Zayn Malik Talks Overcoming an Eating Disorder and Anxiety

Zayn Malik is not the man he used to be.

The English singer-songwriter sat down with The Sunday Times Style magazine to discuss how he conquered crippling personal demons that contributed to his departure from One Directionin 2015.

“I now have no problem with anxiety,” Malik explained. “It was something I was dealing with in the band.” Zayn has spoken about struggling with an eating disorder before, a confession he believes helped bring attention to the stigma surrounding mental illness and body image.

Zayn continued, “People saw strength in that, and they didn’t seem to expect it from a guy, but they expect it from a female, which to me is crazy. We’re all human. People are often afraid to admit difficulties, but I don’t believe that there should be a struggle with anything that’s the truth.”

He clarified, “It wasn’t specifically an eating disorder,” but rather a “control thing” that helped him divert from his life with 1D that he described as “so regimented and controlled.”

Gigi Hadid, Zayn Malik

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

“It was the one area where I could say, ‘No, I’m not eating that,” Malik explained. “Once I got over the control, the eating just came back into place, super naturally… I came back to the U.K. and spent some time with my mum and got some TLC, and she cooked me food and I got back in touch, mentally, with a lot of the things I’d lost.”

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