This is bigger than just an Instagram post.

About a week ago, Zayn Malik posted on Instagram that he had to cancel a show due to his growing anxiety.

There have been other stars that admitted to struggling with mental illness  — Kristen Bell opened up about her depression most recently and Demi Lovato has been vocal about her bipolar diagnosis for years.

But this is one of the first times a young, hot celeb in the midst of his fame has admitted to his/her mental health issues getting in the way in real time. In other words, this is a big freakin’ deal.

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Credit: Instagram

We’ve all heard the stats — over 43 million adults in the U.S are affected by mental health every year. But what that comes down to in reality is a whole lot of silent sufferers: people who can’t get themselves out of bed, people who can’t get to work, and people who are afraid to attend social events. So many people are paralyzed by crippling anxiety on any given day.

Related: Kristen Bell Is Our New Anxiety Spokeswoman and We Are Forever Grateful 

And now Zayn has admitted he’s one of them. His anxiety was severe enough to cancel his first big gig and to possibly get in the way of his career. And we couldn’t have been prouder of him. He was brave enough to not only admit that anxiety got the best of him to himself, but admit it to his fans too. And that’s huge.

On his Instagram he wrote:

To all those people who have been waiting to see me perform at the Capital Summertime Ball today…

I flew into the UK last night to appear in my home country in front of my family, friends, and most importantly my UK fans.

Unfortunately my anxiety that has haunted me throughout the last few months around live performances has gotten the better of me… with the magnitude of the event, I have suffered the worst anxiety of my career. I cannot apologize enough but I want to be honest with everyone who has patiently waited to see me, I promise I will do my best to make this up to everyone I’ve let down today.

I know those who suffer anxiety will understand and I hope those who don’t can empathize with my situation.

Zayn, there is nothing to apologize for as you have let nobody down. We are so impressed by his honesty and only hope he gets the best help possible for his anxiety. But in the meantime, we want to thank him immensely for sharing his story. We have a feeling it will mean a lot to people around the world.

Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel (by far!), but when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her hanging with her kitty Tom or tweeting at Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Categories: Celebrities