Sen. Fetterman released from Walter Reed after six-week mental health treatment

 April 1, 2023

For about a month and a half, Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman (D) has been hospitalized and treated for clinical depression. He has now been released. 

News of his admission raised questions regarding his ability to perform his duties as a U.S. senator -- not because of the depression, but more so his overall health, given that he had previously suffered a stroke.

According to the Washington Examiner, Fetterman was finally released from inpatient mental health treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday.

Fetterman will reportedly return home to spend time with his family during Congress' Easter recess before making a full return to his elected position.

What happened?

In mid-February, Fetterman made headlines when his office announced that he was suddenly admitted to the in-patient program to treat what they labeled as "clinical depression."

His treatment physician, Dr. David Williamson, reported that the Pennsylvania Democrat exhibited symptoms of "low energy and motivation, minimal speech, poor sleep, slowed thinking, slowed movement, feelings of guilt and worthlessness."

The Examiner noted:

The senator had stopped eating and drinking, leading to low blood pressure, Williamson said. Fetterman had been hospitalized days before checking himself into Walter Reed after feeling lightheaded at a Senate Democratic retreat.

Fetterman's improvement came as a result of a neuropsychiatry team that treated him with medications during his stay at Walter Reed. The medication was credited with his improved condition.

"Sleep was restored, he ate well and hydrated, and he evidenced better mood, brighter affect and improved motivation, self-attitude, and engagement with others," the doctor added.

Prior to winning the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania's 2022 Senate race, Fetterman suffered a stroke in May, causing many to question his fitness for office.

Fetterman's statement

The Pennsylvania senator released a statement regarding his time at Walter Reed, thanking the staff for attending to him and getting him back on track.

"I am extremely grateful to the incredible team at Walter Reed. The care they provided changed my life," Fetterman said. "I will have more to say about this soon, but for now I want everyone to know that depression is treatable, and treatment works.

"This isn’t about politics — right now there are people who are suffering with depression in red counties and blue counties," the senator added. "If you need help, please get help."

Treatment of his depression has also reportedly led to improvement in his speaking ability, which was severely hindered after his stroke.

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