Former Hearts and current Annan Athletic striker Christian Nade has spoken about his struggles with mental health. He first opened up about it in October last year, but the Frenchman has since spoken at length about his experience.
As part of a wider piece on mental health in football by the Clyde Insider, Nade opened up on his relationship with mental health.
He said: “When you play for bigger teams like Hearts the support is not great, they only care about the results and how you perform on the pitch. They don’t care if you go out or not well in the head, they only care about how you perform in those 90 minutes and if you play bad then they just replace you.
“Football is a slow death when you’re suffering from depression, you go home and sit in a dark room after training and let everything get on top of you. Football is very fake and all about reputation and as soon as you have any issues, the hangers on will disappear and you find out who your real friends are.”
It’s gutting to hear about Nade’s struggles. Having been diagnosed with depression last year, Nade bravely telling his story is a massive help to others suffering with mental health.
Nade proves footballers aren’t invincible
A lot of the time we see footballers as indestructible. Sometimes, we forget they are just normal people like you and me. We are all the same when we strip everything back.
Everyone has their struggles in some shape or form, everyone has their demons. Nade’s have been larger than most, but his story may help others talk about their problems.
Seeing a role model coming out and speaking about their experience with this can help others who perhaps wouldn’t have came out speak about it. This is especially the case in younger people. If they see someone you look up to deal with these problems and seek help, it may encourage them to follow in their footsteps.
37% of Scottish males have experienced suicidal thoughts as a consequence of feeling stressed. Suicide is the leading cause of death amongst 20-34 year olds in the UK and it is considerably higher in men.
Nade deserves massive credit for coming out with his story. It may help many seek vital support that could save a life.
It’s ok not to be ok.