Greenville native, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., is undergoing medical treatment for a "mood disorder."
The news, which came Wednesday from his office and his private physician, sheds a little more light on why Jackson mysteriously took an unannounced leave of absence from his duties June 10 amid rumors of an extramarital affair, and more pressingly a U.S. House ethics investigation into his ties to imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
"The Congressman is receiving intensive medical treatment at a residential treatment facility for a mood disorder," Wednesday's statement said. "He is responding positively to treatment and is expected to make a full recovery."
What exactly the mood disorder is remains unclear, though. A report by the Associated Press, quoting medical experts, speculates that Jackson, 47, may be suffering from severe depression or bipolar disorder.
but provided no further medical details. It took nearly three weeks before news of his leave of absence was released publicly by his office.
Jackson's office said reports about the 47-year-old congressman being treated for "alcohol or substance abuse" weren't true. His spokesman declined to elaborate on the statement, the AP report said. Jackson's father, civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., refuted rumors Wednesday that his son had attempted suicide.
While colleagues on both sides of the aisle have expressed their deep concern for Jackson and his health, they, along with constituents, political opponents and even members of Jackson's own Democratic Party, have become critical of his office's and his family's refusal to provide details — especially since Jackson is facing reelection in November.
"Fellow Illinois Democrats Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Luis Gutierrez have called it Jackson's responsibility as a public official to disclose details. Jackson's little-known opponents in the November election have spoken out on the same issue, and voters in his district have asked questions," the AP report said.
Earlier Wednesday, Democratic leaders in the U.S. House joined Jackson's colleagues and constituents in urging the congressman to provide a public update about his condition. House Leader Nancy Pelosi, when asked about Jackson, said she hoped he would have "the appropriate evaluation so he can share that information," according to the AP.