Singer Ed Sheeran opened up about his struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts following the death of his friends Jamal Edwards and Shane Warne in a new interview with Rolling Stone. According to aceshowbiz.com, the songwriter was heartbroken by the passing of music producer Jamal in February 2022, who died after suffering a cardiac arrest. Just a month later, his late cricketer pal Shane Warne passed away at the age of 52. These losses left Sheeran feeling like he was “drowning” in his lifelong fight with depression.
Sheeran also spoke about how he developed an eating disorder as he compared himself to toned pop stars such as Justin Bieber. He admitted that he struggled with his body image after collaborating with the likes of Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber. He said that he started “gorging” on food before vomiting it up. “I’m self-conscious anyway, but you get into an industry where you’re getting compared to every other pop star,” he said. “And I was always like, ‘Well, why am I so… fat?’ So I found myself doing what Elton (John) talks about in his book – gorging, and then it would come up again. I have a real eating problem. I’m a real binge eater. I’m a binge-everything.”
In the interview, Sheeran shared that he felt like he didn’t want to live anymore after his friend’s deaths. “My best friend died. And he shouldn’t have done. I’ve always had real lows in my life. But it wasn’t really till last year that I actually addressed it,” he said. “You’re under the waves drowning. You’re just sort of in this thing. And you can’t get out of it.”
Sheeran added that being depressed made him feel “selfish” as a father. He said, “I’m a dad now. And it’s a weird one. You feel guilty for feeling bad. Like, ‘Oh, I should be able to snap out of it. Because I’m a dad. I should be stronger.’ And it’s like… no. You’re a person. And sometimes you’re not strong.”
The pop star also talked about seeking help and how it’s important to talk about one’s feelings. “No one really talks about their feelings where I come from. People think it’s weird getting a therapist in England….I think it’s very helpful to be able to speak with someone and just vent and not feel guilty about venting,” he said. “The help isn’t a button that is pressed, where you’re automatically OK. It is something that will always be there and just has to be managed.”
Despite his struggles, Sheeran says he has found ways to cope, including binge exercising and focusing on his work and being a father to his two daughters, Lyra and Jupiter, with his wife Cherry Seaborn. He said, “But I’m now more of a binge exerciser, and a binge dad. And work, obviously.”
In the interview, Sheeran highlighted the importance of seeking help and talking about one’s mental health. He hopes that by sharing his story, he can encourage others to do the same.