Ed Sheeran has said that he gets anxiety ever day, adding that people staring at him "makes me feel like I'm not human."
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Speaking during a lengthy interview for this new duets album, No 6 Collaborations Project, which sees him sing with Eminem, Camila Cabello and Cardi B among others, the 28-year-old star also said he has cut his "friendship group " down to just four people and his wife, as well as getting rid of his phone, in an effort to combat his social anxiety.
"I get anxiety every day," he said. "It creeps up on you. I’ve been working on it for eight years and I closed off from reality. 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."
Sheeran admitted that his social anxiety is "ironic" given that he plays to massive crowds when he’s on tour.
"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 said.
"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. But what instantly cuts me off is that you’re having a moment with them which is so genuine and so nice and then at the end they ask for a picture."
He added, "It puts you down to earth and you're just 15 likes on Instagram. That’s all you are. I was at a Marilyn Manson show and a man shook my hand and said he liked my music, and that was it.
"That was so nice. Like if I am eating in a restaurant now, I would prefer to have a private room because if I eat in the public room I have people filming me while I’m eating my food. 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."
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