Zayn Malik has opened up about his mental health struggles, including battling an eating disorder, in a very candid interview, saying that society doesn't expect men to have emotional problems.

Speaking to The Sunday Times Style magazine, the 24-year-old singer said that he no longer suffers from the anxiety and disordered eating he experience during his time with chart toppers One Direction, reported The Daily Mail.

"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."

Advertisement

"If you were a guy, you used to have to be really masculine, but now expressing emotion is accepted and respected."

Last year, the singer revealed that he suffered from an eating disorder in his autobiography, sometimes going for several days without eating.

And now he's revealed it was his way of exerting control over his life, which saw him endlessly touring the globe with the band.

One Direction performing together at the 2013 Music Awards. Photo / Getty
One Direction performing together at the 2013 Music Awards. Photo / Getty

"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,'" he explained.

The star, who is dating supermodel Gigi Hadid, has also pulled out of several live performances while battling crippling anxiety.

The former One Direction star was due to perform at the Autism Rocks Arena on 7 October 2016, however he revealed his crippling anxiety forced him to withdraw from the performance as he ws not "sufficiently confident".

In June 2016, the pop star pulled out of playing the Capital Summertime Ball in London just 90 minutes before the show was due to kick off, as he was suffering the same issue.

His girlfriend Gigi rushed to his defence, posting a tweet praising her boyfriend for his honesty.

"I've seen the battles you go through and the way you fight to get to a place that allows you to get up there for your fans," she wrote.

"Your bravery in those times makes me proud, but your honesty last night proved what you're all about, being real."

The power couple - known collectively as "Zigi" - have been together since 2015. He was previously engaged to Little Mix star Perrie Edwards before splitting that same year.

everyday 💘

A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on

The Bradford-born star also revealed that he had not yet taken Gigi home to meet his mother Trisha, an Anglo-Irish chef and his British-Pakistani father Yaser, but that they had met in London a few times.

Since leaving One Direction in March 2015, the young heartthrob has released a new album Mind of Mine and his first solo single, Pillowtalk, reached number one in 68 countries.

His second album is set to be released later this year.

Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youth services: (06) 3555 906
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
The Word
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
CASPER Suicide Prevention
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.