John Fetterman Tears Up Recalling His Kids’ Reaction to His Depression Struggles: ‘Aren’t We Reason Enough to Be Happy?’ (Video)

The Pennsylvania senator speaks to his journey while accepting an appointment to the bipartisan Senate Mental Health Caucus

John Fetterman
John Fetterman (Credit: Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Sen. John Fetterman spoke frankly Wednesday about his hard-won battles and losses with depression, opening up in particular about how his children responded as they became aware of his struggles.

“‘Why are you so sad? Why can’t you get out of bed?’” he remembered them saying as he visibly held back tears. “‘Aren’t we enough of a reason to be happy?’ They didn’t understand.”

The Pennsylvania Democrat gave a brief speech Wednesday while being appointed to the bipartisan Senate Mental Health Caucus, a cause he said he’s “grateful” for. He shared that, after his hotly contested election (“It was such an awful race”), he felt extreme depression and could not celebrate his victory. He could barely get himself out of bed, he recalled.

“You know, depression is so sinister, because it convinces you that even though you won, you actually lost, and you start to have that conversation with yourself,” Fetterman said.

He said it was heartbreaking to try to explain his condition to his children, saying that “it really got darker and darker,” he said.

“But I was able to get help,” Fetterman continued. “And I have a duty and a privilege to have this conversation to anyone who wants to listen to it. And that’s why I’m proud to be a part of this, and I’m grateful for it.”

Fetterman, who suffered a near-fatal stroke during his successful Senate campaign in 2022, admitted himself to Walter Reed Medical Center for treatment for depression in February. He emerged March 31 and announced he had received treatment for six weeks. He rejoined the Senate April 17.

The senator seems recovered from his stroke and full of energy lately, and has been best known for wearing shorts and hoodies to the Senate, while trash-talking Republicans like Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, who was kicked out of a Denver theater for vaping and engaging in sexual inappropriate behavior with her then-boyfriend.

Sen. Alex Padilla of California stood by Fetterman at the Wednesday press conference as a show of support to the senator and the Senate Mental Health Caucus.

Watch his address to reporters in the tweet embed above.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.