For the First Time, Zayn Malik Opens Up About His Struggles with a Mental Illness

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When One Direction first broke out, you could see how ecstatic each of the members were — their smiles were genuine, their intentions were pure, their hearts were full. But, somewhere along the way, you could see the light fading from some of ’em. (Like, basically all of them except for Niall Horan, who’s still the happiest little cherub that ever existed.) That proved to be especially true for Zayn Malik.

Right before he left the boy band, you saw his struggles. His “drug problem,” the cheating rumors, his leaving the On the Road Again Tour — all of those things seemingly built up to what we should’ve known was coming: his departure from 1D.

After he left, though, there was hope that he’d settle down, find himself, limit his stress and turn back into the guy with the genuine smile. Sadly, that doesn’t seem like it’s happening. If anything, the amount of pressure he’s under has gotten worse since going solo. His latest action is clear proof of that, as he recently canceled his Saturday show at London’s Capital Summertime Ball due to anxiety. He wrote on Twitter:

Fans supported Zayn’s decision, acknowledging that his health comes first. Girlfriend Gigi Hadid — yes, they’re still dating — thinks, so, too:

Anxiety attacks are nothing to joke about — they’re part of a very real mental health disorder. All we can hope is that Zayn takes the time he needs to get back on the right track.

Zayn Malik’s not the only celebrity to suffer from anxiety. These 10 strong female celebrities suffer from the disorder, too: