Jesse Jackson says son shouldn't rush return to Congress

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 08, 2012 6:21 PM
Jesse Jackson says son shouldn't rush return to Congress

By Mary Wisniewski

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Illinois Democratic Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. is still recovering after treatment for bipolar disorder and will not return to Congress in the near future, his father, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, said in a radio interview on Saturday.

"There was some report that he'd be back to work Monday - that is not true," the senior Jackson said.

"I hope he's not moving too early," Jackson said in an interview on WBBM radio in Chicago. "I hope he does not rush the process. ... It would be disastrous for him to have a setback in regaining his strength."

Jesse Jackson Jr., 47, has been released from the Mayo Clinic, where he was treated at least six weeks for bipolar disorder, his office said on Friday.

His chief of staff, Rick Bryant, said on Friday that he "hoped" Jackson would return to work on Monday.

The clinic revealed last month that Jackson, who represents a Chicago-area district, was being treated for bipolar depression, a condition that affects the parts of the brain controlling emotion, thought and drive.

Millions of people have bipolar disorder, sometimes called manic depression. It is marked by highs and lows of mood, and can be treated by medication and psychological counseling,

Jackson was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder, which is less severe than bipolar I, according to the clinic. Bipolar I can result in severe and dangerous manic episodes.

He had bariatric surgery in 2004, specifically a duodenal switch, which can change how the body absorbs food, liquids, vitamins, nutrients and medications, the clinic said. That type of surgery typically is used for weight loss.

Jackson said in late June he had taken a leave from office two weeks earlier for treatment of what was described as exhaustion.

As political pressure mounted to disclose more about his medical condition, Jackson issued a statement on July 5 that said his problems were more serious than previously believed and that he needed extended in-patient treatment for unspecified "physical and emotional ailments."

On July 11, his physician said the congressman was receiving intensive care for a "mood disorder" and was expected to make a full recovery. The Mayo Clinic announced on July 27 that Jackson had been admitted.

Jackson has been the subject of a congressional ethics committee probe over an alleged bribe offered to former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich by a Jackson supporter in 2008.

The offer was intended to entice Blagojevich into appointing Jackson to President Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat. Jackson has admitted to lobbying for the seat, but has denied knowing about any money offered to Blagojevich, who was convicted of corruption charges and is in prison.

Jackson, who has been in Congress since 1995, won the Democratic primary in March to seek a 10th term in the November 6 election.

(Reporting By Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Greg McCune and Peter Cooney)