WASHINGTON, D.C. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania U.S. Senator John Fetterman has checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to receive treatment for clinical depression, according to Chief of Staff Adam Jentleson.
“While John has experienced depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks,” said Jentleson.
Fetterman is receiving inpatient care and is receiving treatment on a voluntary basis, according to his office.
“After examining John, the doctors at Walter Reed told us that John is getting the care he needs, and will soon be back to himself.”
Fetterman’s wife Gisele released a statement on Twitter Thursday afternoon saying she is proud of her husband and asked for privacy.
“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. I’m so proud of him for asking for help and getting the care he needs. This is a difficult time for our family, so please respect our privacy. For us, the kids come first. Take care of yourselves. Hold your loved ones close, you are not alone.❤️”
The Mayo Clinic defines clinical depression as a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest that can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.
Fetterman spent two days in George Washington University Hospital and was discharged on February 10 after feeling lightheaded. Tests ruled out a recent stroke or seizure, according to Fetterman’s Communications Director.
Fetterman suffered a stroke in May 2022 days before the Democratic primary and underwent surgery to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator. Fetterman has said the stroke was caused by a heart condition called atrial fibrillation.
Fetterman’s doctor acknowledged in October that Fetterman continued to “exhibit symptoms of an auditory processing disorder which can come across as hearing difficulty” but that he was recovering well from the near-fatal stroke.
His doctor noted speech therapy would continue and concluded Fetterman is “well and shows a strong commitment to maintaining good fitness and health practices. He has no work restrictions and can work full duty in public office.”
Fetterman was sworn into the U.S. Senate on January 2 after defeating Republican Mehmet Oz with more than 51% of the vote. Fetterman’s victory helped Democrats retain control of the Senate.
In the Senate Fetterman serves on the Committees on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; and Environment & Public Works. He also serves on the Joint Economic Committee and the Special Committee on Aging.
Pennsylvania’s senior U.S. Senator Bob Casey also recently experienced health issues after recently undergoing surgery for prostate cancer. Casey says he anticipates making a full recovery with minimal disruption to his work in the Senate.
Casey’s term ends in 2024 and he has yet to publicly announce whether he will run for re-election.
On Thursday Casey expressed support for Fetterman, saying he is “proud of (Fetterman) for getting the help he needs and for publicly acknowledging his challenges to break down the stigma for others. Terese and I are sending our prayers to John, Gisele, and the Fetterman family.”
This is a developing story