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Sen. Fetterman will return to the Senate on April 17 after his hospital release

Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., is pictured at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 14. Fetterman was discharged from Walter Reed hospital on Friday after being treated for depression, which is now in remission, his office said.
J. Scott Applewhite
Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., is pictured at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 14. Fetterman was discharged from Walter Reed hospital on Friday after being treated for depression, which is now in remission, his office said.

Updated March 31, 2023 at 9:11 PM ET

Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., was released from the hospital on Friday and is back in Braddock, Pa., his office said.

The senator had been receiving treatment for major depression at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center since he checked into the Washington, D.C., hospital last month, according to a news release from his office.

Fetterman's depression is now in remission, his doctor said.

He will return to the Senate on April 17, his office said. In the meantime, Sen. Fetterman will spend time with his family and constituents in Pennsylvania.

"I am so happy to be home. I'm excited to be the father and husband I want to be, and the senator Pennsylvania deserves. Pennsylvanians have always had my back, and I will always have theirs," Sen. Fetterman said in the statement released by his office.

"I am extremely grateful to the incredible team at Walter Reed. The care they provided changed my life. I will have more to say about this soon, but for now I want everyone to know that depression is treatable, and treatment works. This isn't about politics — right now there are people who are suffering with depression in red counties and blue counties. If you need help, please get help."

Just over six weeks ago, Fetterman was admitted on a voluntary basis to inpatient treatment for clinical depression, following a doctor's evaluation and subsequent recommendation.

At the time, he'd showed severe symptoms of depression – following weeks of significant weight loss and loss of appetite — his doctor said in a discharge briefing summarized by the senator's office. In treatment, his depression gradually improved, and was managed with the help of medication.

Fetterman, who helped clinch a Senate majority for Democrats when he defeated Dr. Mehmet Oz in the November race, has recently faced multiple health complications that have sidelined the 53-year-old freshman senator from his work.

Fetterman suffered a stroke last May, interrupting his midterm campaign days ahead of the primary election. He then had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted to treat an irregular heart rhythm.

He continues to deal with communication challenges related to his auditory processing issues. For conversations, he's relied on aides at the Capitol who assist him with devices that translate voice to text.

Fetterman was also fitted for hearing aids during his treatment and worked with speech-language specialists for what his care team identified as mild-to-moderate hearing loss. His speech abilities showed improvement as his depression improved, according to the doctor's summary.

The senator said he's committed to long-term treatment to manage both his depression and auditory processing condition, the doctor said.

It's unusual for sitting politicians to speak publicly about getting mental health treatment. But when Fetterman's office announced the senator's hospitalization, both Democrat and Republican colleagues responded with words of support.

If you or someone you know is in an emotional crisis, dial the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing or texting 9-8-8.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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