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Lane Johnson Opens Up on Anxiety and Depression Issues in FOX Interview

The Eagles RT missed three games with the disorder and said he felt like he had been "living in hell"
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Lane Johnson told FOX NFL Sunday’s Jay Glazer that he had been “living in hell for a long time.”

The Eagles’ right tackle opened up about his anxiety and depression issues in the network’s pregame show.

Johnson was a late-scratch in Week 4’s home game against the Kansas City Chiefs with what was termed personal issues.

He missed three games before returning in last week’s game at the Las Vegas Raiders and played again Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

“This is a beast,” Johnson told Glazer. “One of those sayings, it goes to bed with you, man, and wakes up with you. It’s there all the time…It will eat you up.”

Johnson said he was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder during his time at the University of Oklahoma. The Eagles spent the fourth overall pick on him in the 2013 NFL Draft.

He felt like something had been building in the wrong direction from the start of this season when the Eagles went to Atlanta for the opener.

“I told my mom, something’s really, really wrong with me,” said Johnson on FOX. “I don’t know exactly what it is. I’m miserable. I know my mind isn’t right. I know my body isn’t right. So, I left. I went back home. I didn’t have any communication with the Eagles.

“Trying to describe that to people who have no clue or what it’s like, it’s very difficult. You lose touch of your sense of self. You lose touch of what’s really going on around you. What we really tend to do is lock up, not want to say anything. I felt bad for my team, but there was signs that this wasn’t something new, spur of the moment. This was going on for months.”

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Glazer asked him about voices, and what those voices sounded like.

Johnson replied, “Feels like doom. I just want to run away and not come back kind of thing. Lot of nausea, a lot of throwing up every day. It got so bad, was really starting to throw up blood, nerves, tremors in my hands. This is something I’ve dealt with for a long time. There are medications that help with this, but a lot of it, you can’t mask everything.”

Glazer did not bring up Brandon Brooks’ struggles with similar disorders.

Johnson and Brooks have been teammates and friends since Brooks arrived as a free agent in 2016 from the Texans, playing side by side on the offensive line since.

Brooks has been very public about his disorder since he was a late-game scratch from a game a few years ago.

“People fear judgment,” said Johnson. “I’m scared of judgment. You look at guys when they get done after a game. What’s the first thing they do? They go to Twitter and search their name. That’s me. That’s the world that you need to escape. 

"You need to get out of there and start having a purpose and a why. I guess I didn’t know my why for a while. “It took some time to focus on myself to get the help I needed to get my mindset again.

“…I felt like I had my stuff temporarily under control. I was ashamed…in this league the NFL, where it’s a gladiator type sport, it’s not often talked about, but it’s often felt throughout the league.”

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.