The 46-year-old Charles in Charge actor took a cocktail of alcohol and pills and slashed his throat after suffering a breakdown in Los Angeles.
In an interview with Star magazine, Aames reveals he hit rock bottom after he was declared bankrupt; had his car repossessed, and his wife of 22 years, Maylo, asked for a divorce - all within the space of a month.
He fled their Kansas home, rented a room in Los Angeles, and made an attempt on his life.
Aames reveals, "I stole a bottle of Jack Daniel's from the guy I was renting the room from. I'd been sober for 20 years when I took that first drink. I was also taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills. It got so bad, I put a knife to my throat and cut myself in six places.
"The police came, put me in handcuffs and whisked me away. I was completely devastated. I kept asking, 'What did I do wrong?'"
Aames spent time in a California psychiatric ward, but is now out and attempting to start a new life as a furniture builder.
He tells Star, "I hope I can inspire other people with my experiences."