Mike Skinner felt "out of control" in The Streets.
The 'Fit But You Know It' hitmaker was just 33 when he retired his alias in 2011 after 10 years and five albums and he admitted he spent a lot of the time in the grips of "anxiety and paranoia", before depression eventually set in.
He said: "Every day in The Streets was scary because you feel totally out of control.
"Anxiety, paranoia and general fear.
"That's what my 20s were like.
"Whereas my 30s were closer to depression.
"It's more, just, like...
"You try and push yourself through this feeling of existential depression.
"I'm not trying to say one is worse than the other.
"It just feels different."
Mike - who has kids Amelia and George with his wife Claire - credits his family for not letting his problems spiral out of control.
He told Q magazine: "That keeps you busy.
"But what else are you going to do?
"I know some really f***ed people.
"They've too much time to worry.
"With kids, you can't really get anxious.
"You never hear of parents getting mentally ill over their kids, do you?
"Like, they might become alcoholics. And fat. And get divorced.
"But you still have to hold it together if you are going to stick at the parenting game."
Mike - who has resurrected The Streets - admitted he felt out of touch when he noticed his audience getting older at his gigs and felt disheartened by what he was doing.
He said: "When you're young, it's very clear who you think you are. "Other young people influence that.
"There's a stage where you start to lose that identity and very gradually it's just out of reach.
"Then you are kind of guessing or acting.
"It's the curse of the producer, really.
"How do you stay connected to that instinct?"