Gemma Collins’ warned: ‘You MUST protect yourself from Arg’

As Gemma Collins admits to self-harming and suicidal thoughts in the aftermath of bitter break-ups, Closer’s psychological therapist, Emma Kenny, warns that it isn’t her duty to save her troubled on-again boyfriend, James ‘Arg’ Argent, and says she must look after her own mental health

gemma collins james argent

by Daisy McLure |

Fans saw a vulnerable side to the normally feisty Gemma Collins last week, when she broke down in tears and admitted she had contemplated taking her own life after her relationship with James “Arg” Argent ended last year.

Gemma, 40 – who branded Arg, 33, the “love of [her] life” – said she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder in the wake of their bitter split in July, not long after she tragically suffered a miscarriage.

In the episode of Piers Morgan’s Life Stories – which was filmed before Arg and Gemma rekindled their romance earlier this year – Gemma said through tears, “I would have had the baby with James. I know, obviously, he’s had his struggles, but it is hard… There’s a lot of love there.”

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Gemma gave a searingly honest interview on Piers Morgan's Life Stories ©ITV

Arg confessed to almost dying after a three-day drug binge alone at his home over Christmas 2019 – shortly after, his concerned girlfriend sent an ambulance to his home after failing to get hold of him. He then entered rehab in Thailand for the third time on Boxing Day in order to beat his

Gemma told Piers that Arg’s longstanding addiction to drugs “changed him as a person”, and the breakdown of their on/off seven-year romance left her with suicidal thoughts.

She said, “I have felt suicidal. I think when my relationship broke down with Arg, that affected me. I just thought, ‘I don’t wanna be here any more. I can’t take it.’

“Christmas was an all-time low. I saved his life three times. I had this insatiable love for him. I never wanted to give up on him.”

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the on/off couple have reportedly reunited after a brief split ©Getty Images

It’s not the first time the former TOWIE star’s mental health has suffered after experiencing heartache. Gemma also admitted she resorted to self-harm in her early twenties, after breaking up with a long-term boyfriend and terminating a pregnancy, as doctors said the foetus was “deformed”.

But she explained that her scars were a reminder of how far she has come.

Recently, Gemma and Arg have seemingly reunited, and after the show, he posted a picture of Gemma on his social media feed, writing “so proud of her”.

Gemma previously confessed she had a “weird feeling” she would fall pregnant and get engaged this year. But friends tell Closer that, while she is now “on cloud nine” and looking forward to starting a family with Arg this year, they are concerned it will “destroy her” if he relapses and ruins the happy ending she craves.

A source says, “Gemma has made no bones about the fact she wants a baby and she feels she has no time to lose now that she’s 40. All her hopes and dreams are pinned on this new reunion with Arg. She has spent years of her life supporting him and holding out for him, so she is still scared that he could relapse again. That would cast serious doubt on her achieving her baby dream, and those who care about her worry that would destroy her after everything she has been through for him.”

After his stint in rehab, Arg thanked Gemma for her “tough love” and supporting him through his lowest times.

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Arg made his feelings clear following her interview ©Instagram / real_arg

Yet by July, they endured another explosive split when she published messages in which he cruelly fat-shamed her. Despite claiming their relationship was “over for good”, sources have told Closer that Arg has been Gemma’s “rock” over recent months as her mum and dad recover from coronavirus, which led to them rekindling their romance.

The source explains, “There are two major differences this time around, which is why Gemma thinks it will work. One is that Arg has had a year of therapy to work on getting to the root of his issues – why he feels the way he does – rather than before, where it’s just been about getting clean and healthy.

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gemma and arg together in 2018 ©Getty Images

“Gemma is very spiritual and has also done a lot of soul searching and inner healing. Together, they have built themselves stronger so they are working together and supporting each other, rather than going against each other.

“The second is that Gemma is convinced Arg has re-evaluated his future and he now sees a wife and children as priority.”

Check out: James Argent's weight loss journey from OG TOWIE star to English Channel swimmer

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James Argent - 2010
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CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2010

Arg is an OG TOWIE star and when the series first aired back in 2010 he was in a relationship with Lydia Bright.

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Arg and Gemma at the NTAs in 2019 ©Getty Images

Recently, Arg revealed he was considering gastric surgery to lose weight and admitted his best pal Mark Wright – who is married to actress Michelle Keegan and has carved out an impressive career as a TV and radio presenter since he starred alongside Arg in TOWIE in 2010 – was a role model.

He said, “Mark is my inspiration. He’s got his life together, he’s fit and healthy, he’s got a gorgeous wife and a successful career. There’s no reason why I can’t achieve all of those things too.”

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Get the best celeb interviews in Closer magazine each week ©Closer magazine

The source continues, “Arg’s peers have grown up and he doesn’t want to be left behind – which is music to Gemma’s ears. Now, they spend quality time together at home watching films, cooking together, having pamper nights and looking at interior designs for her new house – they love it and it’s how they both see their future.

“Arg envies what his friends have now, and he is promising Gemma babies and marriage. She also says that being a dad could be the making of him, too.”

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But Closer’s psychological therapist Emma Kenny has warned that Gemma could end up upsetting herself again if she feels pressure to “save” her partner. She explains, “Gemma and Arg are giving their romance another shot, which is great, but she needs to remember that it’s not her job or duty to ‘save’ Arg. In the past, it seems like that’s what she’s tried to do, and that’s hurt her when it hasn’t worked.

“Arg has spoken openly about his struggles, but this is the first time we have seen Gemma this vulnerable – speaking about suicidal thoughts and self-harming when her relationships go wrong. She must protect herself from suffering like that again.

“What she can do is support Arg’s therapy sessions and his recovery process. It’s great if they do healthy hobbies together, like healthy cooking or walking. But it’s equally as important that she has time out from it too. She needs time for her own self-care and make sure she doesn’t take on the whole burden of Arg’s recovery. She must remember it’s not her job to save him – just to be a support system.”

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