WASHINGTON – Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., said on MSNBC’s “Joe Scarborough Presents” that he “begs” people who struggle with theirs Mental health to seek treatment as he did, saying it “saved me from my agony”.
A little over a month after being discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, Fetterman Scarborough recounted his recent experience battling clinical depression and the inpatient treatment that helped him to recover.
Fat man, who had a stroke almost a year agosaid his depression worsened after he was elected to the Senate in November.
“I stopped getting out of bed. And it wasn’t because I was just tired. It was just because I didn’t want to,” he said, adding that his kids were confused as to why he wasn’t happy after winning a grueling campaign.
Fetterman was sworn into the Senate in January and hospitalized In early February after feeling light-headed. A week later, he checked in with Walter Reed for treatment for depression.
“I will never forget the decision,” Fetterman told Scarborough, prompting him to seek help. “It’s like, you know … if I don’t do something to claim my life, this could be tragic.”
Fetterman said he was “skeptical” at the start of the process and found himself in a “difficult position” for the first few weeks. “One of the most profound things,” he said, “was actually my brother, like my best friend said, you know, he had a moment where he was afraid that maybe you wouldn’t come back.”
“I scared my family,” he said, adding that he didn’t care about political consequences because he felt “this is my last best chance to save myself.”
For the first three weeks of treatment, Fetterman said he didn’t see his children because he was “ashamed of what I had done.” But after a few weeks, they visited him and brought sticky notes left for him by Fetterman’s father and wrote dozens of encouraging notes that were posted all over his room.
Describing the moment as a turning point in his treatment, Fetterman said his family’s love was his “catalyst.”
“That got me thinking that there’s a really big reason to get better,” he said. “You struggle a lot.”
Ultimately, he said, “One of the best phrases of my life was my doctor [saying]’Your depression is in remission.’”
“Exposing my kids to the fear of losing me was really the biggest motivator to really go for it,” he said.
When he was admitted, Fetterman had severe symptoms of depression but no suicidal thoughts, Dr. David Williamson, the head of neuropsychiatry and medical director at Walter Reed, at a briefing fetterman was discharged At the end of March, according to his Senate office. Fetterman’s symptoms worsened in the eight weeks leading up to his admission, and he had low blood pressure that could have affected cerebral circulation, Williamson noted at the time.
Fetterman’s depression was treated with drug therapies, Williamson said. In the weeks that followed, Fetterman’s doctors said, his mood improved and he began sleeping, eating, and drinking fluids.
Fetterman was released from Walter Reed on March 31after I checked in on February 15th.
Depression and mental health crises are a “human problem,” Fetterman said, regardless of political party. Encouraging people to seek treatment should be a national priority, he said, and it’s one of his personal goals.
“There’s a big obligation to pay it up front on my repayment,” he said.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255text HOME to 741741 or visit us SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.