Gregory Van Der Wiel, Dutch footballer opens up on mental health struggle

Gregory Van Der Wiel, Dutch footballer opens up on mental health struggle

32-year-old Dutch footballer, Gregory Van Der Wiel reveals he has been suffering panic attacks and anxiety since last year.


Gregory Van Der Wiel, a graduate and former player of the prestigious club, Ajax Amsterdam opened up in an Instagram post on Tuesday, November 3 that he has been dealing with panic attacks and anxiety.


Aged 32, Van der Wiel, who has 47 games under his belt with the Dutch national team, he has not featured in club football since his contract with Canadian club, Toronto FC expired in 2019.


In his Instagram post, Van Der Wiel revealed that life as a professional footballer isn’t as rosy as it seems.


“For over a year now I have been dealing with panic attacks and anxiety, something that started when I was chilling at home in LA,” Van der Wiel wrote in an open letter.

The statement Van Der Wiel published on his Instagram page.


“At that time I didn’t know what was happening to me and thought I was having a heart attack.”


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He continued;

“My first thoughts were that there was something wrong physically. 

Together with different hospitals and doctors, we checked my whole body and the conclusion was that everything was functioning optimally.”




“After this confirmation, I started to focus on the mental aspect, which I am still working on until this day.

“There are a few reasons why this is happening to me and I want to share these. As a professional football player, I always had the pressure to show the best side of myself, no matter how I was actually feeling. “I always put my emotions to the side and that is something that has built up after all those years. Frustration, anger, disappointment, sadness, I have put it all on the side and just went on with my life and career.

“Saying ‘I don’t care’ to yourself is easy and that is what I did.”


With PSG, Van der Wiel won four Ligue 1 trophies, two Coupe de France titles, three Coupe de la Ligue trophies and three Trophee des Champions titles. He has since played for several other clubs since his departure from PSG.


Van Der Wiel represented the Dutch senior national team in the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championship.


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