Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after six weeks of inpatient treatment for clinical depression and plans to return to the Senate when Congress resumes in mid-April. His office said Friday.
In a statement, Fetterman’s office said he was back at his home in Braddock, Pennsylvania, where his depression was “in remission,” and detailed his treatment. loss.
It’s the latest medical episode for Fetterman, who won last fall’s highest-paid senator race, said he was dying after suffering a stroke and continuing his recovery. There is
Fetterman, who has a wife and three school-aged children, said he was happy to be home.
“I’m thrilled to be the father and husband I want to be, the person I deserve to be in the Pennsylvania Senate. The Pennsylvanians have always had my back, and I will always have their back.” “I am very grateful to the wonderful team at Walter Reed. The care they provided changed my life.”
Fetterman is scheduled to return to the Senate the week of April 17.
Doctors describe “remission” as when a person responds to treatment and returns to normal social functioning, indistinguishable from someone who has never experienced depression.
In an interview airing on “CBS Sunday Morning,” Fetterman said his symptoms had intensified after winning the November election.
“The whole thing about depression is that you could have won objectively. was the beginning of a downward spiral.”
“I stopped getting out of bed, I stopped eating, I lost weight, I stopped doing the things I love most in life,” he said.
Fetterman checked in with Walter Reed on February 15, weeks after an aide described Fetterman as being withdrawn and uninterested in discussing meals, work, or normal banter with staff. bottom.
Fetterman, then 53, had only been on duty in Washington for just over a month after suffering the aftermath of a stroke he suffered last May when he went to Walter Reed on the advice of Capitol doctor Dr. Brian P. Monahan. still recovering from .
Doctors say post-stroke depression is common and treatable with medical and talking therapy.
Mr. Fetterman’s return will be welcome news for Democrats who are struggling to get votes for some nominees, especially since he is not in the Senate.
Fetterman’s office also released details of his treatment under medical experts led by neuropsychiatrist Dr. David Williamson.
When he was hospitalized, Fetterman “had symptoms of severe depression with low energy and motivation, minimal speech, poor sleep, sluggish thinking, sluggish movement, and feelings of guilt and worthlessness. But there were no suicidal thoughts,” the statement attributed to Williamson said.
Symptoms had steadily worsened over the past eight weeks, and Fetterman stopped eating and drinking. It caused low blood pressure, the statement said.
“His depression, now cleared, could have been a barrier to engagement,” it said.
Mr. Fetterman suffered a stroke last May while campaigning for a three-party Democratic primary. He underwent surgery to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator to manage his two heart conditions, atrial fibrillation and cardiomyopathy.
One of Fetterman’s main sequelae of the stroke is auditory processing impairment. This disorder prevents someone from speaking fluently and quickly processing conversations into something meaningful. Fetterman uses devices that transcribe spoken words in real time in conversations, conferences, and congressional hearings.