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Jesse Jackson Jr. Checks Into Mayo Clinic For Depression, Gastrointestinal Issues

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Jul 28, 2012 4:00PM


Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) has checked into the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, and for the first time since he took a leave of absence in June, we know what he's being treated for. The Clinic says he is there "for extensive inpatient evaluation for depression and gastrointestinal issues."

Jackson's office announced in late June that the congressman had taken a leave of absence for "exhaustion" on June 10. Then on July 6, it became clear Jackson, 47, would be out for a while because he needed "extended in-patient treatment." His office said Jackson's "medical condition is more serious than we thought," and the congressman had "grappled with certain physical and emotional ailments privately for a long period of time.” Jackson had been seeking treatment at a facility in Arizona.

That wasn't enough of an explanation, and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) pushed for more information on Jackson's condition. A Jackson aide said the congressman wouldn't return until after Labor Day. Rumors of a suicide attempt, alcoholism, you name it, were swirling. A few days later, Jackson's office gave a cause for the absence as a "mood disorder," but didn't elaborate further. Yesterday's announcement is the first we've heard of Jackson having "gastrointestinal issues," aside from the references to physical ailments.

There are other things in Jackson's life that certainly aren't making things any easier. For starters, he has an election in November. Also, the House Ethics Committee has been investigating Jackson regarding whether he violated House rules when he used campaign funds to fly a mistress to campaign functions. And to make matters worse, he's tangled in the web of imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose brother spoke with the House Ethics Committee about Jackson's discussions to be appointed to the Senate seat.