Gazza told presenter Kay Burley that last year's sudden rumours that he had died were closer to the truth than the public realised.
He said: "My heart failed on us a few times," adding that his father John had collapsed with worry at his illness.
The interview, in the company of his father, sister Lindsay and two young nephews shows the ex-Newcastle and Tottenham player having a kickabout on the beach.
And he proudly declares: "No-one is ever going to be as good as I was."
The player is visibly moved when both the youngsters say he is their favourite ever player.
Gascoigne's career was marred by alcohol and violence towards his ex-wife Sheryl.
Addressing the attack he said: "If you are sitting in a restaurant and somebody calls your mum a w****, which she did, and for no reason, I don't like that and yes, I got a hold of her arms and I did put my head against her head, I didn't head butt her but I threw her to the floor and yes I was disgusted with myself for what I did.
"I went to therapy; I sat with 15-20 women and told them exactly what I did. I got punched off a few women for doing what I did but I took the punches and I accepted it, I got hammered but I went through this course and it is the one thing I ever did in my life and that was it and I get hammered for it."
In a startlingly frank admission he says he feels "used" by his son Regan.
DrinkingHe said: "I have drove down to be with my son and he takes us to the school and shows them obviously this is my dad, and I went to assembly and then I sign everything for the kids, and then see, that is it proved to everyone that I am his dad, sort of thing and then he goes back home and that leaves me, I don't know, I feel like I am being used by my own son here."
Gascoigne has had a well-publicised battle with alcohol, and admits that only four months ago he was drinking 30 cans of Special Brew (strong lager) per day.
But Gascoigne says he can be around alcohol without giving in to temptation.
"I can be around it now because all I have got to do is remember my last drink. If I remember my last drink, which I can't, well I sort of can, getting fed with a spoon because I had the shakes that bad."
He also describes his suicide attempt.
"In the bath yes, it's the easy way out they say, you know, take a few sleeping tablets, nice little warm bath and have a few drinks and just drop. I had just had enough, I had had enough of everything, you know."
Gascoigne continues: "I rang my sister just to say, I am going to run a bath. I think she might have had a clue, I don't know if it was a plea for help but I did have enough anyway so I wasn't bothered.
"And I just said, look I am in the bath and I will always love you, or something like that, and put the phone down, and I run the bath and I lay in the bath and just felt myself dropping off and I remember just getting ready, like dozing off you know and then the police burst in. About six police dragged us out of the bath."