Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) is set to return to the Senate after the two-week holiday recess, according to his spokesman. His discharge briefing revealed previously unreported details of his treatment.
Fetterman checked himself into treatment for clinical depression at Walter Reed Military Medical Center six weeks ago.
His office announced that Dr. David Williamson, the neuropsychiatry chief and medical director at Walter Reed, now considers Fetterman’s depression to be in “remission”.
In a statement, Fetterman said he is “so happy to be home” and that the care “changed my life”. He said he would say more about the treatment process soon.
An interview with Fetterman is set to air on CBS “Sunday Morning” where he spoke for the first time about the symptoms he experienced before deciding to get help.
“I had stopped leaving my bed,” he said. “I had stopped eating. I was dropping weight. I had stopped engaging some of the most — things that I love in my life.” He said that despite his success in last year’s midterm elections, “depression can absolutely convince you that you actually lost.”
He said he had been on a “downward spiral” when he checked in to the hospital.
The senator’s office provided a discharge briefing to the media.
In it, Dr. Williamson wrote that Fetterman never experienced suicidal ideation, but he suffered from “severe symptoms of depression with low energy and motivation, minimal speech, poor sleep, slowed thinking, slowed movement, feelings of guilt and worthlessness.”
Fetterman reportedly took place in talk therapy, began taking medications, and went on therapeutic walks in the hospital’s healing garden. As he received this treatment, the doctor noted his “sleep was restored, he ate well and hydrated, and he evidenced better mood, brighter affect and improved motivation, self-attitude and engagement with others.”
Fetterman’s chief-of-staff, Adam Jentleson, has been acting on his behalf in the Senate. “No one in the Senate has seen him being himself,” Jentleson said of Fetterman. “That person is going to be a force of nature as a senator.”