NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson talks about quitting mayor’s race, depression

Council Speaker Corey Johnson said Monday he’s felt “a tremendous amount of relief” since announcing…

NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson talks about quitting mayor’s race, depression

Council Speaker Corey Johnson said Monday he’s felt “a tremendous amount of relief” since announcing he’s not running for mayor and begun to speak openly about his recent depression.

He said on NY1 that “hundreds” of New Yorkers have told him it’s “meaningful to have someone who lives a public life speak openly about what they’re going through.”

Johnson raised $859,394 for a possible mayoral run but said last week he wouldn’t seek the office. The decision came after a bruising battle over this year’s budget in which both progressives and conservatives assailed Johnson for his handling of $1 billion in changes to the NYPD’s budget.

He emphasized last week that he wasn’t quitting public life and is considered likely to run for another office down the road.

“I’m really fortunate that I didn’t get sick during COVID, I haven’t lost a family member, I still have a job,” Johnson said Monday. “I’m doing okay, but I have had a really hard time personally and I think part of it is just the way COVID has interrupted our lives.”

He explained on PIX11 that he stopped going to therapy in March, when he began working “seven days a week,” and by the middle of May felt “less joy, sleeplessness, a lack of appetite, disconnection.”

Resuming therapy sessions via Zoom “helped me pinpoint and figure out what I was going through.”

While the city is beset by numerous crises, the speaker said he was “lucky that July and August are typically slow at the City Council,” which allowed him to reassess.

Johnson said he’s still in therapy, taking unspecified medication and “not ashamed of those two things.”

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