Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman has opened up about his struggles with depression and the importance of seeking help in a recent interview with People Magazine. Fetterman talked about how he treated depression like losing his hair, considering it a part of his makeup.
However, after winning his 2022 election, Fetterman’s depression deepened, and he sank into a low point where he rarely left his bed, stopped eating and drinking, and missed doses of his heart medication.
On February 8th, 2023, during a U.S. Senate retreat, Fetterman began feeling lightheaded and was hospitalized overnight, but his office reported that his hospitalization was not related to his previous stroke. Later, on February 16th, Fetterman admitted himself to Walter Reed Hospital due to clinical depression. He underwent treatment for less than two months and was discharged on March 31st, intending to return to the Senate when it resumes on April 17th.
According to People Magazine, for over six weeks, Fetterman stayed in the neuropsychiatry unit, where he participated in daily talk therapy sessions, tried out various medications, exercised, and educated himself about his condition to better cope with his emotions. Despite his hospitalization, Fetterman remained engaged in his legislative work, meeting with his chief of staff on a daily basis to discuss legislation, and receiving visits from colleagues and relatives.
Through tears, he adds: “There wasn’t one person in my life that said, ‘Yeah, you really seem great. You sound fine here.’” Not even his children. “When an eight year-old can realize that something’s really wrong…”
In his interview, Fetterman urged people to seek help for depression, stating that it affects people regardless of their political beliefs or affiliations. He advised going to the doctor or whoever is available to address depression, as it works and makes things better. Fetterman stressed the importance of getting help for mental illness, and how addressing depression has helped him recover and be back with his family, serving the people of Pennsylvania.
Fetterman’s story highlights the importance of mental health and seeking help when needed. Mental illness is a real and serious issue that can impact anyone, regardless of their social status or political affiliations. It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression and other mental health conditions, and seek help from a mental health professional.
“One of the happiest days of my life was when [my doctor] said to me in one of the sessions, ‘I believe that your depression is in remission,’” he stated. “At that moment, I thought that there was a chance I was going to be able to be fully back with my family, that I was going to be back to being a senator and serve the people of Pennsylvania and my constituents. I mean … that really, that was such a turn.”
Fetterman’s willingness to share his story shows that depression is not something to be ashamed of, and seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It’s essential to address mental illness and break down the stigma surrounding it, so people can get the help they need without feeling ashamed or judged.
In conclusion, Fetterman’s interview is a reminder of the importance of mental health and seeking help for mental illness. It’s vital to address mental illness and break down the stigma surrounding it, so people can get the help they need without feeling ashamed or judged. Fetterman’s story shows that depression can happen to anyone, and seeking help is the first step towards recovery.
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