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Jesse Jackson Jr. undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder

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Illinois Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is undergoing treatment for bipolar II depression, according to a statement issued this afternoon from the Mayo Clinic.

“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,” the clinic wrote.

Charles Dharapak


In this Oct. 16, 2011 file photo, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., is seen during the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington.

Jackson has been on a leave of absence from Congress since June 10, a disappearance marked for weeks by secrecy about his condition and whereabouts. His office initially reported that he was under treatment for “exhaustion.” At the end of July his staff revealed that the congressman was being evaluated for depression at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

In early August Sandy   Jackson, the Congressman’s wife, said that “they are now trying to find out if his depression, which has not yet been diagnosed as a bipolar disorder, is connected to the weight-loss surgery. We don’t know.”

Jackson underwent bariatric surgery in 2004 — a procedure known as a duodenal switch — in 2004. His wife said last week that doctors were looking into a possible connection between the procedure and his current condition. “I never really wanted him to have the gastric surgery in the first place,” she told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by swings between mania and depression. According to the clinic, bipolar II is less severe than bipolar I; mania is less severe, while periods of depression last longer.

Jackson Jr. won a contested primary against former Rep. Debbie Halvorson earlier this year and is expected to coast to a ninth term in November.

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