Liam Payne opens up about struggling with mental health issues while in One Direction

Singer says he pulled out of one particular gig after "going through a rough time"

Ex-One Direction star Liam Payne has spoken about struggling with mental health problems while in the boy band.

Speaking to The Sun, the singer recently said: “I shouldn’t have been able to do as many shows as we did, if I’m honest about it, if I’m brutally honest about it.”

“Going out and putting that happy smile on my face and singing the songs, honestly, sometimes it was like putting on one of those costumes, going out there and, underneath the costume, people don’t really see what’s going on,” he added.

Payne went on to reveal that his mental health struggles were the reason for cancelling a show in Belfast during 2015. It was announced at the time that Payne had been “taken suddenly ill”.

However, now Payne has said that he was struggling to cope following a split from his then-girlfriend Sophia Smith.

“I let it get to me that day. I wasn’t in a good place. And unfortunately I was going through a rough time and I let it get to me a little bit too much. That was it,” he said.

One Direction

One Direction

Payne added that he feels like a “totally different person now to how I used to be about it”.

“Even though I know fans are not mad about [One Direction’s hiatus]… we needed it,” he said. “We needed a little bit of time away from each other. We needed a realisation point to find the love for it again, rather than it just becoming a job.”

Following One Direction’s hiatus in 2016, Payne has embarked on a solo career. Earlier this year, he released the singles ‘Strip It Down’ and ‘Bedroom Floor’.