Robbie Williams has opened up about his struggles with mental health issues, admitting that he feels that he is battling a disease he fears will "kill" him.

Speaking to The Sun, the former Take That singer was candid about his bouts with depression and revealed that he often became overwhelmed by his own thoughts and was inclined to sabotage everything if left to his own devices.

"I've got a disease that wants to kill me and it's in my head, so I have to guard against that," he said.

"Sometimes it overwhelms me and sometimes it's a tool I need to get on stage. Sometimes I live in bliss and it's wonderful.

"But most of the time I'm human — having a human experience, ­trying to deal with the trials and tribulations of what goes on between my ears."

The 44-year-old entertainer, who has had two stints in rehab for alchohol and drug addiction, hinted that he has been close to the edge on more than one occasion. In 2007 he checked into a rehabilitation facility after taking a lethal cocktail of heroin, cocaine, acid, speed and prescription drugs.

"The things I've put myself through, I've been close to... It's like, 'By the grace of God go I'. It's been so close so many times."

The father of two went on to add that the death of his friend George Michael on Christmas Day in 2016 has made him reassess his life.

"It's been a very similar rollercoaster, yes. And I miss George Michael, I wish he was here," Williams lamented. "Was it 2016 when everybody popped off? It was just a dreadful year, all of everybody's heroes disappear, you're realising you're not immortal and never more so than being 43 and having two kids. It was just a dreadful thing to happen and I miss him."

He previously told The Sunday Times Magazine that "[Depression] sprints through my family. I don't know if I'd be this mentally ill without fame. I don't think it would be as gross or as powerful if it hadn't have been for fame."

Earlier in February, Williams vowed never to perform his 1997 hit, Angels, following the sudden death of his friend Dolores O'Riordan on 15 January. She was 46.

The Cranberries singer was found dead in London's Park Plaza hotel. The cause of death is still unknown.

"Dolores was a tremendously gifted singer and artist. I wonder what's happening to my world and how I am at this age now where it's going to keep happening to people I know and love," said Williams.

He told the Daily Star that the emotional ballad had always had a strong effect on him. "I have to hold myself together or I could cry at everything and look pathetic," he explained. "There are people who put posters up before [I sing] Angels about their mum or dad who died and I think 'Oh God, I am going to cry'. It did affect me."