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'X Factor' James Arthur on depression: I felt ready to give up on life

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James Arthur has revealed that he battled with depression before The X Factor changed his life, and has said the show helped pull him back from the brink of suicide.

The 24-year-old X Factor finalist said that after a traumatic childhood spent in and out of foster care, he became withdrawn and started to feel dependent on drink.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland - launch partyFeaturing: James ArthurLondon, England - 22.11.12
Where: London, England
When: 22 Nov 2012
Credit: Daniel Deme/WENN.com

© WENN / Daniel Deme



"This time last year was the darkest point in my life," he told Look. "I wanted to be making music and I wasn't, so I cut myself off from everyone and I was in a bad place."

The singer was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, but decided he didn't want to take medication.

"I'd stay in my bedsit on my own or get obliterated [on drink] to try to forget about it," he explained. "I felt ready to give up on life. I didn't want to jump off a building, but who knows how bad it could have got?"

The X Factor Week 8: James Arthur

© Ken McKay/Thames/Rex Features



Arthur's father left when he was just 2 years old, and at the age of 15 the singer himself left home, meaning that he had little contact with his parents while growing up.

"I lacked a male role model, and I didn't want to listen to what he had to say because I felt he wasn't there for me," Arthur continued. "But now I understand more about it, and get on really well with both my parents."

Arthur added that when he finally decided to audition for The X Factor after years spent gathering his courage, his father was there to support him.



"I asked mum and dad to come to my X Factor audition, and it was the first time that they'd been in the same room in years," he said. "Since then they've got on really well - it's strengthened my relationship with them."

Adding that he is feeling more positive than ever, he said: "I've got my confidence back. My attitude's been rejuvenated.

"The X Factor saved me. It's helped me beat my demons, and I know I'll never let that happen again."

Photo gallery - 'The X Factor' semi-final results show in pictures:

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