Sen. John Fetterman discharged from Walter Reed after receiving treatment for depression
By Brian Rokus and Kaanita Iyer, CNN
Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman has been discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he was being treated for depression, his office announced Friday.
He will return to the Senate when it returns from recess on April 17, his office said in a news release, confirming CNN’s earlier reporting.
“I am so happy to be home,” the freshman Democrat said in a statement. “I’m excited to be the father and husband I want to be, and the senator Pennsylvania deserves. Pennsylvanians have always had my back, and I will always have theirs.”
Fetterman checked himself in last month “to receive treatment for clinical depression,” his chief of staff said at the time. A source familiar with the matter previously told CNN that while Fetterman was not suicidal, his symptoms for depression included loss of weight and loss of appetite.
“I want everyone to know that depression is treatable, and treatment works,” Fetterman added in the statement after being discharged. “This isn’t about politics — right now there are people who are suffering with depression in red counties and blue counties.
“If you need help, please get help,” he said.
Fetterman, the 53-year-old freshman who helped cement Democrats’ 51-49 Senate majority last fall, suffered a stroke last year during the days ahead of the primary. And when he returned to the campaign trail, Fetterman often struggled to communicate with lingering auditory processing issues, relying on assistance through devices with closed captioning in order to properly have conversations and answer questions.
The same auditory processing issues impacted him in his early days in the Senate. And when he struggled with substantial weight loss and a loss of appetite, he was diagnosed with clinical depression, later checking himself into Walter Reed for treatment.
Fetterman has experienced depression “off and on” over the course of his life, a statement previously issued by the senator’s chief of staff said.
In February, the senator went to the George Washington University Hospital after feeling lightheaded, his office announced. However, he was discharged two days later, and his office said that test results had been able to “rule out a new stroke.”
His lack of eating and drinking contributed to dizziness, the source previously told CNN.
Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health matters, please call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, or visit the hotline’s website.
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CNN’s Manu Raju, Clare Foran and Jessica Dean contributed to this report.