Zayn Malik has said having anxiety is seen as being “like a weakness”.
The former One Direction singer pulled out of several live performances earlier this year because of what he called “extreme anxiety”.
Malik told ES magazine: “Anxiety is something people don’t necessarily want to advertise because it’s seen, in a way, like a weakness.”
The 23-year-old added: “For me to pretend that I didn’t have anxiety would be fake.”
“I speak about it so that 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,” Malik said.
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“I want people to see the good side to me and, yeah, the emotional stress of maybe not fulfilling that is a lot sometimes.”
In the same interview, Malik was asked whether he would have signed his record deal with One Direction knowing the pressures of fame.
The singer replied: “I probably wouldn’t have – I would’ve waited a couple more extra years.
“Just so I had that time to just get my head around being a famous person. I’ve never been able to have, what’s the word? Anonymity.
“If I could go back, I’d have a few more years of anonymity.”
He added that he was “very ignorant at 17 – blind beyond my years”.