Zayn Malik Battled An Eating Disorder And Anxiety While In One Direction
Zayn Malik has revealed that he battled unhealthy eating and “huge but manageable” anxiety issues during the last months of his time with One Direction.
The revelations come from his upcoming memoir, Zayn, and while Malik discloses that while he was never officially diagnosed with a disorder, his eating habits had clearly become unhealthy:
“When I look back at images of myself from around November 2014, before the final tour, I can see how ill I was. Something I’ve never talked about in public before, but which I have come to terms with since leaving the band, is that I was suffering from an eating disorder.”
“It wasn’t as though I had any concerns about my weight or anything like that, I’d just go for days – sometimes two or three days straight – without eating anything at all. It got quite serious, although at the time I didn’t recognize it for what it was. I think it was about control. I didn’t feel like I had control over anything else in my life, but food was something I could control, so I did.”
“I had lost so much weight I had become ill. The workload and the pace of life on the road put together with the pressures and strains of everything going on within the band had badly affected my eating habits.”
Zayn also admitted that he has cancelled past performances due to his struggle with anxiety.
“I just couldn’t go through with it. Mentally, the anxiety had won. Physically, I knew I couldn’t function. I would have to pull out.
One of my team members offered to write a statement saying that I’d been taken ill, but I didn’t want to do that. I was done with putting out statements that masked what was really going on. I wanted to tell the truth.
Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of; it affects millions of people every day.
I want to tell people what’s going on, and I’m not gonna be ashamed of what’s happening.
After I put out that statement I was blown away by just how many people got in contact, and how many people suffer from anxiety. It’s so common, and that’s not surprising, really. Life bombards us with pressure—Twitter, Facebook, Instagram… everywhere online there are unattainable body images that make us feel inadequate; competitive messages that bring us down; there’s pressure from our parents and our peers to excel—pressure everywhere. When that pressure is magnified by living your life in the limelight, it can be pretty tough to handle: There’s a lot of negative chat and hate out there. But what I found in the wake of my cancellation at Wembley wasn’t hate but a massive amount of support from fans—people who understood, kids who were in the exact same situation as I was. Guys on Twitter were telling me how anxiety had affected their lives and saying that they were glad I had spoken up. It felt as though some good had come from the situation.”
If you need help with anxiety or an eating disorder, contact Lifeline.
Images: Google Images