Niall Horan health: Singer’s debilitating struggles he has endured since his youth
Niall Horan, 26, was just a young boy with big dreams when he auditioned for a place on The X Factor. The Irish singer had no idea how his life would change when after his successful audition he was paired up with four other star-eyed boys to form a pop group. And the rest, as they say, was history. One Direction hit a massive hiatus soon after the competition, signing a record deal with Capitol Records and churned out hits after hits, becoming a legend in his own right and admired by teens girls across the world. However, all was not as it seemed, and Niall revealed a disorder he suffered from which made life, at times, unbearable for him.
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Niall spoke to German magazine Zeit Leo and said: “I have mild obsessive-compulsive disorder, that’s what doctors call it.
“That is, I feel I have to do things in a certain way.”
Niall said he had developed the disorder in his childhood, which caused him to feel extremely isolated at times.
The singer shared how his anxious feelings and mental health issues sometimes affects his performances.
In 2017, Niall said he gets a “little anxious” about his on-stage performances and how the struggle to always appear confident and in control can at times be trying.
Niall spoke to Teen Vogue and explained how his OCD causes “tics” or he has the need to complete certain behaviours in a particular way.
Niall said: “I feel like I have to do things in a certain way.
“For example, if I have a burger with chips on my plate, I always have to eat the chips first and only pick up the burger at the very end.
“There are other tics in my life and even when I go on stage, I only have one fixed sequence, I always have to sing in the same order, move and so on.”
What is OCD
The NHS explained: “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition where a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.
“OCD can affect men, women and children.
“Some people start having symptoms early, often around puberty, but it usually starts during early adulthood.
“OCD can be distressing and significantly interfere with your life, but treatment can help you to keep it under control.”
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Treatment for OCD
“The treatment recommended will depend on how much it’s affecting your life.
“The two main treatments are psychological therapy or medicine,” said the NHS.
“A short course of therapy is usually recommended for relatively mild OCD.
“These treatments can be very effective, but its important to be aware that it can take several months before you notice the benefit.”
For Niall, breathing techniques has helped him cope with his symptoms of OCD.
Known as box breathing which is process where a person takes a deep breath in for four seconds, breathes out for four seconds, and then hold the breath for four seconds, and repeat as necessary.
Niall said he’s learned to not be ashamed of his tics and that mental health issues are nothing to be ashamed of.
“I live with them and they’re mine no matter what others think about it,” he said
“I’m just like – what the hell!”
If you or someone you know may be suffering with mental health issues its important to speak to your GP about the best form of treatment moving forward and to know that its nothing to be ashamed about.
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