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Zayn Malik broke the hearts of boy band fans all over the world when he left One Direction back in March of 2015, but it seems that he may actually have had a pretty good reason for his departure. Malik opened up about battling an eating disorder and his struggle with anxiety in his new autobiography, Zayn.

In his book, Malik revealed that during his final months as a member of One Direction, he was suffering from a crippling eating disorder. His appearance during that time led many people to believe he was dealing with drug addiction. Looking back at photos from November 2014 (right before his final tour with One Direction), he says, "I can see how ill I was." Malik revealed that since leaving the band, he's "come to terms" with the fact that he had an eating disorder. He writes:

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“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, although at the time I didn’t recognize it for what it was. I think it was about control. I didn’t feel like I had control over anything else in my life, but food was something I could control, so I did.”

“I had lost so much weight I had become ill. The workload and the pace of life on the road put together with the pressures and strains of everything going on within the band had badly affected my eating habits.”

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Malik has also recently made his struggles with anxiety public, opening up in an essay for Time magazine. After cancelling his debut UK solo performance back in June due to an anxiety attack, Zayn released a public statement telling the truth about why he wouldn't be performing. He says the response to his statement was overwhelmingly supportive and helped him realize he wasn't alone.

After I put out that statement I was blown away by just how many people got in contact, and how many people suffer from anxiety. It’s so common, and that’s not surprising, really. Life bombards us with pressure—Twitter, Facebook, Instagram… everywhere online there are unattainable body images that make us feel inadequate; competitive messages that bring us down; there’s pressure from our parents and our peers to excel—pressure everywhere. When that pressure is magnified by living your life in the limelight, it can be pretty tough to handle: There’s a lot of negative chat and hate out there. But what I found in the wake of my cancellation at Wembley wasn’t hate but a massive amount of support from fans—people who understood, kids who were in the exact same situation as I was.

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We're glad Zayn finally feels like he can talk about this stuff.

Sources: Page Six