House

Michigan Democrat says he sought treatment for PTSD after Jan. 6 riot

Greg Nash

Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee (D) said in an interview that aired on Monday that the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot caused him to develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Speaking with MSNBC reporter Hallie Jackson, Kildee said he thought he was “fine” immediately following the attack. But when the congressman returned home, saw the videos and images of the riot and realized how many people had stormed the Capitol, he had an “emotional and physical reaction,” he said.

“I had a lot of tension in my chest, my breathing was difficult. I became really irritable,” Kildee told Jackson.

A friend in Congress recommended that Kildee see Jim Gordon, an author and psychiatrist who specializes in trauma. Gordon said he immediately recognized symptoms of PTSD in Kildee.

“I’ve worked in war zones and post-war, post-disaster situations, after-school shootings and with war-traumatized vets. And what Dan was experiencing as he talked about it is what people experience,” Gordon said.

“This is not something I ever expected to experience,” Kildee said, when asked if he ever thought he would be publicly speaking about PTSD with his therapist. Kildee said his regular sessions with Gordon and the meditation techniques he’s learned are helping him deal with his trauma.

Fellow Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) has also opened up about the mental toll the Capitol attack had on her. During an Instagram livestream shortly after the attack, Ocasio-Cortez said she would likely seek counseling. She shared there was a moment during the Capitol breach that she thought she “was going to die.”

“I’m sure I’m going to talk to somebody and just, you know, seek and discuss with a counselor, just to make sure that we can get started on that path on the right step,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And I’m not ashamed to say that, because I think we should all — nobody should be ashamed to say that.”

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Dan Kildee Dan Kildee Post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD Storming of the United States Capitol Trauma

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video