Politics

Oct 20, 2012 11:24 PM by Monica Gouty

Jesse Jackson Jr. speaks out about leave of absence

CHICAGO (AP) - Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has spoken out publicly for the first time about his treatment for bipolar disorder and other health issues.

The Illinois Democrat released a robocall Saturday to his Chicago-area constituents in which he seeks to explain his four-month absence. He says he's grappling with a difficult series of events and that he is human and doing his best.

Jackson thanks his supporters and says he is "starting to heal," but that his doctors tell him the road to recovery will be long.

The 47-year-old congressman quietly went on leave in early June and his staff didn't initially disclose the nature of his illness. It was later revealed he had been hospitalized for treatment of bipolar disorder and gastrointestinal problems.

Jackson is seeking re-election to a ninth term.

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