“The monster kept building and building”

“The monster kept building and building”

Lane Johnson is the Walter Payton Man of the Year awardee and his fans couldn’t have been happier. This is an award that helps recognize players who have given a lot back to the community. The Philadelphia Eagles star has not only been excellent on the field but has also proved to be a true philanthropist. However, Lane Johnson has not had it easy and has openly talked about his mental health on various platforms.

In a recent interview with Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, Johnson opened up about his struggles with anxiety and depression. He had been diagnosed in college and went on to say that “The monster kept building and building.”

He elaborated on his mental health struggles and how it impacted his physical health consequently.

How is Lane Johnson's mental health now? (Image via Instagram/ Lanejohnson65)
How is Lane Johnson’s mental health now? (Image via Instagram/ Lanejohnson65)

What happened to Lane Johnson’s mental health?

Like any other area of our lives, mental health is also important in sports. (Image via Instagram/ Lanejohnson65)
Like any other area of our lives, mental health is also important in sports. (Image via Instagram/ Lanejohnson65)

What is Lane Johnson struggling with?

Apart from the injuries on the field, Johnson has taken a couple of years to fully come to terms with his diagnosis. Lane was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and also showed symptoms of depression. Johnson’s mental and physical health were affected to the extent that he was absent for three games. For the longest time, he could not open up about his mental health issues.

It is not uncommon for athletes to put on a strong face and not reveal their feelings. They may do the best on the field, but when the show is over, only they know what influences their health.

However, Johnson has come far in his journey and has become an active advocate for mental health. In an interview with NBC, Johnson said:

“I hope I can make an impact in the community, especially our local community here, and help save lives and really help a lot of people that are out there suffering in silence.”

Sports don’t go without injuries. Whether it is mental, emotional, or physical. It is difficult to state exactly how many concussions Lane Johnson has had over the course of his career, but in the last five years, he has had at least three. However, this has not stopped Johnson from giving his best and he wants to inspire others to de-stigmatize their mental health.


Do football players have anxiety?

Football players are also human at the end of the day and can feel anxious like anyon else. (Image via Vecteezy/ SimpleLine)
Football players are also human at the end of the day and can feel anxious like anyon else. (Image via Vecteezy/ SimpleLine)

Mental health in sports is as important as mental health in other areas. Everyone has an internal world to take care of. People often assume that in a gladiator-sized sport like football, athletes may be doing their best. Whoever you are and whichever sport you belong to, your mental health can be affected.

One of the most common concerns that comes up in football is anxiety. Football is a beloved sport, but it comes with a lot of pressure from fans and the team. Everyone is looking up to you and you often take center stage. It is no surprise that athletes may also experience social anxiety.

Perhaps the most sneaky aspect of sports is performance anxiety. Whether it’s an injury or thousands of eyes looking at you, it is typical to experience worries and concerns about your performance. However, sometimes this can become excessive and push you to the limit.


Lane Johnson is one of the few athletes who is reminding us that nobody is perfect. Everyone is facing their own battle, even on the field! If you are part of the audience, it is important to recognize the existence of an athlete’s mental health and nurture it. If you are an athlete like Lane Jonson, take some time out to look at your internal world!


Janvi Kapur is a counselor with a Master’s degree in applied psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.


What do you think of this story? Tell us in the comments section below.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee