Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., (D-Ill.) is being treated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for bipolar II disorder, according to the clinic.
The Congressman is “responding well to the treatment and regaining his strength,” according to information provided earlier today from the clinic.
Bipolar II disorder is not “less severe” (despite the news release’s incorrect characterization of the disorder) — but different than bipolar I disorder.
Bipolar II disorder is characterized by hypomanic episodes, while Bipolar I disorder is characterized by manic episodes. Both types of disorder can severely disrupt a person’s mood, and result in significant disruptions in a person’s life.
The clinic confirmed that Jackson was responding positively to treatment, which most often includes a combination of medication and psychotherapy.
Mayo Clinic said the condition was “most likely caused by a complex set of genetic and environmental factors.” But the news release from Mayo also mentioned that Jackson had gastric surgery — specifically, a duodenal switch — at the clinic in 2004. The procedure “can change how the body absorbs food, liquids, vitamins, nutrients, and medications,” according to the statement.
Jackson’s wife Sandi told the Chicago Sun-Times that the disorder might have had something to do with his surgery. There is no research linking the two conditions together, however.
Bariatric surgery experts contacted by MedPage Today said any connection between the two conditions is highly unlikely. “I see no relation between the two, certainly not a causal relationship,” Richard Stahl, M.D., of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said in an email. Another gastric surgeon contacted said she has “never heard of such a thing.”
Jackson went on medical leave on June 10 with little explanation, and his staff offered few clues to his absence except that he was being treated for exhaustion. In July, his team said in a statement that he was being treated for a mood disorder. PsychCentral opined that the Congressman was entitled to his privacy during his stay.
Jackson collapsed in his home days before being admitted to the hospital, Sandi Jackson told the Sun-Times. She denied rumors that her husband had attempted suicide.
The Mayo Clinic press release noted that Jackson asked the hospital to distribute information on his condition on his behalf.
The Congressman has been under investigation by the House Ethics Committee over allegations of making inappropriate donations to former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich in order to win the Senate seat vacated by President Obama. A top Jackson aide also was arrested on charges of fraud around the time Jackson’s medical leave began.
Source: News wires and MedPage Today