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Former Werder attacker Schmidt describes ongoing battle with depression

By Peter Weis   @PeterVicey

In a long interview published in the Thursday print edition of Germany's Kicker Magazine, former SV Werder Bremen attacker Niklas Schmidt spoke on (among other things) his continued struggles with depression. 
Niklas Schmidt
Niklas SchmidtSupporterhéninois CC0
Twenty-five-year-old German attacker Niklas Schmidt left his youth academy club during last summer's transfer window for his very first professional station abroad. The long-time SV Werder Bremen attacker, who also found success during loan-stints at SV Wehen Wiesbaden and VfL Osnabrück, has found some success playing under Spanish trainer Carlos Martinez Novell at Ligue 1 side Toulouse FC.

The former German youth international has scored one goal in 15 appearances across all conceptions at the French outfit. Schmidt may soon find himself again facing a German club with his current team in the coming Europa League knockout phase. Tim Lüddecke of Germany's Kicker Magazine recently caught up with Schmidt for an extended interview published in the journal's print edition.

Schmidt certainly demonstrated that he had not lost his trademark sense of humor. When speaking on matters such as Toulouse's UEL matches against Liverpool, his following of Werder in his downtime, the make-up of his current squad, and even the nutritional requirements of the Toulouse strength and conditioning staff, Schmidt had some funny comments to contribute.

When commenting on the team's fitness standards, Schmidt wittingly remarked that "baguettes are only occasionally made available" in the club's cafeteria. He was sure to add that he nevertheless occasionally "treated" himself to some after the games. When the time came to discuss Schmidt's publicly admitted struggles with depression whilst playing for Bremen last year, the player demonstrated that those with wit can also be prone to darkness.

Schmidt revealed that he still engaged in "face-to-face" therapy once a week with a club-sponsored psychologist fluent in English. In a view to how depressives operate, Schmidt conceded that simple tasks can often be difficult. Irrespective of the fact that football and things like going out with his girlfriend can mitigate the situation, Schmidt described a need to exert a consistent effort.

"Of course, I have my phases when I'm at home and struggling," Schmidt said, "There are still days in which I feel very bad. I can now categorize it well. I know how to get help, but must keep at it. The coaching team is also aware and they're really cool about. The most important thing is to talk to people on a daily basis."

Asked how depression works, Schmidt painted an apt portrait of how the afflicted feel at separate hours of the day. The ailment lies in wait for those suffering from it at seemingly any given moment. Even the better days can fall prone to depression's grip for no discernible reason.

"You wake up under a grey cloud in the morning," Schmidt noted, "Or you go home and you don't feel like doing anything at all. One sometimes goes to sleep until six o'clock in the evening and the day escapes you without you realizing it."

"I don't have an answer as to whether the issue will be gone in a month, in three years, or not at all," Schmidt concluded the interview by saying, "It's part of my life. I try to counteract it by dealing clearly with myself and being open about it."

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