AceShowbiz - Ed Sheeran has candidly opened up for the first time about his crippling social anxiety.
The "Shape of You" hitmaker revealed he has even cut his friendship group down to just four people and avoids going out in public due to his battle with the mental health condition.
"I have social anxiety. I don't like large groups of people, which is ironic given I play shows to thousands of people. I feel claustrophobic and I don't like being around many people," he shared in a new interview with British newspaper The Sun. "I get anxiety every day. It creeps up on you. I've been working on it for eight years and I closed off from reality."
The 28-year-old added: "Whether it's getting rid of your phone or only looking at emails twice a day. 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."
The pop superstar said the condition was sparked by the pressures he faces due to his fame and urged admirers to stop filming him while he's out in public.
"I have no problem with talking to people. But it's when people film me and stare at me. It makes me feel weird. It makes me feel like I'm not human. If you want to come up to me and have a conversation with me. Even if we've never met, just come up," he told his fans.
Ed also revealed he has to ask to eat in a private room in restaurants as he's fed up with other diners filming him and wife Cherry Seaborn while they eat.
"You feel like a zoo animal. I don't mean to complain, I have a cool job and life. But I just want to avoid that," he confessed.