world then changed overnight when he went on to win the iconic show after battling his way through the ‘super-intense’ bootcamp, judges’ houses and live finals.
Journey: Overwhelmed with anxiety, teenage James became a recluse and spent his time sleeping, before his GP eventually prescribed him with antidepressants (Pictured in 2012)
The talented star had stopped taking his antidepressants before entering the ITV competition, but admitted he still ‘hadn’t really addressed the deep trauma.’
James candidly asserted to the publication that his childhood trauma was ‘always going to come back and haunt him.’
The singer recalled how he would come off stage having heart palpitations and felt utter terror, admitting: ‘I thought I was dying.’
An ambulance was a called out and he went back on antidepressants on the advice of doctors.
After topping the charts and releasing an album, James was embroiled in controversy over a homophobic slur on Twitter and a fallout with Simon Cowell over a mixtape which glorified violence, which led to him being dropped by Syco in 2014.
Devastating: Speaking on-camera, his ex-girlfriend Jessica Gibb recalled when she lay outside their bedroom begging the suicidal singer to unlock the door (Pictured together in 2014)
The star revealed he suffered daily anxiety attacks, and admitted that he was doing drugs, drinking and partying – and looking back branded himself ‘a fool.’
Speaking on-camera for his new documentary, his ex-girlfriend Jessica recalled a night when she lay outside their bedroom begging the suicidal singer to unlock the door.
‘If I was ever near a balcony, or in my car, I’d have an image of me jumping over or driving off the road. But then I’d think, “Don’t do it, you’ve got sisters, you’re the man of the family”. But there was many a time I thought of it,’ he told The Mirror in 2016.’
In 2016, James resurrected his career: he overcame his addictions, re-signed with Syco and his single Say You Won’t Let Go topped the charts.
For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see samaritans.org
James Arthur: Out Of Our Minds airs on BBC Three at 9pm on November 13.
Buried: James candidly asserted to the publication that his childhood trauma was ‘always going to come back and haunt him’ (Pictured in 2012)
Source: | Dailymail.co.uk