How To Help Zayn Malik’s Performance Anxiety

How To Help Zayn Malik’s Performance Anxiety

by Daisy Sunderalingam - 13th June, 2016


Former One Directioner, Zayn Malik has pulled out of Capital’s Summertime Ball due to anxiety. In a message to fans, Zayn has expressed his struggle quoting the ‘magnitude of the event’ has caused him to suffer the worst anxiety of his career.

Performance anxiety is very common and while low level anxiety can be productive for a performer, it becomes a problem when the common level of nervousness manifests in destructive symptoms such as dizziness, nausea or palpitations. What is important to remember is that celebrities are just like us, they have their own worries and fears that can launch into issues with anxiety and depression.

To tackle these issues, it is not uncommon to turn to treatments such as exploratory psychotherapy as well as other interventions, which include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy. For example, virtual reality exposure therapy has been found to significantly reduce the anxiety in patients with a fear of heights (acrophobia). After eight weeks of simulations including sensory input and computer-generated environments, patients with acrophobia self-reported a reduction in their fears towards heights. Further to this, a study specifically on performance anxiety in young musicians found considerable reduction in anxiety for these musicians after a six-week programme involving group and individual CBT sessions in which participants were trained on relaxation and muscle relaxation techniques along with cognitive coping strategies.

Considering Zayn’s huge social media following, his honest open letter on his struggle will hopefully raise more awareness of the impact of mental health problems and educate a wide audience on the degree to which anxiety affects people, even the rich and famous.


If you are suffering with any of the issues discussed in this article and would like to seek professional help then you may find our Problems Pages helpful.

Daisy Sunderalingam

Daisy Sunderalingam

I am an aspiring Clinical Psychologist hoping to complete a PhD in Clinical Psychology in the near future. Last year I graduated with a First Class Honours BSc in Psychology, currently I am studying for an MSc in Occupational Psychology. Once qualified I plan to combine Clinical and Occupational to provide interventions for those suffering with neurodiversity and physical disabilities, with the objective to help these individuals successfully enter the world of employment.

The views expressed here are entirely my own and do not necessarily represent the views of the British CBT & Counselling Service

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