‘I’m Still Struggling With Depression’ – Former Arsenal Defender, Emmanuel Eboue

Former Ivory Coast and Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue has admitted that his struggles with mental health still continues.
The 36-year-old opened up on French television about his battle with depression and admitted he had even considered suicide.

In
an emotional interview he revealed his problems started when he was
suspended by FIFA from all football-related activity for one year.

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The
ban which was given as a result of failing to pay money owed to a
former agent, led to the termination of his short-term contract at then
Premier League side Sunderland in March 2016. Without a professional
club and shattered financially after a bitter and acrimonious divorce
case, he admits he had suicidal thoughts.

“Sometimes I would lock
myself in my room for three or four days. Just thinking and asking
what’s left. Even today, I still take antidepressants to help me because
it is still a long road for me. But here I am hoping others would learn
from this” Eboue told RMC Sport’s Le Vestiaire (The Locker Room) in
France.
“Being away from a competitive football pitch for a year was
heartbreaking. I had to train by myself, and I was really ashamed
because people looked at me differently. Some would say ‘look it’s
Eboue, a Uefa Champions League finalist with Arsenal in 2006’, to them
it was surprising or shocking.

“Personally, I prefer to train in
the morning, but there were people who were training at that time.
They’d come to take a picture and post it all over [social media]. So I
left to train at night.”
As things got worse he began to lie to his
family. “I couldn’t train during the day and too embarrassed to stay at
home. My children always asked me when I was going to return to the
field, so whenever I stepped out in the morning, I pretended to go to
work.

“Unbeknown to my children I was staying outside and
returning home when they were already in bed. I didn’t want them to ask
me why they didn’t see me play on television.”

After a time away
from the media spotlight, to focus on his recovery, Eboue has recently
been more willing to be seen in public. As well his appearance on French
TV he played for an Arsenal’s Legends side against a Real Madrid
Legends team last year.

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