Ed Sheeran keeps out of the spotlight to 'protect his mind'

Ed Sheeran keeps out of the spotlight to "protect his mind".

The 'Shape of You' hitmaker moved back to the UK to a sprawling estate in Suffolk and has revealed he splashed out on the big purchase to escape his fame.

He said: "I used to live in New York and I went out every night but releasing Shape Of You took me to a new level of fame. I was meeting people every day from movies and music. I was getting sucked up into it. I felt myself getting drained.

"If I lived in central London and hung out with people, I wasn't sure if they were friends with me because of me, or who I am. That's why I moved here. All of these things are in place to protect my mind and it's working, I think."

The 28-year-old singer suffers from social anxiety and feels "claustrophobic" around lots of people, something he finds "ironic" given his job.

He explained: "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. 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 ... 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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