CHICAGO — U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has returned to his home in Washington after treatment for depression at Mayo Clinic, Jackson’s chief of staff in suburban Chicago said Friday.
“He’s at home in Washington convalescing with his wife and children,” Jackson aide Rick Bryant said. “Let’s hope he returns to work on Monday.”
Congress goes back into session Monday following its summer break.
Bryant said he’s not sure exactly when the Illinois congressman was discharged, and Mayo Clinic spokesman Chris Gade referred all questions to Jackson’s office. In a statement late Friday, the congressman’s wife, Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, said she and her husband were “thankful for the heartfelt prayers and kind thoughts from so many for our family.”
The congressman went on a secretive medical leave in June, when family members said he collapsed at home. His office said in August that he was being treated at Mayo because of depression, after a transfer from the Sierra Tucson Treatment Center in Arizona.
The clinic in Rochester, Minn., has said Jackson was being treated for Bipolar II, which means he was suffering from periodic episodes of depression and hypomania. Hypomania is a less serious form of mania.
Former Rhode Island U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who also has dealt with bipolar disorder and been treated at Mayo, said after visiting Jackson at the clinic last month that the current congressman has “a lot of work” ahead of him on the road to recovery.
He said Jackson was taking his depression seriously and will have to learn how to treat his illness.
Kennedy, who served with Jackson on the House Appropriations Committee, left Congress last year. He has been an outspoken advocate for mental health and spoken publicly about his own struggles.
In their few public comments about Jackson’s illness, family members pointed to the stress of his job and political disappointments over the years. Jackson first won office in 1995, and had his sights set on being a U.S. senator or Chicago’s mayor. Those hopes dimmed in the wake of allegations about his connections to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is serving a prison sentence for corruption.
The timing of the medical leave has invited more scrutiny on that front.
A pending House Ethics Committee investigation focuses on allegations that Jackson discussed raising money for Blagojevich’s campaign so the then-Illinois governor would appoint him to President Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat.
Jackson’s office announced his medical leave days after a former fundraiser connected to the allegations was arrested on unrelated federal medical fraud charges.
Jackson hasn’t been charged and denies any wrongdoing.