Sen. John Fetterman is receiving treatment for clinical depression
Updated February 16, 2023 at 3:34 PM ET
Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., is receiving treatment for clinical depression at Walter Reed hospital, his office announced Thursday. His chief of staff said Fetterman checked himself in Wednesday night.
"While John has experienced depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks," chief of staff Adam Jentleson said in a statement.
Fetterman was evaluated Monday by a doctor, who on Wednesday recommended inpatient care, according to the statement. He is receiving treatment "on a voluntary basis."
The Pennsylvania Democrat defeated Dr. Mehmet Oz in a closely watched Senate race in November, securing a key Democratic pickup in the chamber.
Fetterman had a stroke in May of last year, which sidelined him from the midterm campaign for two months, and soon after he had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted to treat an irregular heart rhythm.
Fetterman was hospitalized again last week after feeling light-headed at a Democratic Senate retreat. But after testing and observation, doctors ruled out the possibility of another stroke.
His wife, Gisele Barreto Fetterman, posted on Twitter Thursday asking for privacy during this "difficult time for our family."
"After what he's been through in the past year, there's probably no one who wanted to talk about his own health less than John," she said. "I'm so proud of him for asking for help and getting the care he needs."
It is generally rare for sitting officials to acknowledge receiving treatment for mental health conditions. One relatively recent example, though, is Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., who shared her experience with depression in her 30s in a 2019 floor speech in support of legislation to expand mental health care access.
It is more common, though, for lawmakers to speak about family members' depression or mental health.
If you or someone you know is in an emotional crisis, dial the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing or texting 9-8-8.
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