Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) says he’s “begging” people with mental health struggles to seek treatment after he spent weeks receiving in-patient treatment for depression.
“I’m begging you. Please go look for your treatment. It works, and it’s what saved me … from my anguish,” Fetterman told MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough in an interview.
Fetterman returned to the Senate last month after six weeks of treatment for depression at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
The senator, who suffered a stroke as he campaigned for his seat last year, has said his race against Republican challenger Mehmet Oz “accelerated” his depression — and that his “depression was in full force” when he was sworn into his new position earlier this year.
“This isn’t a matter of who’s tough or who’s not,” Fetterman said, adding that he “would just beg men” in particular to get help when needed.
He said he’ll “never forget the decision” to go to Walter Reed, saying his thinking was: “If I don’t do something to claim my life … this could be, you know, tragic.” He said he was “skeptical” but wanted to “give it one last chance.”
His wife, Giselle, has previously said she noted on election night last year that Fetterman wasn’t as happy with his victory as expected.
“That’s what’s so insidious about depression. Depression, you know, you might win, and you still feels like you lose,” Fetterman said. “I lay there and watch this hurt my own children because they were confused, because they thought, just because you won, why aren’t you- you should be happy.”
The senator said another driver of his depression was “the social media blowtorch unleashed” on his family.
“Unleash whatever you want to on me, but you know, on my family — I just can’t imagine anybody that would think it would be funny to make fun of children or whatever,” he said.