PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson has gone on the record about his battle with anxiety and depression.
In a tweet shared Monday morning, Johnson explained that his experiences with anxiety and depression are to be cited for his continued struggles both on and off the field.
For the last two weeks, Johnson has been working to "restore" his personal life. He has been absent from Eagles game-play for the last three games.
"Depression and anxiety are things I've dealt with for a long time and have kept hidden from my friends and family," Johnson wrote in the Tweet. "If you're reading this and struggling, please know that you are not alone."
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He then explained that he was looking forward to re-joining his teammates and coaches.
"I'm grateful for the entire Eagles community and look forward to continuing to play in front of the best fans in the world," he added.
Sports psychologist Dr. Joel Fish says in recent years, there has been a positive mental health cultural shift in the sports world, thanks to more high-profile athletes speaking up.
"I think the Lane Johnson’s of the world are modeling for us the importance of asking for help." Dr. Fish explained. "Old school, it was a sign of weakness. Now, I think it’s a sign of humanness."
In 2019, Philadelphia Eagles guard Brandon Brooks openly addressed his anxiety associated with increased pressure in professional sports. Over the summer, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from certain events at the Tokyo games saying she needed to focus on her mental health.
"More and more athletes coming out and saying, ‘This is who I really am. I’m not a robot. I’m not a machine,’" Dr. Fish remarked. "Because there is an understanding to develop the player, you need to develop the person."
The outcome, according to Dr. Fish, a more open and supportive locker room and more resources made available.