Jason Kander drops out of KC mayoral race due to depression, PTSD

5 months 2 weeks 1 day ago Tuesday, October 02 2018 Oct 2, 2018 Tuesday, October 02, 2018 1:46:00 PM CDT October 02, 2018 in News
By: Joshua Tyler, KOMU 8 Digital Reporter

KANSAS CITY - Kansas City mayoral candidate Jason Kander announced in a letter Tuesday he has withdrawn his candidacy to deal with depression and PTSD. (Full Facebook post below.)

"I can’t work on myself and run a campaign the way I want to at the same time, so I’m choosing to work on my depression," he said.

In the letter, the former U.S. senate candidate said he was in denial of having PTSD for 11 years. He said he was too scared to acknowledge his symptoms.

"I knew I needed help and yet I still stopped short. I was afraid of the stigma. I was thinking about what it could mean for my political future if someone found out," Kander said. 

Kander said he has had suicidal thoughts, and denied having PTSD in his book.

"I’m done hiding this from myself and from the world. When I wrote in my book that I was lucky to not have PTSD, I was just trying to convince myself. And I wasn’t sharing the full picture. I still have nightmares. I am depressed."

Kander said he went to the VA in Kansas City on Monday to seek help for depression and PTSD. 

"After 11 years of trying to outrun depression and PTSD symptoms, I have finally concluded that it’s faster than me. That I have to stop running, turn around, and confront it," Kander said. 

Kander said in the letter he decided to tell the public about his depression and PTSD to help veterans and anyone else with mental health issues realize it is not something people have to deal with on their own. 

The VA Crisis Line is 1-800-273-8255. Both veterans and non-veterans can call that number. 

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