Gary Barlow Bravely Opens Up About 'Mental Breakdown' After Stillbirth

Gary Barlow has opened up about going through a mental breakdown after his daughter's stillbirth.

The Take That star recently spoke out about the day he and his wife, Dawn Andrews, lost their daughter - adding there's 'no sadder sight than seeing a mum with her dead baby in her arms'.

Gary and Dawn married in 2000 and together they share son Daniel, 18, Emily, 16, and nine-year-old Daisy.

They lost their youngest daughter, Poppy, in 2012 to a stillbirth. Poppy was full-term when she was born.

Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

At the time, Gary delved into his work as a coping mechanism, however, the grief finally caught up with him when he had a breakdown during his time in LA in 2016.

In his autobiography, A Better Me, Gary talked about watching his wife hold their fourth child lifeless in her arms as they took the only photograph they'd ever have together.

Speaking to The Sun, Gary revealed how his use of prescription drugs would see him faint up to five times in one week.

He also confessed to keeping himself so busy with work that he 'crashed' in LA, explaining: "I basically fell asleep for about 22 hours - I had one of those death sleeps."

Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Talking about his breakdown, he said: "You can tuck away in your body and your mind all these things, but someday it'll remind you. It'll come and find you."

Back in 2009, Gary hurt his back during a climb up Kilimanjaro and was subscribed Tramadol - the same painkiller that Ant McPartlin became addicted to.

He admitted that he 'didn't feel like himself' when taking the painkiller, which caused him to famously walk off the set of The One Show mid-interview earlier this year.

Gary explained: "I was sat on The One Show, and I just looked at James and thought, 'I'm going.' And I had to go, and literally, as my foot went off the bottom of the screen we went over. Crazy."

Speaking of the time he and his wife spend with his daughter Poppy, Gary said: "It was one of the best hours of my life I've ever experienced in the midst of the hardest time of my life. It was very powerful, that hour was. Poppy looked perfect and for an hour she was alive to us. She's in your arms, this beautiful little daughter of ours, a sister to our three other children.

"Then the reality comes rushing into the room and all the air leaves your lungs. It felt like someone had a hand held tight at my throat.

"The nurses start hovering and they want to take her away. What we experienced and saw over those 24 hours no one should have to see or go through.

"There's no sadder sight than seeing a mum with her dead baby in her arms, willing it back to life with all her being."

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Junior Journalist at PRETTY52. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the team in 2017. Contact her on

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