The 2010–11 Championnat winner joined Newcastle in the summer of 2011 and had a superb opening season in the Premier League, driving Newcastle to the cusp of Champions League qualification.
However, the lack of a winter break coupled with a first appearance at a major international tournament for France weighed heavy on the midfielder who earns a estimated £30,000-a-week.
"Depression? I am not afraid to say that. It was that," he told L'Equipe.
"Euro 2012 was the first big international competition I had played. It is completely different than what you could experience in daily life with your club.
"My season was long in a league where the pace is higher than in Le Championnat. I started with Newcastle early in July 2011 and finished late in June 2012 and, for the very first time, I didn't have any winter break so then to resume in July 2012. It was very difficult. Maybe it is difficult to start again after a big competition such as the Euros, but my body didn't allow me to do what I wanted to do.
"On a morning when I woke up, I could still feel tiredness. I wanted to think about something else rather than football."
The Frenchman, who is this evening set to start for France against Spain, which is live on Yahoo!-Eurosport, believes a timely injury was the break required to regain the assurance that marks his play.
"I am lucky to earn a living with my passion, but it was the right moment for a break. So my groin injury at the end of the year was finally not such a bad thing.
"I asked myself a lot of questions. As long as you didn't experience it [depression] you cannot understand. But I was not worried.
"My injury allowed me to have some rest, meet my family and friends in Lille. When I was back in Newcastle in December I knew I felt better, but I never complained to anyone but my entourage."
Having recovered from injury, Cabaye insists he is now enjoying football again.
He added: "Physically I feel perfectly fine now and I am keen to fight for the club. I want to give twice as much to save the club from the drop. I want to prove to the fans that they can trust me and I can defend the Newcastle colours.
"Now that episode is over, I have much more fun going to daily training sessions. I realise how lucky I am. I felt that enthusiasm could leave and that is most dangerous."
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