Sen. John Fetterman Breaks Silence on His Depression: 'Start of Downward Spiral'

"I had stopped engaging [in] some of the things that I love in my life," says Fetterman in an upcoming CBS Sunday Mornings interview, after seeking treatment for depression in February

Mark Makela/Getty John Fetterman
Mark Makela/Getty John Fetterman

Sen. John Fetterman is speaking up about his mental health.

In a preview of an upcoming interview with CBS Sunday Morning's Jane Pauley, the Pennsylvania lawmaker, 53, opens up about his depression after seeking treatment at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in February.

"It's like you just won the biggest race in the country. And the whole thing about depression is that objectively, you may have won. But depression can absolutely convince you that you actually lost," says Fetterman of becoming the first Democrat to win the state's Senate seat since 1962.

Related:John Fetterman Checks Himself into Hospital for Clinical Depression: 'Getting the Care He Needs'

"And that's exactly what happened," he added. "And that was the start of a downward spiral."

He explained to Pauley how his depression increased throughout November and December, between the time he was elected and sworn in.

"I had stopped leaving my bed. I had stopped eating. I was dropping weight," Fetterman explained. "I stopped engaging [in] some of the things that I love in my life."

Related:John Fetterman Staffer Says Senator Is 'Well on His Way to Recovery' at Walter Reed

In February, Fetterman's chief-of-staff Adam Jentleson announced that Fetterman was seeking treatment, saying in a statement: "While John has experienced depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks."

Jentleson said the senator visited Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the attending physician of the U.S. Congress, who recommended inpatient care at Walter Reed. "John agreed, and he is receiving treatment on a voluntary basis," he added.

RELATED VIDEO: John Fetterman Defeats Dr. Oz in Critical Pennsylvania Senate Race, Huge Win for Democrats

Fetterman's wife Gisele Barreto Fetterman showed her support in a statement on Twitter: "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. I'm so proud of him for asking for help and getting the care he needs."

Last month, Jentleson shared photos of the senator at Walter Reed, wearing his now-trademark hoodie while looking at documents.

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"Productive morning with Senator Fetterman at Walter Reed discussing the rail safety legislation, Farm Bill and other Senate business," Jentleson wrote. "John is well on his way to recovery and wanted me to say how grateful he is for all the well wishes. He's laser focused on PA & will be back soon."

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