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Tyne Talk

Cabaye Reveals Battle With Depression and ‘Defending The Newcastle Colours’

8 years ago
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Yohan Cabaye has taken the brave step of making public his battles with depression earlier this season.

Our captain elect has been speaking to L’equipe while on international duty and believes that the extra demands of taking part in last summer’s Euros pushed him too far.

“Depression? I’m not afraid to say that it was that.

Reading the books of Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal was reassuring, they talked about post-competition depression and the need to have a break.

Euro 2012 was my first big international competition and it’s completely different than what you’d experience in daily life at your club.

I’d had a long season in a league where the pace is higher than in France. I started at Newcastle in early June 2011 and finished late June 2012, for the first time I didn’t have a winter break. So then to resume in July 2012 was very difficult, my body didn’t allow me to do what I wanted it to do.

When I woke up I still felt tired and I wanted to think about something other than football.

I’m lucky to earn a living through my passion but it was the right moment for a break. So my groin injury at the end of last year was maybe not such a bad thing, possibly that is why I was back earlier than expected.

I asked myself a lot of questions, if you haven’t experienced it (depression) you cannot understand.

My injury allowed me to have some rest and meet friends and family in Lille. When I returned to Newcastle in December I knew I felt better, though I never talked about it to anyone outside my circle of friends and family.

Physically I feel perfectly fine now and I’m keen to fight for the club. I want to give twice as much to help save the club from the drop and I want to prove to the fans that they can trust me and I can defend the Newcastle colours.

Now that episode is over I have much more fun in training sessions and I realise how lucky I am. I felt that enthusiasm could leave and that is the most dangerous thing.”

Fair play to our playmaker and personally it only makes me respect him even more.

It isn’t a very English thing to talk about your feelings and many people suffer in silence when dealing with these type of problems.

Hopefully having a role model like Cabaye will help others to win their own personal battles.

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