Former One Direction star Zayn Malik has opened up about his struggles with anxiety in a new interview. The 23-year-old singer is getting personal while promoting his new autobiography, Zayn, which was released this past Tuesday (Nov. 1). According to the interviews, Malik has struggled with anxiety for most of his career and has dealt with prejudice against it.
“Anxiety is something people don’t necessarily want to advertise because it’s seen, in a way, like a weakness,” Malik said to the Evening Standard. “For me to pretend that I didn’t have anxiety would be fake.”
In the past, his anxiety has even forced him to cancel concerts, the most notable being a scheduled appearance at Capital FM’s Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium in London this past September. Malik also cancelled a concert that was slated for Dubai’s Autism Rocks Arena back in October.
Billboard reports that he describes feeling sick and being unable to breathe in the book, being totally consumed by a fear of performing.
“I speak about it so people understand that it doesn’t matter what level of success you have, where you’re from, who you are, what sex you are, what you do - you can still experience these things,” he further said to the Standard. “I want people to see the good side to me and, yeah, the emotional stress of maybe not fulfilling that is a lot sometimes.”
Malik also exposed that he has suffered struggles with eating disorders in the past and expressed that he has a strong fear of letting others down, such as when he left One Direction.
“Sometimes things get in the way of us doing exactly what we want. I never meant to offend,” he said of his exit from 1D. “It’s an uncontrollable thing that I can’t do anything about…sometimes I won’t go heads in with something that could be really beneficial because I don’t feel comfortable.”