Fetterman Discharged From Hospital, Depression In Remission

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 14: Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Friday morning, and is back home in Braddock. He’ll return to Washington D.C. when the Senate reconvenes in mid-April.

“I am extremely grateful to the incredible team at Walter Reed,” Fetterman said in a statement. “The care they provided changed my life. I will have more to say about this soon, but for now I want everyone to know that depression is treatable, and treatment works.”

In a discharge briefing, Dr. David Williamson, Neuropsychiatry Chief and Medical Director, said that when Fetterman was voluntarily admitted, he displayed “severe symptoms of depression with low energy and motivation, minimal speech, poor sleep, slowed thinking, slowed movement, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, but no suicidal ideation.” Williamson added that he’d stopped eating and drinking. 

He said that Fetterman, who suffered a stroke on the campaign trail last year, was fitted with hearing aids and had noticeable improvements in his speech abilities.

“His depression, now resolved, may have been a barrier to engagement,” Williamson noted. 

He added that Fetterman’s  mood and health improved significantly during treatment, and that he read a book — Dr. Raymond De Paulo’s “Understanding Depression” — and asked many “insightful questions.”

Many figures on the right mocked Fetterman after he was admitted to the hospital and circulated conspiracy theories about his fitness to serve. His wife, Gisele Fetterman, said she received “vicious attacks” after the public learned of Fetterman’s diagnosis and hospital stay.

His diagnosis prompted other lawmakers, including Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN), to recall their own experiences with depression.

Fetterman won his Senate seat in the 2022 cycle, defeating Mehmet Oz in one of the most closely watched races of the cycle. 

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Notable Replies

  1. Sounds like treatment was humanizing as well as effective; good news all around. Mental health needs an advocate as well as understanding.

    ETA: and humanity certainly does need its advocates these days. Carry on Senator Fetterman, do.

  2. I am so proud that Sen. Fetterman sought treatment, and thankful that he got it. Will be a powerful voice for policies that will help Americans that suffer from mental illness. Our insurance stinks, we must do better. For physical AND mental health.

  3. I’m rooting for you, Senator!

    And just think how much good he can do for other people who are struggling with similar challenges. I believe he’ll be great at humanizing this issue and cutting through the BS.

  4. Pulling for you, Sen. Fetterman! (Oh,and your body-double with the much smaller head. Which is the latest conspiracy about Fetterman based on his having lost a good bit of weight. Check the fever swamp/Twitter, if you dare.)

    Depression can be so difficult to overcome. I’ve had mild depression for some years but function more or less alright. After a major stroke, my wife experienced episodes of psychotic depression and they just don’t go away, with any medication she’s tried. They only pause and then restart.

    It’s wonderful that improved hearing, some new reading about depression and whatever else they were doing for Fetterman have helped.

  5. Welcome back my Senator.
    I believe in you.

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