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 January 1, 2024

Fetterman says social media exacerbated his depression

U.S. Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) says that social media exacerbated his clinical depression. For this reason, the senator said that his doctors told him to avoid it. 

Fetterman made this revelation during an appearance, Sunday, on NBC News's Meet the Press. 

For those unfamiliar with the situation, Fetterman checked himself into the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Feb. 15, 2023, for clinical depression.

ABC News reports, "When he sought treatment for clinical depression, Fetterman was still coping with the effects of the stroke he had in May 2022, during his campaign for one of the Senate’s most contested seats."

This was the election in which Fetterman defeated Republican Mehmet Oz, helping the Democrats to secure control of the U.S. Senate.

After Fetterman checked himself into the hospital, he remained there for several weeks to get treatment for his clinical depression.

During his NBC News appearance, Fetterman opened up about his struggle with depression, and it was in this context that he revealed the role that social media played in worsening his depression.

"It’s an accelerant. Absolutely," Fetterman said.

Fetterman went on to reveal that, while he mostly avoided social media before his hospitalization, he made "the mistake" of checking it in late 2022. Fetterman said that this had a significant negative effect on him, and he explained why.

"It wasn’t the things said because I assumed that those were—but it was the volume, the volume, just the — I mean, like, where is this coming from? Like, where can there be so much of it? It’s, like, would this be the rest of my life?" Fetterman said.

He continued, "Look what it’s done to me. More importantly, what has this done to my family? My kids are afraid to go back—they left social media behind, and we stopped posting family pictures and things like that."

During the interview, Fetterman revealed that his doctors - as well as others - advised him to stay away from social media, given the negative effect that it was having on him. He did so. But, now, Fetterman says that he has "selectively" returned to social media, "maybe to post something."

The senator offered this warning to social media users: "I would just warn anybody that — social media — I’ve never noticed anyone to believe that their health — their mental health has been supported by spending any kind of time on social media."

Fetterman says that he is coping much better with his depression now than he had been before getting treatment at the Walter Reed Center.

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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