Max George suffered first mental health episode as The Wanted topped the charts

·2-min read

Max George suffered his first mental health episode as The Wanted were topping the charts.

The 32-year-old singer recently explained he has been battling depression since 2010, and now admits he felt unable to deal with success as the group began to hit the big time and landed a number one single.

"It doesn't matter what you do or who you are, you can literally have everything you want, but as success happened, mentally I was breaking down," he said in an interview with Hello! magazine.

"My first proper episode was when The Wanted went to number one. I'd achieved everything I had ever wanted but I couldn't handle how it exploded so fast.

"It is a question I have been asked before, if I'd had any problems in my life with mental illness and, to be honest, I have not told the truth. I always would say no.

"It took me a hell of a long time to accept myself that I had these problems, and then to be able to speak to my family and close friends because it was so out of character for me."

Max was admitted to hospital to undergo a series of brain scans after The Wanted - also featuring Jay McGuiness, Tom Parker, Nathan Sykes and Siva Kaneswaran - went on hiatus in 2014, but the tests failed to get to the root of the issue.

He was later diagnosed with depression and learned more about the condition after he landed a role in U.S. TV show Glee.

"I know it is a mental illness, but it was a physical illness for me, too," he explained. "From getting out of bed in the morning, I'd get in the lift to go down from my apartment, and I'd get this overwhelming feeling, a bit like claustrophobia, and I'd have to run out and be sick, I couldn't handle anything.

"I had brain scans and every test under the sun, and they kept saying there is nothing we can physically see, but I knew there was something badly wrong."

Max took part in BBC show Strictly Come Dancing last year and said his nerves often threatened to overshadow his dance routines. However, Max praised fellow contestant Caroline Quentin for being an "absolute sweetheart" and helping him to relax before the live shows.

Max also described his girlfriend Stacey Giggs as "The One", adding she has been a huge support during difficult times.