Senator John Fetterman admitted to hospital for clinical depression

Pennsylvania Democrat continues to suffer after-effects of stroke

Senator John Fetterman is currently seeking treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre. AP
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Pennsylvania Democratic Senator John Fetterman has checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre to seek treatment for clinical depression, his office said on Thursday.

The senator suffered a stroke last year and continues to suffer the aftereffects, which can include depression.

“While John has experienced depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks,” his chief of staff, Adam Jentleson, said in a statement on Wednesday night

Mr Fetterman was evaluated on Monday by the attending physician of Congress, who recommended inpatient care at Walter Reed, Mr Jentleson said.

“John agreed, and he is receiving treatment on a voluntary basis,” Mr Jentleson said. “After examining John, the doctors at Walter Reed told us that John is getting the care he needs, and will soon be back to himself.”

Mr Fetterman, 53, is in his first weeks as a US senator after winning the seat held by now-retired Republican Pat Toomey in a hard-fought contest against GOP nominee Mehmet Oz.

Mr Fetterman had a stroke days before last May’s primary election and spent the last five months on the campaign trail recovering.

The stroke nearly killed him, he has said.

Last week, Mr Fetterman was spent two days at George Washington University Hospital after becoming lightheaded. Mr Fetterman’s office has said tests found no evidence of a new stroke or a seizure.

He continues to suffer other aftereffects of the stroke, including auditory processing disorder, which can render someone unable to speak fluidly and quickly process spoken conversation.

“After what he’s been through in the past year, there’s probably no one who wanted to talk about his own health less than John,” his wife Gisele Baretto Fetterman said in a tweet.

“I’m so proud of him for asking for help and getting the care he needs.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Updated: February 16, 2023, 8:37 PM