‘I Stopped Leaving My Bed’: Sen. John Fetterman Opens Up About Depression

[Public/Screenshot/Website: CBS News]

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Two days before being released from the hospital Friday, Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman opened up to CBS “Sunday Morning” host Jane Pauley about his struggles with depression.

Fetterman, who checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, in February, said he silently struggled with depression throughout his life. “I had stopped leaving my bed, I had stopped eating, I was dropping weight,” Fetterman told CBS News. “I had stopped engaging in most things that I love in my life.”

“My message right now isn’t political,” he told Pauley. “I’m just somebody that is suffering from depression.”

While undergoing treatment, Fetterman’s doctors discovered the senator also struggles with a “serious hearing deficit” which complicates the way his brain processes the spoken word. Fetterman told Pauley he understands much of what is being said around him, “but my hearing has a deficiency that makes it difficult for me to fully understand 100% of [what is being said].” To assist with this difficulty, Fetterman relies on captioning so he can read what is being said to him. (RELATED: ‘The View’ Co-Host Sara Haines Says Fetterman’s Cognitive Abilities Will ‘Not Hinder’ Him In The Senate)

Despite winning the Senate race in November, Fetterman said “depression can absolutely convince you that you actually lost.” The win, Fetterman said, was the start of his “downward spiral.”

While at a Democratic retreat, Fetterman claimed he didn’t eat, causing concern among his peers. Later, he was hospitalized after reportedly feeling “light-headed.” He checked himself into Walter Reed for depression treatment one day later.

The senator suffered a stroke in May 2022, likely caused by atrial fibrillation and a decreased heart pump diagnosed in 2017. Now in “remission” for his depression, Fetterman told Pauley he aspires to be a good father to his kids, a good husband to his wife, and the “kind of senator that Pennsylvania deserves.”