Rylan Clark reveals he treated himself  like a ‘toddler’ to help him overcome his mental breakdown


Rylan Clark has revealed how he treated himself ‘like a toddler’ to help him through his mental breakdown following the collapse of his marriage to husband Dan Neal.

The presenter, 34, hit rock bottom following the breakdown of his six-year marriage after he’d admitted to cheating on his partner, going on to attempt his own life twice and be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for a time. 

And now in a candid interview, Rylan admitted he struggled to do the smallest tasks such as showering and making tea as he was overcome with emotion, with the star detailing how he took ‘little steps’ to get his life back on track.

Coping mechanism: Rylan Clark has revealed how he treated himself ‘like a toddler’ to help him through his mental breakdown following the collapse of his marriage to husband Dan Neal

He told the Sun on Sunday: ‘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. What I look back on is little things. You need to look at yourself like a toddler. Going to the kitchen and pressing the button on the kettle is a step.

‘The day that you go, “I’m just going to press the button – I’m not making the tea, let it boil, f*** it off”. The day you do that, that’s a little step. And the reason I say ­toddler is because you sit and applaud yourself for that.’

The It Takes Two host when on to detail that in his darkest days he didn’t want to ‘clean myself’ and ‘pretended’ to shower to appease his worried mum Linda, detailing that he’d just stand under to water to wet himself and then run back out.

Split: The presenter, 34, hit rock bottom following the breakdown of his six-year marriage after he'd admitted to cheating on his partner, going on to attempt his own life twice (pictured in 2017)

Split: The presenter, 34, hit rock bottom following the breakdown of his six-year marriage after he’d admitted to cheating on his partner, going on to attempt his own life twice (pictured in 2017)

He said that the further he got with his hygiene routine was a ‘step’, telling how putting shampoo in his hair was an achievement, with Rylan stating that he continues with these ‘toddler steps’ in some capacity now he lives alone. 

Opening up about his ordeal, Rylan went on to state that it was in part due to his split from Dan, but also due to the combination of him working non-stop for nine whole years.

Rylan found fame on the X Factor in 2012, going on to win Celebrity Big Brother the following year and has subsequently appeared frequently on TV fronting shows including Strictly’s It Takes Two, Ready Steady Cook and Supermarket Sweep, as well as his radio stints. 

Ordeal: Rylan admitted he struggled to do the smallest tasks such as showering and making tea as he was overcome with emotion, with the star detailing how he took 'little steps' to get his life back on track

Ordeal: Rylan admitted he struggled to do the smallest tasks such as showering and making tea as he was overcome with emotion, with the star detailing how he took ‘little steps’ to get his life back on track

He shared: ‘I think my ­marriage ending was the catalyst for the machine stopping. 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.’

The star shared that in the wake of his split and breakdown, friends and family gathered around and urged him to ‘snap out of it’, but Rylan told that the only person that could remove him from that situation was ‘himself’.

He likened the experience to being blind and deaf at the same time, telling how one ‘cannot see and you cannot hear’ when others tried to get through to him. 

Steps: '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. What I look back on is little things. You need to look at yourself like a toddler'

Steps: ‘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. What I look back on is little things. You need to look at yourself like a toddler’

It comes after Rylan revealed that he is finally ‘feeling brilliant’ again after his marital split and is now ready to find ‘the one’.

The presenter said that he’s ‘feeling really good’ after leaving the situation that ‘wasn’t right’ in the past, stating: ‘The clouds parted when I realised I hadn’t lost what I thought I had’. 

Rylan suffered a mental health breakdown following his marital split in 2021 from now ex-husband Dan who he was with for six years. 

Reflecting on how far he has come since Rylan said on the High Performance podcast this week: ‘I had an idea of what I wanted in life, which was a husband and a Range Rover… and I still have the Range Rover.’ 

Moving on: It comes after Rylan revealed that he is finally 'feeling brilliant' again after his marital split and is now ready to find 'the one'

Moving on: It comes after Rylan revealed that he is finally ‘feeling brilliant’ again after his marital split and is now ready to find ‘the one’

‘I am now brilliant. I’m really good. The clouds started to part when I realised that I hadn’t lost something I thought I had.

‘I turned a situation that I thought was awful into an opportunity. I was 34 and I realised that when something is not right, it’s not right. It wasn’t right.

‘That was when things started to change. Majorly over the past year I have tried to merge my work and professional life and personal life more.’

Speaking further about his hopes for his romantic future he said: ‘I’d like to be with someone. I would like to share, I am quite a sharer.

‘I like giving and looking after people. For the past year and a half I have not been doing that and for the first time I had to be on his own.

‘I’m 34 and I’d never lived on my own in my life.’ 

Happy: The presenter said that he's 'feeling really good' and leaving the situation that 'wasn't right' in the past, stating: 'The clouds parted when I realised I hadn't lost what I thought I had'

Happy: The presenter said that he’s ‘feeling really good’ and leaving the situation that ‘wasn’t right’ in the past, stating: ‘The clouds parted when I realised I hadn’t lost what I thought I had’



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