The Washington Post

Jesse Jackson: please resign and spend time with yourfamily

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has a mood disorder. I wish him well. 

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) appears on the U.S. Capitol steps in Washington in this December 2, 2011 file photo. (YURI GRIPAS/REUTERS)

According to his office, Jackson (D-Ill.) is receiving “intensive medical treatment for a mood disorder but is expected to make a full recovery.”  He has been on a medical leave of absence “due to exhaustion” since June 10.  

Jackson who was elected to his seat in 1995 has had his share of political and personal problems since entering public office.  Both his marriage to Sandi Jackson, a Chicago City Alderman, and his physical form, have undergone major trauma in the last few years and he has been repeatedly investigated for ethics allegations related to the crimes of felon and former governor Rod Blagojevich.

As stressful as all that must be, Jackson is also the son of civil rights leader and political firebrand Jesse Jackson Sr. a man who brings his own drama to any situation.    

The congressman’s office has not said exactly what symptoms are affecting Jackson’s inability to perform his official duties but the range of psychiatric complaints categorized as mood disorders included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (IV) -- and the proposed DSM V -- include: Bipolar manic depression,  major depression  cyclothymia and dysthymia

These are serious and challenging illnesses, but many patients with those diagnoses are effectively treated with therapy or medication.

That said, I hope he decides to look into a different line of work. Representing Chicago’s far South Side -- one of the most politically intense congressional districts in the country -- is not the best environment for someone trying to regain his mental equilibrium. 

Jackson is currently running for reelection this November. Despite the impact withdrawing from the ticket would have on his once bright political future, his personal well-being is at least as important.  He would surely be welcomed back to the family business.

Bonnie Goldstein is on Twitter @KickedByAnAngel.



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