Lane Johnson of the Philadelphia Eagles sends a special message: ‘Don’t Bottle It Up.’

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Lane Johnson of the Philadelphia Eagles sends a special message: ‘Don’t Bottle It Up.’

 

The majority of Lane Johnson’s post-game news conference was devoted to mental health issues. He could have easily shifted the focus to the 265 rushing yards he and his offensive linemates contributed for, the most for the Philadelphia Eagles in a road game since 2014. He didn’t do it.

Johnson wanted to use his popularity to raise awareness about a problem that affects “40-50 percent of NFL players.” He missed three games this season due to anxiety and depression, but the ailment has plagued him since his JUCO days at Kilgore College. He didn’t get his diagnosis until he got to the University of Oklahoma. For a long time, the three-time Pro Bowler has been ashamed of it. Not any longer.

“The essential message is to not keep things bottled up.” “That’s simple,” Johnson told reporters. “It’s simple to avoid situations that you don’t want to deal with, or that will be challenging. Allowing your pride to get in the way is not a good idea. The bad news is that I believe it affects far more people than first appears. In life, I believe it is simple to put on a poker face.”

Yes, his choice to take a few weeks off from football was motivated by despair, but it was more complicated than that. Johnson was suffering from acute withdrawal symptoms after discontinuing SSRI antidepressants, which raise serotonin levels in the brain (via Mayo Clinic).

.@LaneJohnson65 on the love and support he’s gotten photo.

twitter.com/7uaZp7TWx1

October 31, 2021 — Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles)

The medicine should be tapered off gradually. He decided to quit cold turkey. And that strategy resulted in nausea, vomiting, and a flu-like feeling.

“At the time, football wasn’t even a consideration,” Johnson added. “It was something I sensed even before the season started.” I told a few close friends, but I kept it to myself because I was embarrassed. It felt like a crutch to me. Coming back, the support I’ve had from the team, my friends, and my family has been incredible, and being out there and playing football again has reminded me how fortunate I am to be in this position, so I’m taking it day by day.”

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