Sheeran has spoken about the struggle of living in a self-imposed bubble, which he claims is a necessity of his international fame.
"I think there is a difference between fame and success," he said. "Success is playing Wembley Stadium and fame is not being able to go outside. I think they are two very different things.
"I had to move from where I was in London to somewhere else. I never really wanted to live in the fancy part of town. I never really want to be that guy. Then I quickly realised that why everyone lives there is because it's a sheltered community where you don't really get bothered."
The constant anxiety about selfies and screaming fans got so bad that he ended up spending 120 days locked away in his home, piling on weight following night after night of takeaways and doing nothing but watching movies. He subsequently hired a trainer to shift the extra three stone he had accumulated.
"I couldn't just go out and get a pint of milk," has told The Sun.
He also revealed to The Guardian some of the side effects of his withdrawal from the world, many of which were sparked by his experience on an easyJet flight from Benidorm to London in which he was mocked by drunken Brit tourists.
"[It was] horrendous. The worst experience of my life. Like so bad, that I started getting panic attacks," he said. "I get really claustrophobic. I just don't like groups of people that I don't know any more, I can't do crowds any more."
As a result, he says, he sometimes misses the years where he was a struggling musician. He insisted to The Guardian that fame is "great" for 90% of the time, but that 10% of the time he spends pining away for the past: "I had so much more fun when I was broke, sofa-surfing," he revealed. "I felt like more of an artist."
Sheeran is promoting his latest record, ÷, released today, which The Telegraph called an "over-familiar" if "smooth" collection of tracks.