Although the 24-year-old singer had to cancel some solo performances due to his anxiety last year, he now insists that it was only an issue when he was in One Direction and he has it under control.
Speaking to the Sunday Times Style magazine, Zayn said: “I now have no problem with anxiety. It was something I was dealing with in the band.”
And he believes opening up about his issues with food helped.
He said: “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.”
During his time in One Direction, Zayn developed an issue with food, which he calls a “control thing”.
He explained: “It wasn’t specifically an eating disorder. It was a control thing. Every area of my life was so regimented and controlled, it was the one area where I could say, ‘No, I’m not eating that.’ Once I got over the control, the eating just came back into place, super naturally. Not supernaturally! Just really naturally. I came back to the UK 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.”
Zayn also admitted he has no idea why he was known as the “mysterious one” when he was in One Direction, alongside Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson.
He said: “I have no idea why. It was obviously a marketing strategy to appeal to different areas of female personalities and wants and needs. ‘I might want a cute one’, ‘I might want a cheeky one’, ‘I might want a mysterious one’, that’s all it was. It’s cool, that’s life, I guess. I don’t really think of myself as mysterious, but maybe I am.”