Jesse Jackson Jr. leaves Mayo Clinic after treatment

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 07, 2012 5:45 PM
Jesse Jackson Jr. leaves Mayo Clinic after treatment

By Mary Wisniewski

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Democratic U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. has been released from the Mayo Clinic, where he was treated at least six weeks for bipolar disorder, an aide said on Friday.

"He is convalescing with his wife and children at home in Washington," said Jackson's chief of staff, Rick Bryant.

Bryant said he was "hopeful" that Jackson, the son of civil rights leader and former presidential candidate Jesse Jackson, would be back at work at the House of Representatives on Monday. He could not comment on Jackson's condition.

The clinic revealed last month that Jackson, 47, 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, according to the Mayo Clinic's website.

It was not known when Jackson left the clinic. A representative there referred questions to his congressional office.

Fellow Illinois Representative Danny Davis, another Chicago Democrat, called Jackson's return to the nation's capital "wonderful news."

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)