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Fetterman breaks silence on depression struggles after hospital discharge

Fetterman breaks silence on depression struggles after hospital discharge

Sin John Fetterman (D-PA) detailed his struggles with depression and the “downward spiral” after his November election that led to his recent six-week hospitalization in a new interview.

Fetterman’s office said Friday that the senator had been released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where he had been receiving treatment for “major depression.” A preview of the senator’s interview with CBS Sunday Morning showed Fetterman explaining how his 2022 victory exacerbated his symptoms, which came five months after he suffered a near-fatal stroke that caused debilitating processing problems auditory


“It’s like you just won the biggest, you know, race in the country,” the 53-year-old Democrat told veteran reporter Jane Pauley. “And the whole thing with depression is that objectively you may have won, but depression can absolutely convince you that you’ve actually lost. And that’s exactly what happened, and that was the beginning of a downward spiral.” .

“I had stopped getting out of my bed,” he continued. “I had stopped eating. I had lost weight. I had stopped doing some of the things I enjoy in my life.”

Fetterman was hospitalized at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC, for a separate medical episode just a week before he checked into Walter Reed. After being sworn in the previous month, the incident, which was linked to post-stroke depression, raised concerns about the freshman senator’s ability to fulfill his job duties.

Doctors say post-stroke depression is common and can be treated with medication and talk therapy.

Adam Jentleson, Fetterman’s chief of staff, said the senator’s depression is now “in remission,” which medical professionals define as when a patient’s symptoms have diminished to the point of being manageable, allowing them to return to in normal life. He will spend the next two weeks at home with family in Braddock, Pennsylvania, and will return to the Senate on April 17 when the current recess ends.

The Office of Congressional Accessibility Services granted Fetterman several accommodations because of his persistent hearing problems as he adjusted to his new legislative duties. The office provided him with real-time transcription technology similar to a closed captioning system that the Senate sergeant-at-arms installed on computer monitors in Fetterman’s office and in the Senate chamber.

In addition to the vision aid, the 53-year-old now uses hearing aids for his hearing loss, the medical team that treated Fetterman at Walter Reed said this week. Dr. David Williamson, who oversaw Fetterman’s treatment at the facility, said addressing his depression led to a “marked” improvement in his speaking abilities and predicted his speech would improve “significantly” with continued therapy.


Fetterman expressed his gratitude to be home with his wife Giselle and three children in a statement announcing his discharge from Walter Reed.

“I’m excited to be the father and husband I want to be, and Senator Pennsylvania deserves it,” he said. “Pennsylvanians have always had my back, and I’ll always have theirs.”

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