U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., a Chicago Democrat who took a hushed medical leave two months ago, is being treated for bipolar disorder, the Mayo Clinic announced Monday.
The Rochester, Minn.-based clinic specified his condition as Bipolar II, which is defined as periodic episodes of depression and hypomania, a less serious form of mania.
"Congressman Jackson is responding well to the treatment and regaining his strength," the clinic said in a statement.
Bipolar II is a treatable condition that affects parts of the brain controlling emotion, thought and drive and is likely caused "by a complex set of genetic and environmental factors," the clinic said. The statement also mentioned that Jackson underwent weight loss surgery in 2004 and said such a surgery can change how the body absorbs foods and medications, among other things.
FOX News Chicago reporter, Darlene Hill, sat down with Dr. Angelos Halaris, a professor of psychology at Loyola, who says bi-polar disorder is a very serious condition. Halaris is not Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.'s physician.
"The person gets angry, flies off the handle very easily; snaps at people, family members, loved ones, co-workers. It can really cripple ones life make the person totally dysfunctional and has a very high rate of suicide."
Dr. Halaris says if a person has the genetic make-up to develop bi-polar disorder, early signs would've been detected when Jackson was a child. Bi-polar disorder is treatable with the right medication and psychotherapy.
His wife, Sandy Jackson, says she knew something was wrong. "He simply became more withdrawn. He wasn't as talkative as was before. For us that meant he was in thought."
Jackson had gastric by-pass surgery in 2004 and has since lost a lot of weight. There were reports that his new diet could've triggered the mood swings. Halaris says stress could be key here.
The congressman is at the center of a House Ethics Committee investigation, and they're trying to determine if Jackson tried to buy the senate seat vacated when Barack Obama announced his run for president.