BRADDOCK, Pa. — Depression is something one in four Americans will experience in their lifetimes. Friday, U.S. Senator John Fetterman, was released from six weeks of inpatient treatment for severe depression at Walter Reed Military Medical Center.
Senator Fetterman posted on social media: “I am so happy to be home. 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 will spend time with his family in Braddock over the next two weeks before heading back to Washington D.C. for the start of the senate session on April 17.
The senator, and his wife, Giselle, sat down with CBS Sunday morning to talk about their journey navigating depression as a family.
“I stopped leaving my bed,” Fetterman said. “I stopped eating, I stopped engaging in things I love in my life.”
Sen. Fetterman said he checked himself in to inpatient treatment on his son’s birthday.
“I hope for the rest of my life, that day is joyous and not the day I was admitted.”
Giselle Fetterman said depression doesn’t necessarily make sense and it’s not rational.
U.S. Senator Bob Casey talked to reporters about Fetterman’s progress over the past several weeks. He even recalled one of Fetterman’s lowest moments.
“The difference between then and now is nothing short of transformational,” Sen. Casey told WPXI News. “He’s going to be able to face the future with a lot of gusto. We had a very good reunion after not seeing each other for a few weeks.”
Senator John Fetterman is said to be in “remission” from depression. Psychologist and Carlow University professor, Mary Burke, explains some folks can have additional episodes of depression in the future, depending on life circumstances and stressors.
“It means John did a lot of hard work with maybe therapy and medication - I don’t know - those are the two approaches we typically use - he was able to shift to a spot where he’s doing better,” Burke adds.
Dr. Burke says she knows Fetterman’s story will inspire others who need help to reach out and seek treatment.
“We’ve come a long way with people like John Fetterman in the public eye, being willing to share their stories and show how this is human and it’s ok to ask for help,” Burke added.
If you or someone you love need help immediately, call 911. Resolve Crisis services is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That number is: 1-888-796-8226.
If you do not have health insurance, help is still available. You may be able to seek treatment at no cost or on a sliding scale at Squirrel Hill Health Center.
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