Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Being Treated for Bipolar Depression

"He and his family remain grateful for support and prayers offered and received on his behalf," Mayo Clinic says

By BJ Lutz
|  Monday, Aug 13, 2012  |  Updated 5:20 PM PDT
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With a House ethics committee investigation looming, congressman's chief of staff Rick Bryant says he hopes Jackson will return in two or three weeks. Mary Ann Ahern reports.

With a House ethics committee investigation looming, congressman's chief of staff Rick Bryant says he hopes Jackson will return in two or three weeks. Mary Ann Ahern reports.

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According to staffers, Jesse Jackson Jr. is being treated for a "mood disorder" but what does that mean? Loyola University Medical Center psychiatrist, Dr. Edwin Meresh, explains the diagnosis.
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Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is being treated for bipolar depression at the Mayo Clinic and is said to be "responding well" and "regaining his strength," according to a statement released from the facility Monday.

The Illinois Democrat has been absent from his Congressional duties since late June.

Last week, in her first public appearance since her husband took leave, Sandi Jackson said the congressman was "getting better" and said the illness was related to a gastric bypass surgery he had several years ago. The Chicago alderman denied her husband is suffering from any sort of addiction.

"He was depressed, plus he was extremely exhausted. And he was malabsorbed from not getting enough nutrients," she said Friday.

Jackson entered the famed Rochester clinic last month after weeks of speculation as to what was ailing him and his exact whereabouts. Initially, doctors said he went in for "extensive inpatient evaluation for depression and gastrointestinal issues."

His condition was later described as a "mood disorder."

Jackson's staff last week began making contact with district officials, telling them he'd be back on the job soon.

The full statement from the Mayo Clinic:

Following extensive evaluation, Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. is undergoing treatment for Bipolar II depression at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Congressman Jackson is responding well to the treatment and regaining his strength. Many Americans have bipolar disorder. Bipolar II disorder is a treatable condition that affects parts of the brain controlling emotion, thought and drive and is most likely caused by a complex set of genetic and environmental factors. Congressman Jackson underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2004. This type of surgery is increasingly common in the US and can change how the body absorbs food, liquids, vitamins, nutrients and medications. Congressman Jackson has asked Mayo Clinic to distribute this information on his behalf. He and his family remain grateful for support and prayers offered and received on his behalf.

The Mayo Clinic also has a guide to understanding bipolar depression on its website at mayoclinic.org.

Former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who was also treated for depression at the Minnesota center, said he'll visit his former colleague later this week.

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