Ed Sheeran opens up about his daily battle with anxiety: 'It creeps up on you'

Ed Sheeran suffers from anxiety "every day". 

The 28-year-old pop star is one of the world's best-selling musicians, but Ed has recently cut his friendship group to just four people as he deals with his own social anxiety. 

Speaking to his YouTube channel, Ed - who married Cherry Seaborn in 2018 - shared: "It creeps up on you. I've been working on it for eight years and I closed off from reality. 

"Whether it's getting rid of your phone or only looking at emails twice a day. Or cutting down my friendship group to the bare minimum just so I can trust everyone. I let people in from a, 'Let's hang out place'. There is letting in and then there is letting in." 

Opening up about getting out of the spotlight to "protect his mind", Ed continued:

"I used to live in New York and I went out every night but releasing Shape Of You took me to a new level of fame. I was meeting people every day from movies and music. I was getting sucked up into it. I felt myself getting drained.

"If I lived in central London and hung out with people, I wasn't sure if they were friends with me because of me, or who I am. That's why I moved here. All of these things are in place to protect my mind and it's working, I think."

The 28-year-old singer suffers from social anxiety and feels "claustrophobic" around lots of people, something he finds "ironic" given his job.

He explained: "I have social anxiety. I don't like large groups of people, which is ironic given I play shows to thousands of people. I feel claustrophobic and I don't like being around many people. I have no problem with talking to people. But it's when people film me and stare at me. It makes me feel weird. It makes me feel like I'm not human. If you want to come up to me and have a conversation with me.

"Even if we've never met, just come up. But what instantly cuts me off is that you're having a moment with them which is so genuine and so nice and then at the end they ask for a picture ... Like if I am eating in a restaurant now, I would prefer to have a private room because if I eat in the public room I have people filming me while I'm eating my food. You feel like a zoo animal. I don't mean to complain, I have a cool job and life. But I just want to avoid that."

- Bang! Showbiz