Ed Sheeran Talks Anxiety: "It Creeps Up On You"

By David Konow 07/16/19

Sheeran detailed his experience with social anxiety in a recent interview.

Ed Sheeran
ID 88172319 © Starstock | Dreamstime.com

In a new interview with Breakfast Club radio host Charlamagne Tha God, pop singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran revealed that he had recently married his childhood friend Cherry Seaborn.

Why the f— are you with me?

“I wake up every day with Cherry and I’m like why the f— are you with me? You could be with whoever you wanted and you’ve chosen me. I’m saying all the things that I think are wrong with me and you still want to be with me and I find that amazing,” the 28-year-old said.

In the wide-ranging candid interview, Sheeran also opened up about living with anxiety and how it has impacted his professional and personal life.

I don’t like large groups of people

Sheeran confessed that he struggles with social anxiety. “It creeps up on you. I’ve been working on it for eight years and I closed off from reality.”

He told Charlamagne how he has trimmed his social circle down to just a handful of his closest friends to feel safe.

“Whether it’s getting rid of our phone or only looking at emails twice a day,” Sheeran says. “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.

It makes me feel like I’m not human

“I have social anxiety. I don’t like large groups of people, which is ironic given I play shows to thousands of people… I have no problem with talking to people. But it’s when people film me and stare at me. It makes me feel like I’m not human," he said.

The Grammy winner said that after the chart-topping popularity of his hit single "Shape Of You," living a private life became nearly impossible and he made the decision to move to the countryside in an effort to retreat from the spotlight that followed him while he lived in central London. 

"I lost the ability to go to a supermarket and buy a loaf of bread about three years ago. People around here treat me pretty normally, but in London it’s different,” Sheeran explained.

While Sheeran lives with daily anxiety, he also knows he’s very lucky to have his career and a loving significant other in his privileged life. “I don’t mean to be complain-y, because I have a very cool life and job, but if I can avoid it [the scrutiny] I will.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.