A month and a half after checking himself into a DC hospital to be treated for clinical depression, John Fetterman has been discharged, his office says in a statement, per Reuters. "I am so happy to be home," the Pennsylvania senator tweeted late Friday afternoon after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. "I'm excited to be the father and husband I want to be, and the senator Pennsylvania deserves." Fetterman's office adds that the 53-year-old—whose depression is now in remission, per Dr. David Williamson, a neuropsychiatrist who treated him—will head back to the Senate by the middle of this month.
Williamson notes in the statement that when Fetterman first arrived at the hospital in mid-February for treatment, he didn't have any suicidal ideation, but he was plagued with severe depression symptoms, including poor sleep, low energy and motivation, sluggish thinking and movement, and feelings of worthlessness and guilt. To add to that, Williamson says, Fetterman developed low blood pressure as a result of not eating and staying hydrated. Williamson says that as the senator began eating and sleeping better, his condition saw improvement. It was also discovered Fetterman has mild to moderate hearing loss, which led to him receiving hearing aids, per Williamson.
Fetterman's speech and processing issues, a result of the stroke he suffered nearly a year ago, also improved as he worked with a specialist, his office notes. "I want everyone to know that depression is treatable, and treatment works," Fetterman said in a statement after he left the hospital, per CNN. "This isn't about politics—right now there are people who are suffering with depression in red counties and blue counties." He added, "If you need help, please get help." Reuters notes that Democrats in the US Senate are likely breathing easier now that the junior senator is one step closer to returning to work, as the party holds a razor-thin 51-49 majority over Republicans. Fetterman, meanwhile, seems most pleased to be getting back to serving his state. "Pennsylvanians have always had my back, and I will always have theirs," Fetterman wrote online. (Read more John Fetterman stories.)