Ed Sheeran has opened up about the depression he has endured, especially after the death of his best friend, Jamal Edwards. That, coupled with his wife’s health struggles and some professional controversy, had an impact on his own mental health.
“I’ve always had real lows in my life,” he told Rolling Stone. “But it wasn’t really till last year that I actually addressed it.”
Before Edwards’ death, Sheeran’s wife, Cherry Seaborn, who was six months pregnant with their second child, was diagnosed with a tumor, but she couldn’t have surgery until she gave birth. She gave birth to a daughter, Jupiter, in May 2022.
Sheeran was also involved in a court case after he was accused of plagiarizing his hit song “Shape of You” — a case which he ultimately won.
Sheeran, 32, said his depression dates back to his formative years in elementary school.
“I went to a really, really sport-orientated primary school,” he said. “I had bright red hair, big blue glasses, a stutter. I couldn’t play the sport because I had a perforated eardrum. You’re just singled out for being different at that point.
“I’ve kind of blocked out a lot of it, but I have a real hang up about that. I think it plays into wanting to be on a stage and have people like you and stuff.”
After Edwards died, the "Thinking of You" hitmaker said he thought about his own death.
“I felt like I didn’t want to live anymore,” he said. “And I have had that throughout my life. … You’re under the waves drowning. You’re just sort of in this thing. And you can’t get out of it.”
He also said he felt a sense of shame, noting the emotions seemed “selfish,” adding, “especially as a father. I feel really embarrassed about it.”
Seaborn urged her husband to seek help and he began seeing a therapist.
“No one really talks about their feelings where I come from,” he said. “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. Obviously, like, I’ve lived a very privileged life. So my friends would always look at me like, ‘Oh, it’s not that bad.’ ”
Sheeran has embraced therapy, saying it’s part of a process to stay level.
“The help isn’t a button that is pressed, where you’re automatically OK,” he said. “It is something that will always be there and just has to be managed.”
While he dealt with all of his personal matters, Sheeran took a social media break, though in January he did emerge on Instagram to clue in his fans a little bit.
“Just being totally honest, I’ve had some turbulent things been happening in my personal life,” he said. “So I just didn’t really feel like being online and pretending to be something I’m not when I wasn’t feeling like that.”
Earlier this month, Sheeran also opened up about the trials and tribulations he had faced.
“I was spiraling through fear, depression and anxiety,” he wrote on Instagram, in part. “I felt like I was drowning, head below the surface, looking up but not being able to break through for air.”