Mark Dayton talks about depression, relapse

Former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton says the depression and ongoing struggle with alcohol he disclosed over the weekend are part of who he is, but that they don’t define him.

Dayton first revealed his relapse in his recovery from alcoholism in a column in Sunday’s Star Tribune. Dayton says he started drinking late in his lone Senate term and checked himself into a treatment center for a week.

But he says the problems have never influenced his policy decisions. He says he can overcome them and be an effective candidate and governor, if he is elected. He says he hopes people will see the depression and alcoholism as “a small part of who he is,” but he says “people will have to assess it for themselves.”

In an interview with MPR’s Tom Weber, Dayton says he wants to talk about the future and that he will formally launch his campaign next month.

Here’s Tom’s interview.

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  • Dave Seavy

    Mark Dayton is a role model for openly discussing his depression and alcoholism. As a person whose dealt with depression for many years, I admire Mr. Dayton for being open about this. It’s an inspiration to the rest of us. Best of luck to him always.

  • Colleen Morse

    Mark Dayton sure has a lot of honesty and integrity, What a great thing it would be to finally have a governor with those qualities. I can hardly wait! Best wishes, Mark!