He has previously opened up about feeling suicidal after being dropped by his record label Syco in 2014.
And now James Arthur, 34, has decided to rethink the ‘trauma’ of being placed in foster care at age 14, in an effort to deal with ‘decades’ of struggles with his mental health.
The former X Factor winner has filmed a new documentary – James Arthur: Out Of Our Minds – in which he opens up to his parents about how their decision to give up on him has affected his entire life.
After leaving foster care, his depression and anxiety were so severe that he felt unable to get out of bed, while the star ended up feeling suicidal after his fame.
Also featured on the BBC Three show, which airs on November 13, is his ex-girlfriend Jessica Grist, who he dated during his early years in the spotlight.
Trauma: James Arthur, 34, has decided to rethink the ‘trauma’ of being placed in foster care at age 14, in a bid to address ‘decades’ of struggles 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 ‘increasingly isolated’ in the south west of the country.
He told The sun how he hopes to feel closer to “who he is” when surrounded by people who knew “the weird little ADHD kid” he was.
James admitted he struggled with his 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 in order to address my mental health issues, I had to start by going back to my hometown to review my past and my parents’ divorce. to watch again.’
Looking back: The X Factor star has filmed a new documentary – James Arthur: Out Of Our Minds – in which he opens up to his parents about how giving up has affected his entire life
The former X Factor winner confessed how he used to “feel a lot of resentment” towards his parents and I did his best to keep them away.
But now he sees his return to Redcar as an opportunity to get to know them again, have the awkward conversations it takes to process what happened.
However, James confessed: we didn’t go all the way there. I need to talk to my father. With Mom, I don’t know if I’ve ever had a close from her — to hear her say ‘sorry’ without hearing a ‘but.’
The singer’s mother, Shirley, divorced his father, delivery boy Neil, when James was just two years old, and both remarried a year later with new partners.
Needs a closure: James confessed, however, “With Mom, I don’t know if I’ve ever gotten a closure from her — to hear her say ‘sorry’ without hearing a ‘but,'” (Pictured: Shirley in 2012)
When James was nine years old, his stepfather Ronnie Rafferty, a computer engineer, moved the family to Bahrain, where they lived happily for four years.
At the age of 13 they suddenly moved back to the UK, and Ronnie ‘disappeared’, leaving James’ mother Shirley alone to raise four children.
A year later, at a social worker meeting, his parents admitted they couldn’t handle it, and James was sent to foster care.
James explained how his mother struggled with mental health issues and that his father ‘acted’.
Heartbreaking: James said of when his parents put him in foster care, “I felt pretty hopeless. I saw both my parents decide to say, “He can’t live with us.” (Pictured in 2019)
He told the publication of the time, “I felt pretty hopeless. I saw both my parents decide to say, “He can’t live with us.” I was a kid and really just needed someone to put an arm around me. I will never forget that day.’
James recalled the “scary” drive to his foster carer’s house, and admitted he would cry at night, confused because at worst he was “a little disruptive” at school.
He revealed how he kept the fact that he was in foster care a secret from his friends for two years, as he felt “embarrassed”, bottled up his feelings as his mental health “spiralled”.
James said of his parents’ decision to give him away, “I hated them so much and I’ve carried that situation, and how it all turned out, for the rest of my life.”
Wearing it: James said of his parents, ‘I hated them so much and carried that situation, and how it all turned out, for the rest of my life’ (Pictured on X Factor in 2012)
At the age of 19, unemployed and penniless, James left foster care and moved into a small bedroom next to a drug dealer in North Yorkshire.
Overwhelmed with fear, teenage James became a recluse and spent his time sleeping, before his family doctor eventually prescribed him antidepressants.
In 2012, at the age of 24, he called his mother Shirley to ask her for a five so he could pay for the electricity. She lent him the small amount on the condition that he attend The X Factor auditions in Middlesbrough.
James’ world then changed overnight as he won the iconic show after battling his way through the ‘super-intensive’ bootcamp, jury houses and live finals.
Journey: Overwhelmed with anxiety, teen James became a recluse and spent his time sleeping, before his GP eventually prescribed him antidepressants (pictured in 2012)
The talented star had stopped taking his antidepressants before entering the ITV competition, but admitted he had “still not really dealt with the deep trauma”.
James candidly told the publication that his childhood trauma would “always come back and haunt him.”
The singer recalled coming off the stage with palpitations and feeling utter terror, admitting, “I thought I was going to die.”
An ambulance was called and he took antidepressants again on the advice of doctors.
After topping the charts and releasing an album, James became embroiled in controversy over a homophobic slur on Twitter and a feud with Simon Cowell over a mixtape that glorified violence, which led to his being dropped by Syco in 2014.
Devastating: Speaking on camera, his ex-girlfriend Jessica Gibb recalled lying outside their bedroom begging the suicidal singer to open the door (pictured together in 2014)
The star revealed he suffered daily anxiety attacks and admitted to taking drugs, drinking and partying – and looking back, called himself “a fool.”
Speaking to the camera for his new documentary, his ex-girlfriend Jessica recalled a night when she lay outside their bedroom, begging the suicidal singer to open the door.
He has previously opened up about feeling suicidal after being dropped by his record label.
“If I were ever near a balcony or in my car, I would have a picture of me jumping over or going off the road. But then I would think: “Don’t do it, you have sisters, you are the man of the family”. But I’ve often thought about it,” he said the mirror in 2016.’
In 2016, James revived his career, overcoming his addictions, re-signing with Syco, and his single Say You Won’t Let Go topped the charts.
For confidential support, call the Samaritans at 116123 or visit a local Samaritans office, see samaritans.org
James Arthur: Out Of Our Minds airs on BBC Three on November 13 at 9pm.
Buried: James candidly claimed to the publication that his childhood trauma would “always come back and haunt him” (Pictured in 2012)