Mario Falcone has for the first time shared the personal hell he experienced during his reality TV days, admitting that he had closed himself off from the world.
The popular star, who became a household name on The Only Way Is Essex, revealed that he took an overdose with alcohol in 2012, shortly before his break-up from fellow reality TV personality, Lucy Mecklenburgh.
Mario, 32, revealed that during the height of his fame he was battling with mental health issues – not telling a soul until it all became too much.
Speaking on World Mental Health Day, the Essex-born star said hopes that his experience will see more men speak up about their inner demons.
"I took an overdose with alcohol, I was really emotional one evening. The next day I didn't remember much of the night before, I was really sick and instantly you sit there and you think, 'I'm not sure if it was a cry for help or if I really wanted to end it'," he told OK! Magazine.
He went on to say: "The next day my mindset was very much to sort out where my head was and get help and talk to people as opposed to shutting myself out, which is what I'd done for a month or two before.
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"I wasn't seeing my friends, I hadn't spoken to my family about what was going on, I was just kind of swallowing everything that had been happening and just feeling more and more s**t."
He went on to say that his breakup which aired on TOWIE as well as problems off-screen with pals "accumulated" before he entered a "dark place".
The dad-of-one cites his close relationship with mum Kim for helping him escape a dark time in his life.
Mario admitted that it was "the hardest conversation" he's had but his mum helped put things into perspective for him before he sought help from a counsellor.
The star praised TOWIE bosses for airing scenes, which showed Tommy Mallet crying as part of their I Cry Because campaign, with the male cast members sharing what makes them open to vulnerability.
For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
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