Representative Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., is at home with his family following a 3 month stay at the Mayo Clinic, an aide said today.
Jackson Jr., 47, suddenly left his post as Illinois’ second district representative on June 10 and checked into an Arizona substance abuse clinic.
About a month later he checked into the Mayo Clinic where he was treated for bipolar depression.
Jackson’s aides had initially said his absence was due to “exhaustion,” then later explained he was suffering unspecified “physical and emotional ailments.”
Jackson has been on medical leave since June 10.
It’s not clear when Jackson Jr. checked out of the clinic. Doctors there would not give specifics and referred all questions to his congressional office.
Jackson Jr. faces a reelection battle this November.
“He’s home with his wife and children and he’s convalescing,” Rick Bryant, his chief of staff in suburban Chicago, told the Chicago Tribune.
Congress returns Monday after a five-week summer recess. Bryant, asked whether Jackson would be in attendance, said: “I am hopeful that he’ll be back on the job on Monday.”
Bryant said he did not know the date Jackson checked out of Mayo. He said the congressman had planned to drive from Minnesota to his home in Washington.
Earlier Friday, Mayo spokesman Chris Gade declined to make any comment about the lawmaker. “Any updates now on Congressman Jackson are being handled by his office in Chicago and they can give you an update,” Gade said.
Jackson’s office released a statement last month, attributed to an unidentified doctor, that said the congressman was “receiving intensive medical treatment at a residential treatment facility for a mood disorder.”
Though exhaustion was initially suspected as the cause of Jackson’s treatment, his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, later said the issue was “something much deeper, much broader, and it lasted much longer.”
“He is suffering from a behavioral symptom, and that is depression, which doesn’t allow him to really work to his maximum capacity,” Patrick Kennedy told CNN.
Kennedy, who himself has been treated for depression, predicted that Jackson will address his constituents within a couple of weeks “about what his intentions are as to whether he’s going to continue in public life or whether he is going to continue to focus on his long-term recovery.”
Jackson’s office has remained open for constituent services.
Noting that mental illness tends to carry a stigma in the United States, Kennedy said he understood why Jackson had not initially addressed the matter in a public forum. “The fact that Jesse didn’t talk about this as a mental illness early on is reminiscent of most Americans’ experience: if you have a mental illness, you don’t talk about it.”
In addition to sharing a longtime friendship, the two Democrats both hail from high-profile families and both have suffered mental illness. Kennedy, too, underwent treatment at the Mayo Clinic.
This past Thursday at an Ohio delegates breakfast, Ohioans heard from a surprise guest.
Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr. arrived unannounced to urge the delegates to re-elect President Barack Obama.
“You can’t win unless you stop the thievery,” he told the early morning crowd. Jackson was referring to the 2000 presidential election when Democrats won more votes, but lost the election.
Jackson spoke for about 15 minutes and urged Ohio delegates to “stop voting thievery” in the Buckeye State. He then led the crowd in the chant, “we deserve the right to vote and deserve the right for our vote to count.”