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Fetterman Opens Up About His Struggles With Depression

John Fetterman

“You know, my aspiration is to take my son to the restaurant that we were supposed to go (to) during his birthday but couldn’t because I had checked myself in for depression. And being the kind of dad, the kind of husband and the kind of senator that Pennsylvania deserves.”

Pennsylvania’s junior senator John Fetterman spoke to Jane Pauley in an interview that aired on CBS Sunday Morning and opened up about his battle with depression.

The former lieutenant governor of the Commonwealth seemingly had everything going in his direction. Fetterman was recovering from a mid-May stroke and had just been elected U.S. Senator, flipping Republican-held seat with his triumph over challenger Mehmet Oz.

Despite that, the 53-year-old Fetterman told Pauley that due to his depression, he was not in a celebratory mood.

“It’s like, you just won the biggest race in the country. And the whole thing about depression is that objectively, you may have won, but depression can absolutely convince you that you actually lost,” Fetterman said. “And that’s exactly what happened. And that was the start of a downward spiral.”

He checked into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for six weeks after revealing details such as not wishing to get out of bed, not eating, dropping weight and stopping engagement on some of the things that he loved in life.

Fetterman shared one of his lowest moments came on the day he checked into Walter Reed – February 15.

It was also the day of his son Karl’s 14th birthday.

“It makes me sad,” Fetterman said. “You know, the day that I go in was my son’s birthday and I hope that for the rest of his life, his birthday would be joyous and you don’t have to remember that your father was admitted.”

Dr. David Williamson, the neuropsychiatrist treating Fetterman, told Pauley that “he had markedly reduced motivation and drive. The RPM in the brain, how fast you think, and how clearly you think, is very substantially degraded when patients get depressed.

“It’s certainly reversible,” he said.

His wife, Giselle, told Pauley that depression not necessarily make sense.

“It’s not rational. I think the outside would look at this and say, how does this happen?”

In sharing his struggles publicly, Fetterman says, “My message right now isn’t political. I’m just somebody that suffering from depression.”

Fetterman will return to the Senate April 17. Until that date, he is spending time at his home in Braddock and making plans for the future.

“I will be going home and be the first time ever to be in remission with my depression,” he said. “And I can’t wait to what it really feels like to take it all in and to start making up any lost time.”

The entire interview

3 Responses

  1. What a joke. Anyone who has experienced depression – directly or via friends and family- knows depression is not treated this easily.

    This is such a joke. People who voted for him and who believes this should be embarased.

  2. This guy should be taking care of himself, not being controlled by his wife and the Democratic party. I feel bad for him, and angry for others controlling him.


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