Brighton winger Anthony Knockaert has revealed he battled depression following the breakdown of his marriage and the death of his father.
The Frenchman says the suffering made it “mentally impossible” for him to perform in the Premier League last season.
He went through a divorce last summer, less than a year after his dad Patrick died in November 2016 and separated from his wife also reduced the amount of time he was able to spend with his young son.
Knockaert said; “I was going through depression last year, it was really tough and mentally impossible for me to go and perform on the pitch.
“I went through a divorce last year during the pre-season, so it was really tough to take, especially after (the death of) my dad.”
The 26-year-old admits subsequent difficulties in his private life caused him to be moody and argumentative, as well as affecting his performances on the pitch as Albion adjusted to life in the top flight.
He eventually confided in club captain Bruno in December and, after speaking to Seagulls manager Chris Hughton, was given counselling sessions.
“It can just catch you out. I was one of those – even two, three or four years ago – to say when people talked to me about depression ‘what is this?’.
“You don’t really take it seriously until it happens to you, then you realise what life is about because you are going through the worst period of your life.
“The worst is you never think it will go away, that you will be like this for the rest of your life. I was making myself scared, thinking I was starting to become crazy. I was always in a bad mood, arguing with people. That wasn’t my fault, I was going through a bad period and just didn’t control anything else,” added Knockaert.