Fetterman’s hospitalization: Everything you want to know about Clinical depression

Democratic Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania has checked in himself into a hospital for ‘Clinical Depression’. Reportedly, the news is confirmed by Adam Jentleson, his chief of staff.

Jentleson said, “While John has experienced depression on and off during his life, it only became severe in recent weeks”.

Fetterman’s wife, Gisele Barreto Fetterman took to Twitter to share the news.

Reportedly, Fetterman had been facing depression since May last year. Finally, he decided to seek medical help for the same. According to the reports, Fetterman has checked into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for Clinical Depression.

Who is John Fetterman?

John Karl Fetterman was born on August 15, 1969. He has been the junior United States senator from Pennsylvania since 2023. John is a member of the Democratic Party and has served as the 34th lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania from 2019 to 2023. He served as the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania from 2006 to 2019.

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What is Clinical Depression?

In contrast to depression, clinical depression is the more severe form. It is often also called a major depressive disorder.

As a rule, clinical depression is not caused by a loss or illness.

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People often confuse sadness with depression. In fact, depression is more than feeling unhappy for a few days. Generally, you can be sad or feel down for a few days, but in the case of depression, this feeling lasts for weeks or months.

What are the symptoms of Clinical Depression?

To diagnose clinical depression, doctors study the signs and symptoms that include:

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

Apart from the above-mentioned signs and symptoms, a person might inherit clinical depression from his/her ancestors. This means it can be genetic as well.

There are endless triggers for the disease, like giving birth or losing a near or dear, losing a job or even not being able to achieve what one thought.

Myths about depression

Before you understand depression, there are endless myths that are present in society. We will take you through each myth and state the facts.

1. Depression results from a sad life

Basically, its factors can be broadly divided into two categories: controllable and uncontrollable.

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Controllable factors include lifestyle, desires etc that are in your control whereas there are certain situations that you can’t control. This can be an inheritance of this disease from your family.

The above statement leads us to the next myth.

2. Those with depressed parents, will always inherit it from them

In spite of the fact that you are genetically predisposed to depression, you can not necessarily develop the symptoms of depression. It only increases your chances of getting the disease.

3. Women are prone to Clinical Depression

Unfortunately, men talking about their mental health is still taboo. Sadly, according to the reports, four times as many men die from suicide compared to women.

4. Depression is the same as feeling sad

Sadness and depression aren’t alike. Three key factors can help you identify the difference.

  • Duration of feelings: If you are just sad, you will feel normal after some time. Whereas, depression can go on for years if left untreated.
  • Comorbidity with other conditions: People with clinical depression feel detached from life, unmotivated, tired, hopeless, empty, anxious, suicidal and uninterested in things they loved. These feelings can substantially lead to anxiety disorder.
  • Resolution: Sadness can be resolved over time. This can be done with the help of loved ones. But, depression needs medical treatment, therapy and support.

5. Depression isn’t an actual illness

There have been numerous instances where doctors say that mental health is equally important like asthma or cancer.

6. Depression weakens a person

Patients with depression fight a constant battle with their brain chemistry, which drains their energy. It is not concerned with their character or capabilities or strength.

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7. Antidepressants

Many think that antidepressants are the only cure for depression. Having a positive environment and proper support from friends and family, patients do feel better over time.

Also, antidepressants are only made to balance out the chemicals in the brain. It doesn’t affect anyone’s personality.

The duration and dosage of antidepressants are decided by the doctors depending on the condition of the patient.

8. Depression is fictitious

It isn’t in a person’s head. They face physical symptoms as well like headaches, insomnia and fatigue, back and neck pain, muscle and joint aches, chest pain, agitation, sexual dysfunction, digestive issues, appetite changes and weight changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the two signs of clinical depression?

There can be psychological and physical symptoms of depression

2. What are the major types of depression?

Types of major depression include melancholia, psychotic and antenatal or postnatal.

3. Can depression cause brain damage?

Depression may cause the release of glucocorticoids in the brain, a type of steroid that can damage the hippocampus and other areas of the central nervous system.


John Fetterman taking this massive step for his mental health has in a way invoked many alike patients. Those who didn’t bother about their mental health might take inspiration from him.

The doctors from Reed Hospital say that John’s condition is treatable and curable. He will be fine soon.

Clinical depression shouldn’t be avoided. It is a serious illness just like any other physical ailment. It needs proper care and medications. If left untreated, this can lead to brain damage or suicide.

We have tried to bust many myths about the topic, let us know if you have any queries related to these.

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