John Fetterman Describes a 'Downward Spiral'

First interview with senator since his discharge airs on CBS
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2023 1:09 AM CDT
John Fetterman Describes 'Downward Spiral'
Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., leaves an intelligence briefing on the unknown aerial objects the US military shot down this weekend at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 14, 2023.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

John Fetterman says a "downward spiral" started after he beat out Dr. Mehmet Oz for a Senate seat and kept getting worse until, soon after he was sworn in, the Pennsylvania senator wasn't eating, struggled to get out of bed, and felt like he was just going through the motions, guided through each day by his staffers. "You may have won, but depression can absolutely convince you that you actually lost," Fetterman told CBS Sunday Morning in his first interview since leaving Walter Reed Hospital, where he checked himself in to be treated for depression, which is experienced by one in three stroke patients, on Feb. 15. (The interview was recorded two days prior to his discharge.)

The day he checked in also happened to be his son's 14th birthday. "You know, the day that I go in was my son's birthday and I hope that for the rest of his life, his birthday, it's be joyous and you don't have to remember that your father was admitted," he says, adding that now that he's out, he plans to take his son to the restaurant they were supposed to visit that day. He returns to the Senate April 17, USA Today reports. "[It will] be the first time ever to be in remission with my depression," Fetterman said. "And I can't wait to [see] what it really feels like, to take it all in, and to start making up any lost time." Last week, Fetterman's wife published an op-ed in Elle in which Gisele Barreto Fetterman recounted the "vicious" and "politically-motivated" attacks that have "flooded" their family since Fetterman's hospitalization. (More John Fetterman stories.)

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