“When I look back at images of myself from around November 2014, before the final tour, I can see how ill I was,” Malik writes.
“Something I’ve never talked about in public before, but which I have come to terms with since leaving the band, is that I was suffering from an eating disorder," he adds. "It wasn’t as though I had any concerns about my weight or anything like that. I’d just go for days -- sometimes two or three days straight -- without eating anything at all.”
“It got quite serious,” the singer states, noting that at the time he “didn’t recognize it for what it was.”
Reflecting on it, Malik, who left 1D in March 2015, says he thinks “it was about control.”
"I realized that I wasn't eating as much just down to the amount of work that we were doing ... our schedule was kind of crazy so we were all over the place," he tells The AP.
"It was just more down to losing track of, you know, actually eating and being super busy and getting caught up with other things that 17 or 18-year-olds do, which normally entails them going out, drinking or partying, so it was a mixture of everything," he further explains.
He goes on to say he was never officially diagnosed with an eating disorder.
"I flew into the UK last night to appear in my home country in front of my family, friends, and most importantly my UK fans. Unfortunately, my anxiety that has haunted me throughout the last few months around live performances has gotten the better of me…with the magnitude of the event, I have suffered the worst anxiety of my career,” he wrote via Twitter this past June after canceling a scheduled concert.