Lane Johnson opens up about his battle with anxiety, depression
Ahead of yesterday’s game against the Detroit Lions, FOX aired an interview between Lane Johnson and Jay Glazer. During the interview, Johnson opened up about his battle with anxiety and depression that forced him to step away from the team for several weeks. It was courageous for the Eagles tackle to discuss these things openly, and I’m glad to see he is doing far better.
Nobody knew what was going on when Lane Johnson was named a last-minute inactive a few weeks ago, but Johnson did the right thing as it had been building up for a long time, according to him.
“The first game against Atlanta, I told my mom something’s really wrong with me,” Johnson told Glazer. “I don’t know exactly what it is. I said, ‘I’m miserable. I know my mind isn’t right. I know my body isn’t right.’ So, I left. I went back home. Didn’t have any communication with the Eagles.”
For decades, there has been a stigma that these professional athletes need to be these strong, silent types that were perfect through everything. Kevin Love was one of the first professional athletes to open up about his battle with depression, and it caused many to follow in his footsteps.
“Because I felt like I had my stuff temporarily under control. I was ashamed, to be honest,” Lane Johnson said when asked why he never said anything in the past. “In this league, in the NFL, where it’s a gladiator-type sport, it’s something that’s not often talked about, but it’s often felt throughout the league.
We need to talk about it. But yeah, man, I was living in hell for a long time. I thought achievements, what I’ve done on the field was going to make me feel better, but it only amplified the situation. I’m glad I’m here talking about it, being open about it.”
Nobody should ever have to go through these battles alone, and for Lane, both the Eagles and the entire city of Philadelphia were supportive every step of the way. While he was out, head coach Nick Sirianni wore Lane Johnson’s 65 on his visor out of support for him.
But coming back, the support I’ve had from the team, from my friends, from my family, I couldn’t ask for nothing better. And getting out here and playing football again, you’re reminded of how lucky you are to be in the position that you are in. So, taking it day by day.”
The entire NFL has come out and supported Lane Johnson since his tweet, where he revealed what had been going on. It also seems his openness about it has inspired others not to push away these issues. Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley stepped away from the team yesterday to better his mental health.
“The real message is, just don’t bottle it up. It’s easy to do that,” Lane Johnson said. “The bad news is that I think a lot more people have it than what meets the eye. I think it’s easy to put on a poker face. … I remember hearing a stat at the combine that 40-50% of people in the NFL have some sort of condition. [The game] can do a lot of things for you but a lot of times it can be detrimental.”
Mandatory Credit: NJ.com